To seed or sod your lawn? |

To seed or sod your lawn?

Daily Staff Writer
Special to Summit Homes and Properties

Lunceford on LandscapingBy LU SNYDER (NEILS LUNCEFORD)If you live in a newly built house, chances are you’ve got bare dirt where you’d rather have grass. As you decide whether to seed or sod your lawn, consider your budget, time expectations and irrigation sources.

Seeding is the least expensive and easiest method to start a lawn, though it takes longer to establish than sod. It costs less than $20 to seed 1,000 square feet, and you can apply the seed by hand or machine. Either way, it’s easy to do yourself.Once established, seed requires less water than sod, which makes it ideal for those without an irrigation system or those on well-water who are unable to water outside.Of course, the less you water, the longer it takes to establish a full lawn by seed. And if you don’t have an irrigation system or water source, you may want to wait until the fall to seed.

Autumn is the ideal time to apply grass seed – before the snow begins accumulating. Snow will insulate the seed through the cold, winter temperatures and provide natural moisture for the seed in the spring.Native or adapted grass seed tends to be hardier and survives better in our harsh mountain environment. These seed mixtures also do not require mowing – leaving you more time for yourself. Sod is significantly more expensive than grass seed, but with it you’ll have a green lawn almost instantly – which may be it’s greatest appeal. Sod is more difficult to install, however, leading many people to hire professionals. It also requires more maintenance and significantly more water than seed. You should expect to mow the grass once a week and water it every day for the first season for a well-established and healthy lawn.

While many people choose Kentucky Bluegrass sod – which has greater watering needs than drought-resistant grasses – sod with native-type grasses is also available.The time you spend watering will vary greatly, depending on whether you have an irrigation system or are using a sprinkler. An irrigation system can save you both time and water.Unlike grass seed, which is best to apply in the autumn, sod can be installed at any time during the summer. It merely needs enough time to get established before the winter weather sets in.

To establish a lawn successfully with either seed or sod, it’s important to properly prepare your lawn area beforehand. Amend your soil with a mix of topsoil and organic matter such as compost. You’ll want to rake and grade the area so it’s flat and free of rocks. With careful preparation, installation and maintenance, you’ll be on your way to a healthy lawn.LU SNYDER is an employee of Neils Lunceford Inc., a local landscape and design company based in Silverthorne. She can be reached at (970) 468-0340.

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