Benefits and Disadvantages of Grass Seed vs Sod

Are you thinking about starting a lawn from scratch? Or maybe you want to give your existing lawn a boost by adding new grass seed. Either way, you’re in the right place. Read on to uncover everything you need to know about lawn seeding—including the difference between new seeding and overseeding, when you should seed your lawn, and what kind of seed is best for your needs. 

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be an expert on all things grass seed! If you are left with any questions at all, be sure to reach out to a local lawn care provider, like this one!

New Seeding vs Overseeding: What’s the Difference?

The first step in deciding whether to start from scratch with new seeding or overseed your existing lawn is understanding the difference between the two approaches. New seeding is exactly what it sounds like—starting with bare ground and planting new grass seed. Overseeding means planting new grass seed over existing turf. So, which method is right for you? 

If you have an existing lawn that just needs a little help filling in bare spots or boosting color and density, overseeding is usually the way to go. Overseeding is also a good way to add disease-resistant varieties or create a hybrid mix of different types of grasses. On the other hand, if your lawn is in bad shape or nonexistent, starting from scratch with new seeding will give you the best results. 

When Should You Seed Your Lawn? 

The best time to seed your lawn depends on what type of grass you’re planting. Cool-season grasses like bluegrass, rye, and fescue do best when seeded in late summer or early fall. Warm-season grasses like bermudagrass and zoysiagrass should be seeded in late spring or early summer. 

What Kind of Seed Should You Use? 

There are two main types of grass seed—coated and uncoated. Coated seeds have a thin layer of clay or another material that helps protect them from disease, pests, and extreme temperatures. Uncoated seeds don’t have this protective coating but are typically cheaper than coated seeds. 

When it comes to picking the right type of grass seed for your needs, take into account your climate, soil type, amount of sun and shade in your yard, and how much foot traffic your lawn gets. For example, if you live in an area with hot summers, shady winters, and heavy clay soil, tall fescue would be a good choice because it’s tolerant of shade and able to withstand high temperatures and heavy foot traffic. But if you have well-drained sandy soil and full sun year-round, Bermuda grass would be a better option.

Here’s a quick overview of some popular types of grass seed: 

  • Tall Fescue: Tall fescue is a cool-season grass that’s tolerant of shade and can withstand high temperatures and heavy foot traffic. It’s a good choice for areas with hot summers and cold winters. Tall fescue grows best in well-drained soils but can also tolerate heavy clay soils. 
  • Bermuda Grass: Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that’s drought-tolerant and tolerant of salty conditions. It’s often used on golf courses and sports fields because it can withstand high levels of foot traffic without losing its color or density. Bermuda grass grows best in sandy soils but can also tolerate clay soils as long as they are well drained. 
  • Zoysia Grass: Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass that’s known for being drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant as well as resistant to chinch bugs—a common type of insect that feeds on grass foliage (leaves). Zoysia grows best in sandy soils but can also tolerate loamy soils (a combination of sand, silt,and clay). 
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass that’s known for being disease and pest-resistant as well as tolerant of cold weather conditions. Kentucky bluegrass grows best  in rich loam soils but can also tolerate clay soils as long as they are well drained.
  • Perennial Ryegrass: Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass that’s known for being fast establishing (meaning it germinates quickly) as well as wear-and pest-resistant.
  • Fine Fescue: Fine fescues are cool season bunchgrasses that are known for their dense blades(leaves). Fine fescues grow best in shady areas with moist soils but can also tolerate dry conditions.
  • Buffalo Grass: Buffalo grass is a native North American warm season shortgrass that’s adaptable (meaning it can grow in various types of soil)and drought tolerant.
  • Centipedegrass: Centipedegrass is a warm season shortgrass that’s known for being one of the most low maintenance options available.


As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right type of grass seed for your needs. But don’t worry—by following the tips in this post, you’ll be sure to choose the perfect type (or mix!) of seed for your lawn!

By Rehan

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