Believe it or not, spring is not too far off. If you left your lawn last year in less than stellar condition, you are probably thinking about revamping the turf. So, for your Calgary home or business, you are perhaps thinking about sod installation or whether you should opt for grass seed.
Start at the beginning by looking at the condition of the soil and the existing grass. The general rule is if your lawn has less tan 40% weeds, you have an area that is prime for rehab. However, if half or more of it is weed infested or areas of dead or dying grass, it will be a better and more economical idea to kill off all the vegetation and start from scratch.
Should I Get Grass or Sod?
In either event, get a soil test. That will give you a good perspective of soil acidity (pH), the amount of organic matter already in place (for ongoing nutrition), and any infestation of grubs or other diseases. With that report in hand you can decide whether it is necessary to amend (improve) the soil or the turf. A healthy lawn will be dense and lush with good grass and that in itself will repel any weeds. Every spring it is also a good idea to apply a weed retardant using a spreader. This will not kill any existing weeds, but will prevent any new ones from invasion. Check with your local nursery about those that will last through the entire growing season.
With sod, you have someone to grow the grass. Sod is sold in strips of mature grass and layer of soil.
The greatest benefit is instant gratification – Well, almost. It is not especially ready for heavy traffic or pets but once laid, it looks like a finished lawn. If installed properly and gentle, daily watering, the sod will take root in your landscape within about two or three weeks. That means if you are dealing with erosion, you have an immediate solution.
On the other hand the worst part of sod is the expense. You will be paying for the labor of growing and harvesting the turf, and it will take a professional to install it properly.
With seed, you are the controller and will see all the stages from germination to thick, green carpet.
The primary advantage of seed is the lower initial cost. It is also something the homeowner can do on his or her own without the need for a professional.
The downsides include a limited window for seeding, the need for twice daily, gentle watering and a long lead time before it is ready for normal traffic or pet uses. That means it will take significantly greater patience and effort.
If you decide that sod is the answer, contact us at Project Landscape. We have access to good quality turf and have the experts to install it properly. We will give you instructions on how to maintain and encourage the growth. We can also give you direction on the best mowing techniques and maintenance tips.