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Guide to Sod Prices

Lawn sod has many uses for home, property and business owners, such as repairing a small patch of earth where grass has died, correcting a lawn after the soil has been regraded, filling in a strip of barren dirt between two paved areas or creating a transition zone between a wooded area and a paved area. In addition to patch treatments, sod is used in new construction projects to cover large areas. Sod might cover an entire backyard lawn of a newly built house, or it might be used to create professional-grade turf for sports play.

Lawn Sod

  • Kentucky bluegrass, St. Augustine, fescue and rye grass sod are all basic varieties of sod and average $.30 per square foot.
  • Professional-grade lawn sod such as Zoysia sod averages $.75 per square foot.

Types of Lawn Sod

Sod comes in rolls or mats for professional or self-installation. It is available as basic sod or professional-grade sod, which costs more for its higher quality. Lawn sod is categorized by what type of grass is used in the rolled pieces, including:

  • Cool season grasses. These grasses grow well in climates that experience cold winters. Most cool season sods consist of Kentucky bluegrass. They require good drainage and regular watering.
  • Hot season lawn sod. These grasses grow well in humid sub-tropical climates that rarely or never experience freezing temperatures. They are also generally drought tolerant. St. Augustine grass is a typical component of hot season lawn sod.
  • Professional-grade sod. This type of sod is typical of a golf course as it is more dense than other sod and tolerates high traffic. Zoysia grass is usually the primary component of this type of lawn sod. It requires good drainage, regular watering and frequent cutting.

There is typically no price difference between cool season lawn sod and hot season lawn sod; the pricing difference comes from the quality of the grass and not its growing requirements.

What to Consider When Choosing Lawn Sod

The primary consideration when choosing a lawn sod is the average temperature of the location. Cool season grasses will wither and die if planted in a warm area, and hot season grasses will not thrive in a colder environment. Other considerations when choosing a lawn sod include the soil type of the location where the grass will be installed. The thickness and nutrient level of the soil may impact the sod's ability to take root and grow. If there are any drainage problems in the location, they need to be resolved before the sod is laid.

Lawn projects should also consider how much precipitation occurs during the summer months. Some types of grass, such as Kentucky blue grass, will turn brown and go dormant in dry conditions. Other types of grass have special requirements in regards to traffic. Zoysia lawn sod can withstand the pressure of frequent foot and animal traffic while St. Augustine grass is less durable and is uncomfortable to walk on with bare feet.

Benefits of Lawn Sod

Lawn sod can make for a seemingly instantaneous lawn instead of having to wait several weeks for grass seeds to germinate and begin to grow. In addition, when sodding a lawn, there is no risk of animals or birds getting into the seeds before they grow. Seeding a lawn can result in areas where grass is sparse or non-existent, but lawn sod is grown evenly and looks like a carpet of naturally growing grass once placed. As additional benefits, sod:

  • Can be placed on an incline without worrying that it will wash away or shift
  • Helps to prevent soil erosion
  • Is free of weeds and is thick enough to prevent future weed infiltration
  • Requires no herbicides or pesticides to maintain vigorous growth
  • Helps to cool the temperature around a home or building, which may reduce utility costs
  • Reduces the development of mud
  • Reduces water runoff
  • Is more comfortable than barren soil for playing and walking on

Sod is easy to install and requires little maintenance, making it an ideal choice for a home improvement project. With a little planning in choosing the right type of sod for a specific project, homeowners can quickly enjoy a healthy looking lawn with long-lasting benefits.

Last updated on May 16, 2016

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