Hydroseed Vs Sod: What To Expect

Your bare feet just can't wait for plain old grass seed.

You want a speed lawn — an envy-inducing spread of grass so green and soft, you might just throw away all your shoes.


So, hydroseed or sod? Both are shortcuts that will get you that lawn much faster than planting seed and waiting.

Here's a look at both methods, and what you can expect from each.

A Look At Hydroseed

Even the name sounds fast, and kind of sciencey. What exactly is it?

Hydroseed is a mixture of grass seed, water, and fertilizer that’s sprayed onto your yard or property with a hose.


How Long Does It Take?

Hydroseed has to be applied to bare soil, so how long it takes depends on how much preparation is needed.

It’s a good choice for new construction, because the ground is already new and bare.

If there’s already some grass on the property, it has to be removed, so only bare dirt remains.  

While hydroseed doesn't offer the instant lawn of sod, it’s faster than traditional lawn seeding. You’ll see some green grass in 7-10 days. This initial green grass that you see in our climate is rye grass. This grass is thin and germinates faster than bluegrass. The rye grass protects the bluegrass as it germinates and takes hold.

Most of the lawn that you want — the thick, soft, dark green grass — is bluegrass. Bluegrass takes 22-30 days to germinate. So when you initially see green sprouting in your new yard, you’re only seeing about 3-5% of the seed. The rest will come later.

What Kind Of Care Does It Need?


Remember, with big cost savings comes a trade off. When you choose to hydroseed or traditional seed, you’re taking on all of the work that the sod farm does for you — weeding, fertilizing, managing the water.

Hydroseed needs to stay well watered. And unlike sod, you can't walk or play on it for about a month or more, until the roots get established.

What's The Cost?

Hydroseed costs more than traditional grass seed but less than sod, making it a good middle-ground choice. Hydroseed will range from 9 cents a foot to 15 cents depending on the type of grass and what is included.

At Outback Landscape, we include the initial fertilizations and herbicide treatments for you to get the ball rolling.

What’s The Best Timing?

Spring is typically the best time to plant.

How Much Labor Is Involved?

Hydroseeding takes less labor than sod.

Next, A Look At Sod

Sod is rolled-up sections of pre-grown grass, roots and all. The sections of grass, roots and soil are laid on top of bare soil.


How Long Does It Take?

That’s the beauty of sod — it’s instant grass.

Like hydroseed, sod requires bare soil. So some preparation will be needed if you have any existing grass or weeds. Plan to stay off new sod for 10-14 days after initial installation.

What Kind Of Care Does It Need?

Lots of water. Plan to water your new lawn two to four times a day for the first few weeks, to help the roots get established.

What's The Cost?

Sod typically costs 40 cents or more per square foot, including labor and delivery.

What’s The Best Timing?

The cooler weather of spring and fall are best for laying sod.

How Much Labor Is Involved?

It’s more labor intensive to lay multiple sections of sod than it is to spray hydroseed. Depending on the size of your yard or property, it can take several hours.

What Are The Benefits Of Sod?

You can walk on sod within a few weeks.

It’s an instant lawn.

If your yard is small, it won't cost that much more to do sod than other methods.

Preparation Matters

Whatever method you choose — hydroseed or sod — now is the time to be sure your soil is healthy by amending it. Make sure the pH is right, before the seed or sod goes in. The soil quality will ultimately affect the health of your new lawn.

Don't Forget The Follow-Up

No matter what method you choose, don't neglect your new lawn once it’s established. Be sure to follow up with a professional lawn maintenance program that includes fertilization and weed control.

Your new lawn will look great — you’ll want it to stay that way.



Trust Your Lawn To Outback Landscape

Questions about hydroseed vs sod? We’d love to answer them.

At Outback Landscape, we’re lawn experts, no matter which method you choose.

Is your lawn ready for a new best friend?

In 2019, Outback Landscape Inc. acquired Idaho Falls based lawn care company, Lawn Buddies

Hundred of homeowners in Eastern Idaho have been counting on Lawn Buddies to provide reliable lawn care services since 2001. Think of it as a new friendly face with the same level of service you've come to expect from Outback Landscape.

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