I have received a few questions asking about what the best way to repair their lawn or what is or a cheaper alternative to sod.  I’m going to tell you the differences between sod, stolons and seed, and let you make an educated decision about how you would like to proceed on your own. 

Naturally everyone asks about seed but the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no seed for a hybrid bermudagrass such as BOBSod.  The BOBSeed that you see online refers to our winter ryegrass that is good for overseeding any warm season grass that you may own.  Now many of you have been told by various stores that you can buy seed at their store to fix dog damage or weak areas, but these are all common bermudagrasses.  I realize that statement probably doesn’t mean much to most people, but to put it simply they are grasses that will invade your hybrid bermudas and are almost impossible to get rid of once they have been established.  Common bermudas are grown in from seed and many people suffer from severe allergies to the pollen put out by the plant.  The seed heads that you see in common bermudagrass are viable and will blow all over your yard and will grow any where the seed grows.  These are much faster growing, and typically have a much coarser leaf texture than hybrids. 

Now if you own a paspalum lawn there is seed available from us to maintain the paspalum and it does not produce viable seed heads.  A seeded lawn will take about 60-90 days to fully mature and need to be watered several times per day for the first couple weeks to get the seed to germinate.  Once the seed germinates you will need to water a couple times a day and fertilize weekly to bi-weekly until the grass is completely established.  You will have several weeds appear during the grow-in and it is important to stay on top of them and hand-pull them as they come up.

Stolons are basically a form of chopped up sod and are available when a customer is purchasing a large quantity such as for a golf course.  Stolons do have a much lower initial cost versus sod, but be sure to add the following to your budget when trying to figure out if they will work for you.  Stolons need to be watered 6-8 times daily for the first few weeks to get them established and to root into the ground.  They need to be fertilized weekly to bi-weekly throughout the grow-in and they are not forgiving if they are under fertilized or ever allowed to dry out.  A typical grow in schedule will be around 90 days to achieve growth but I do not recommend them unless you have someone watching the water all day long.  When I say you need to run 6-8 cycles of water a day it is important to know that they do not like to be flooded, under watered and the irrigation heads and timers constantly need to be adjusted throughout the day to achieve perfect watering.  Remember these are only available in areas over at least an acre.  Weeds will naturally fill in the opening of the stolons when they are applied and need to be handpicked and constantly mowed to keep any competition away from your stolons. 

Sod may cost a little more to begin with, but the cost can be made up very quickly when you add up all the fertilizer, time, and water that seed and stolons take to grow in.  Most of us prefer the instant gratification of a sodded lawn versus constantly pulling weeds and fertilizing to get a turf similar to sod quality.  Sod is extremely quick to establish and will root down in 5-7 days during the summer months and you will have a beautiful lawn for years.  Let me know if you have any questions about a particular product or seed, and be careful when you are told that a grass seed will not be invasive in your current lawn.

I will be glad to help you with any questions you may have, but please read my past blogs for more info on how to keep your lawn the best one in the neighborhood!