Affordable Lawn Care: Laying Sod Vs Seeding Cost And Price Comparisons

If your lawn is dead, bare, or weed infested, you definitely need one. Learn how to decide between new sod or seeding and which is the best choice for you when it comes to affordable lawn care.

You purchased and moved into a brand new house that doesn't have any landscaping or you moved into a previously owned house that has a yard that you think is in need of a new lawn. The question in your mind, is do you put down new sod or do you sew new grass seed? The answer to this all depends on whether or not the majority of your lawn is

dead or weed infested. If your lawn has a few bare spots, then grass seed would be your best option. If the entire lawn is dead, bare, or weed infested, you definitely need a new lawn.

Before you decide whether to use grass seed or sod, you need to factor on how big of an area needs to be landscaped as this will determine the price and feasibility of what your objective.

Laying sod isn't as easy as it sounds. You'll first need to measure your lawn and then do ground prep. Ground preparation is getting rid of any bushes or trees and their root systems along with taking off the old lawn. If you don't do ground prep and just lay sod over the existing lawn, the new sod will die because it can't establish a healthy root system. The cost of ground prep will vary as you'll need to rent a rotor tiller and a lawn roller in addition to the cost of mulch (which is three yards per thousand square feet) and the cost of gypsum (which is 120 pounds per thousand square feet).

Once the ground is prepared and you've purchased and planted the new sod or grass seed, you'll also need to purchase over seed. Over seed is usually perennial rye. This goes over the sod while it's dormant and the over grass seed to keep it from dying off while exposed to the elements. When the grass is ready to sprout, the rye will die off.

You can purchase your turf or new sod with or without the over seed. The cost of the new sod with over seed is approximately 30 cents per square foot and without the over seed your cost is approximately 28 cents per square foot. Depending on where you live might have to pay freight charges from the turf store. The farther away you live from a large city or metropolitan area, the higher the chance you'll have to pay freight charges for your sod. The turf store doesn't factor freight charges into their price when they order your sod for you. Ask the turf store about this before you order your new sod so you won't be surprised by any hidden charges.

Don't forget to plan on needing a sprinkler system for your new lawn and that is a separate cost. In a hot desert climate, such as Arizona and New Mexico, you'll need a sprinkler system because above ground watering isn't going to penetrate the grass very well and your lawn will eventually die.

The prices quoted above are if you do the work. If you have a landscaper do the work for you, the cost will be more because of their labor charges. The average landscaper charges $1.00 per square foot depending on prep work. The more prep work that needs to be done, the more time they'll need to take. Do they have to take out existing trees, their root systems, dead bushes? Does the ground need extra nutrients because the existing sod is of poor quality? This cost runs approximately $40 per hour and check with the landscaper and make sure you know exactly what needs to be done. Make sure you get about four to five quotes from different landscapers and then check with your neighbors or co-workers to see if they have used landscaping companies. Ask them if they received professional service in a timely manner or if the work they were given was of poor quality.

When you water a lawn you need to keep in mind that there is a wrong time of day to water and a best time of day to water. What a lot of people do wrong when they water their lawn is that they don't water at the right time of the day. A lawn needs to be watered in the morning between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. instead of at night because the evening watering promotes fungus, which over time will kill your lawn.

Before you decide to have your lawn done, please read up on proper lawn care and maintenance to save you from spending more money than you had anticipated.

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