Seed Or Sod? Which is better for your yard. Pro-Tips

Speaker 1: You've heard through the video or something when you feel like that.

Stan: So winter's finally gone but the damage is still there. Maybe it's just a spot alongside your driveway or maybe it's your entire back yard because you were busy making a YouTube video on how to build a deck and decided to destroy your entire yard. It's doesn't make a difference because today what we're going to be talking about is when it's the right time to sod. When is the right time to seed, but more importantly when you don't want to use sod and you don't want to use seed. So without wasting anymore time let's get into it.

Stan: So now you have an area to repair do you use sod or do you use seed? Well the very first thing I want you to do is go out and look at the area and then look up. Do you have sun or do you have shade? That's one of the first considerations you need to make when you're deciding if you want to use sod or you want to use seed. One of the things that I need to point out right away is that all sod across the United States of America is grown in full sun and when you take that sod that is used to baking heat and you put it in the shade, it's not going to thrive, it's going to barely survive.

Stan: So the first year, maybe even two years that sod's going to look amazing, but it's slowly withering, it's slowly dying. It's not designed for the conditions that you've put it in so to overcome that which you're going to do is you're going to take that sod and you're going to over seed it with a shade mixture. This allows the shade seed to come in full as the sod slowly withers and dies away keeping your lawn looking as green as possible as your lawn transitions from a full sun mixture to a shady mixture. It will stay green without getting bare spots.

Speaker 1: Turn to the video, or something you do like that with construction tips.

Stan: Okay, so we'll make it some sort of downloadable content. So the reason we're cutting this edge in is?

Prof. Phil: We're cutting the edge in because we want to make sure the new sod, the thickness of the new sod sits level with the existing sod. If we don't cut this edge the new sod is going to be raised above the surface and it's just ugly. This makes it nice and clean and crisp when it's finished.

Stan: Does he have an irrigation system?

Prof. Phil: He does.

Stan: All right he has an irrigation system, here's the deal. He's got an irrigation system. We would recommend digging this down a little deeper to install a layer of black dirt underneath the sod. It's just going to enrich the sod in that area. But because he's going to be, we already know he waters daily, that's going to be enough water to compensate. And the sod has its own black dirt that comes with it.

Prof. Phil: That's right, sod is already growing in own medium from the farm. So for the first several weeks the sod roots are not even growing into this earth. They're still in their soil that they came with from the farm so as those roots get healthier and stronger they penetrate into the earth.

Stan: The number one rule I can tell you guys about sod is don't take it, put it into a shady area and expect it to look good long term. It's not magic, it's just grass. You can get good long term results by over seeding it. That extra step must be taken to ensure that you get the best possible long term results.

Stan: So now we've talked about where you can lay sod and maybe you need to take a few extra steps if you wanted to use it in a shady area like this. But let's talk about when is the best time of year to lay sod. The best time of the year to lay sod is in the early spring, or the late fall. As late as possible or as early as possible. Let me give you a few professional tips. The fall is the absolute best time because you can set it and forget it. Meaning that if you can lay fall possibly in October or even November, or sometimes I've laid it in December you can roll that sod out, and it's dormant, so you don't have to water it, you don't have to maintain it. It's already in a state of dormancy meaning that it's ready to go to sleep for the entire season.

Stan: In the next spring, after the snow pack melts it's automatically getting watered and then the spring rains will come in and take care of all of the maintenance for you. Now that's a pro tip you can count on. I've actually laid sod in a snowstorm. I have had to take a propane heater and thaw sod rolls out because they've frozen like tootsie rolls. After I've thawed them out, rolled them out I've had the best results of any sod job ever. And the customer had the least amount of work.

Stan: Who's a good girl? Who's a good girl? Yes, you're such a good girl. Yes, I have, I've brushed my teeth. I did. All right, let's talk about one of the worse times of the year to lay sod and that's in July or August because the scorching heat of the summer can quickly burn and bake your sod. It's kind of like a fox that has its winter coat in the middle of the summer. It just doesn't work very well. Go ahead, you go running.

Stan: If you do have to lay sod during those times of the year it's going to take extra maintenance and extra steps to make sure that you have extra good results. Is that right Storm? Yes, who's a good girl. So one of the things that you can do is that if you lay sod during that time of the year is to go out and get yourself a cheap digital thermometer and to test the temperature of the soil beneath the sod. And that is as simple as flipping the sod up, taking a reading of the soil beneath it and making sure that it stays cool and moist. If you notice that that temperature is heating up it's going to quickly fry out your sod. One of the things you can do to protect your sod is to do a heavy watering schedule. Heavier than you would if you had to do it in the spring or the fall. That water will keep your sod cool, moist and hopefully alive during the heat of the summer.

