Pros and Cons of Hydroseed vs Sod

Pros and Cons of Hydroseed vs Sod

In the landscape world, it’s a question asked a lot. Which method is better for starting a new lawn: hydroseed or sod? The best way to answer is by acknowledging each method has its pros and cons. Depending on your personal situation, one option may be better for you. Read on to learn more.

Cost

Sod is much more expensive than hydroseed. In fact, some experts say it’s 70 percent more expensive. Why? Sod is grass that has already been planted. So when you buy sod you’re paying for the time, materials, and labor needed to grow the grass. Essentially, you’re paying for convenience.

If you have a project that finishes late in the fall, you may opt to go with sod since you don’t need to have perfect growing conditions. Hydroseeding in the late fall could be a challenge if you live where there may be a lot of rain.

Convenience

Sod is an instant lawn that you can put down by yourself or hire a contractor to do it. You can lay sod any time during the year. And once installed, you can enjoy it immediately.

Hydroseeding has to be done by a contractor with a truck designed to spray the mixture on the ground. The hydroseed mixture contains seeds, fertilizer, mulch, and material sprayed on the ground that binds it together. You then need to take time and water it on a strict schedule (up to three time a day) to ensure it establishes properly.

Typically, you’ll be able to mow the hydroseed grass once it reaches 3-4 inches in height. Depending on the time of year, this could be approximately six weeks. And it’s not until around 12 weeks, that you can actually walk on it or let your kids enjoy it.

Soil Preparation

When hydroseed or sod is installed, you need to do some prep work. Examples include removing old or dead grass, leaves, tree stumps, or rocks. In some cases, you may need additional soil. Hydroseed installation cost normally includes soil preparation. However, if the ground isn’t in good condition or your current soil isn’t healthy, chances are you’ll have to pay extra for new soil. As a result, the preparation cost for sod is typically less.

Variety

When it comes to variety, there are usually more options when using hydroseed than with sod. While both contain different types of grass, there are more varieties to choose from with seed. You have more options in terms of color and lushness.

Health

Hydroseed has a better chance of creating a healthier lawn, as it continues to grow where it germinated and where its root system took place. Sod is grown elsewhere and brought in so it can dry out before its roots grow into the soil. This could result in unhealthy grass.

Appearance

As mentioned previously, sod gives you an instant lawn. But when you use hydroseed, it can take upwards of a year or more to completely fill in.

With hydroseed, you have the challenge of damage if you get severe weather soon after you spread the hydroseed. Too much rain in a short period can wash away the hydroseed, requiring you to lay more down, potentially increasing the cost.

So, what have we learned?

Pros of Using SodPros of Using Hydroseed
Better appearanceLess expensive
Easier and cheaper soil preparationMore options
ConvenienceHealthier lawn

If you are impatient, have funds available, and don’t want to provide much after-care to your lawn, sod is the way to go. But if you’re patient, on a budget, and don’t mind caring for the lawn after installation, hydroseed might be the best option for you.

Get in touch with an expert to help you make the best decision for you.