So you just bought a new house, tore your backyard up for a pool or are just ready to get your lawn up to speed with all of your neighbors but is hydroseeding or sod a better product to install?
Both are great options if you a looking to create a beautiful lawn that your bare feet will be sure to love all summer long. Both hydroseeding and sod are fast acting lawns that will get you greener and thicker grass faster than planting regular seed.
What Is Hydroseeding? (And How Long Does It Take to Grow)
Hydroseeding is a mixture that is sprayed on your lawn that contains fertilizer, water and grass seed but it must be applied to bare soil. Hydroseeding usually also consists of two types of seeds which are rye and blue grass seed.
Hydroseeding will start to show some green grass in 7-10 days. The initial grass that you see is usually rye grass which germinates much faster than bluegrass and will usually only be about 4% of the seed mixture that was sprayed.
This is done on purpose because the rye grass will actually protect the blue grass while it germinates and infills the yard.
Blue grass is the preferred grass as it is a nice dark green grass that is super soft on the feet once it is fully filled in. Blue grass will take a surprising 3-4 weeks to germinate.
Hydroseeding is a great choice for new construction due to the ground already being bare from the final grading of the soil (in which it should slope away from the foundation of your house). This allows an even layer of the hydro seed mixture to be applied to the dirt which allows for fast results.
While hydroseeding doesn’t give you immediate results like Sod, but it grows much faster than planting regular grass seed. While hydro seeding also cost more than regular seeding it is cheaper than sod by 10-15 cents a square foot (which also depends on the type of grass seed your supplier is using).
In order to install it on an existing covered ground all organic material such as grass, weeds…must first be removed prior to hydro seeding. This can come with a nice cost if you must strip the area you are looking to seed first.
While hydroseeding is cheaper than sod it does come with some extra care. Hydro seeding will still require all the watering, fertilizing and weeding that sod manufacturers usually handle themselves.
With hydroseeding you also can’t walk on it for about a month where as with sod you can walk on it immediately.
Here is a good video I’ve found that demonstrates how hydroseeding is installed:
What is Sod?
Unlike hydroseeding, sod is actually grass that has already been established on a farm. A machine is utilized to cut a inch or so under the roots of the grass creating rolled up sections of grass known as sod.
Sod contains the actual grass, roots and some of the soil it was grown on. Rolled up sod pieces are then delivered and installed by butting pieces up next to each other and unrolling them creating an instant lawn.
Sod is best when installed in the cooler months of the year such as spring and fall. This helps prevent the grass from drying out and or freezing prior to the roots getting an establishment under the freshly laid sod.
Pros of Installing Sod
Sod is an instant grass that you can immediately get on and start to utilize. There is very little preparation that is required prior to installing sod.
While both hydro seeding and sod require watering sod requires much less. Since hydro seeding takes 3-4 weeks for germination it requires watering for that entire period.
Sod on the other hand needs to be watered a good 3-4 times a day for a week. This is just to get the roots of the grass established to the new soil beneath the sod.
Cons of Installing Sod
Sod is much more labor intensive than hydro seeding. It usually comes in sections that are rolled up and on a skid. Each section will need to be removed from the skid, placed on the level ground and rolled out butting up to the other sections of sod around it.
Here is a good video I’ve found that demonstrates how to install a sod yard:
Final Thoughts on Hydroseeding vs Sod
Your best option is going to boil down to how much money you are looking to spend vs how fast you want to see and utilize your yard. If you have the extra cash and are looking for fast results then the choice is pretty clear, Sod will be your best choice of grass.
If you are a little tighter on the money and don’t mind waiting a few months for a nicely filled in yard then hydroseeding is in fact the way to go. Also, if you are looking to be a little more cost effective you should consider slit seeding your lawn.
Either method you choose will provide you with excellent results that will have your family out playing bare foot on the soft grass in no time.
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