It’s not the easiest thing to grow a great lawn from grass seed. That’s why many persons prefer to use sod. Sod is the grass that has already been planted and as it grows the established root system makes it easy to transplant. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing sod, however. To make sure you get the right grass, we’ve covered what you need to know and how different varieties compare.
How to Choose the Right Sod Variety
One important factor for choosing the right sod for your yard is tied to your location. Generally, sod varieties fall into three categories: cool-season, warm-season, and transition zone.
If you look over the temperature map provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), it will be easy to see where your location falls. Once you know your temperature range, you can start planting any of the varieties below that match your category.
Your soil type and how much maintenance you’re prepared to undertake are also essential to your decision. Let’s look at the main types of sod varieties available and how they compare.
This tough grass is known as a warm-season sod. It works best for areas that are hot and humid. Bahia grass has a rough texture which means it can handle yards that have a lot of foot traffic. If your yard has loose, sandy soil this grass will work well. It’s also tolerant of salty conditions.
Bermuda grass is another warm-season sod. It grows aggressively, which is useful for repelling weeds but painful if the grass gets into your flower bed. Like the Bahia, this grass can tolerate heavy foot traffic and salty conditions. Bermuda grass also grows well under drought conditions and requires little maintenance. It does need proper drainage, though.
The Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season sod that needs sunlight, good soil, and regular water supply. It prefers full sun to shade and is high maintenance. If you choose this type of sod, you’ll need to design a deep-rooted irrigation system. The investment in this design will pay off when your yard survives harsh winters.
This type of grass grows well in a warm climate and prefers sandy, acidic soil. It’s also moderately tolerant of shade. The centipede grass has a rough texture and is effective in resisting pests or weeds. While low maintenance in nature, this sod will take a bit longer to grow than others.
There are several different types of fescue grass but they all fall into the category of cool-season grasses. With this grass, it’s vital to confirm heat, drought, shade, and traffic tolerance based on the variety chosen. Fescue grass requires full sun, proper fertilizing, moderate watering, and an aerating schedule. It’s also fairly low maintenance.
The perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass that is commonly used to overseed during the winter. It grows quickly and tolerates heavy foot traffic. To get the best lawn with this sod, you’ll need to water and fertilize it well. Perennial ryegrass is also resistant to pests and disease.
St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine grass is a warm-season sod that grows well in sandy soil. It grows quickly and easily but doesn’t tolerate much shade. With this grass, you won’t have to mow or water your lawn as often but it needs frequent fertilizing.
Zoysia grass is a warm-season sod that grows slowly. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in hot weather. Zoysia grass is easy to maintain so you won’t need to worry about watering it often. This grass holds up well in high-traffic areas and is resistant to weeds.