Stan: I think somebody wants to go out with me. Somebody's waiting at the door. Come on. Come on Storm, get out of there now. What are you doing? Come on.

Stan: Just like with sod the best time of the year to lay seed is in the spring or fall but you have to be a little bit more careful. Ground temperature is actually more important for seed than it is for sod. The colder the ground temperature for sod, the better you are. But it's the reverse for seed. Again this handy little digital thermostat, or thermometer is going to tell you whether it's right or the wrong time of the year. If you aim this at the ground and it doesn't read 50 degrees Fahrenheit or more don't bother seeding it won't germinate. I've actually seen people lay seed on top of snow. I call that bird food. But they seem to think that it would come back to life in the spring, which it will but the pattern you lay it down is as important as the time of year when you lay it down so you've got to make sure that you get a good pattern and that it stays that way even during your watering cycle, even during your rain storms.

Stan: If the seed clumps up and bunches up, it will actually kill itself. Too dense of seeding is worse than too thin of seeding. You can always reseed over thin areas but if you have dense seed it will compete with each other and kill off the entire spot leaving a brown area, putting you right back to square one. And that's Frankie working in the background.

Frankie: We have just a few spots giving us problems. There's one there, and there's one there. And it just keeps going back and forth. It's the only way to get them out.

Stan: So maybe you've decided that you want to do one or the other. Something else that I want to bring to your attention is what is going to be the color of the grass that you want to grow? If you opt with sod that's going to come with its own pattern, or its own color and that's typically a very dark healthy vibrant green. Your lawn may not have that same color to it and that line of delineation will be noticeable. Now it may not bother everybody, but it does bother some people. The easiest and simplest way to get rid of that color line is to simply over-seed both areas blending the seed together allowing for it to cross-germinate, cross-pollinate, cross-grow, cross-over, there, cross-over that's a good one. Either way at least your colors will eventually balance with each other instead of having one color, and then another color, kind of like a checkerboard.

Stan: So now you've decided you want seed, but you don't know, which seed you want. It seems like there's a buffet of variety of seeds out there. Everything from a sunny mixture to a shade mixture. For hearty lawns, for high traffic areas, and everything in between. Well, the main things that you need to be concerned about is, do you have sun or do you have shade? Once you've determined that you can then narrow down your selection to which type of grass you need for your certain location. But let's just say you don't live in a perfect world where it's all sun, or it's all shade. Then you have to go for a third option, and don't worry because that's where this comes in.

Stan: This is called the Landscaper's Mix. This is a combination for shady areas and sunny areas all in one bag. Everything that you need to know to cover your entire lawn. This is designed to allow landscapers to go from one job site to the next job site to the next job site and not have to pick and choose between different types of grass seeds but to still get good results. What will happen with the Landscaper's Mix is one seed will dominate and that will be the seed that's for that area of your lawn. There's enough variety in the ingredients on a Landscaper's Mix that will cover just about any condition you can throw at it. And let me show you what I mean. Every bag of grass seed has the ingredients. Has what's inside of the mix.

Stan: On this sunny mix you're going to notice that it has rye grasses. Let me see if I can get this to focus for you guys. So your typical sunny mix will have almost the same seeds that you shade mix will have except it will have a little higher concentration of Kentucky Blue Grass. The Landscaper's Mix will have all of that put together. So if you don't know which seed to grab for your area, grab the one that will grow just about anywhere. It even says, "Grows best in full sun to light shade, fast starting, and it blends well with other grasses." This is your one stop shop of grass seed. It's the Landscaper's Mix and you can use just about any name brand, this one happens to be something, something, something. I don't even know what name brand this one is and it doesn't make a difference. They can come in 25, 50 pound gunnysacks. The quality is just about the same across the board when you go to this type of a mix. I hope that helps you out.

Stan: All right, here's a fact guys, now I know this was the tip of the iceberg and if you want more help than what you've gotten out of this video, simply go to the comments down below because there are a lot of guys that watch this video and they're going to have some insanely awesome advice that they're going to be giving you down below. So make sure that you read through those comments because there is going to be tips and tricks that you'll be able to pick up and help your job be more successful.

Stan: I hope this video has helped you guys out, if it has give me a big thumbs up, give me a comment, let me know what you thought of it and now you should be able to go out and make a better decision whether you need sod, whether you need shade, and when you don't want one or the other. God bless you guys, go get them.


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