Now that warmer weather is here in California, it’s time to think about getting your lawn ready for another fantastic summer. One of the ways to have a great lawn is by seeding or sodding a new area of your yard or fixing up an existing grassy area.

But which is better when you’re landscaping your yard and trying to grow a new lawn or revitalize grass that’s thin and patchy? It’s important to know the facts and differences between seeding your lawn or installing sod. Both of these approaches will result in a beautiful and healthy lawn.

#1 – Seeding Your Lawn

Starting your lawn or filling in patchy areas from seed gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing the right grass variety for a SoCal climate. Selecting the best grass for your geography can result in a healthy lawn that thrives through all the seasons. Some of the most popular seed choices include:

  • Bahia – Grows well in drought conditions.
  • Bermuda – Fast-growing in warm climates.
  • Fescue – Slow-growing for cool climates.
  • Kentucky Bluegrass – Grows well in colder climates.

Before seeding, you’ll need to prepare the soil for planting, including the addition of herbicides and nutrients to encourage germination and prevent the growth of weeds. After seeding, you’ll need to water three times a day for the first three weeks to ensure rooting.

Do-it-Yourself: Lawn Overseeding

#2 – When is seed better than sod?

You’ll want to consider seeding your new lawn if:

  • You’re on a budget.
  • You don’t need fast results.
  • You want to do the project yourself.
  • You’re looking for an easy way to patch and reseed.


Depending on the size of the area you’re seeding, you can expect to spend from $100 to $500 on materials. If you decide to hire a landscaper, the average cost of seeding will range from $400 to $1,300.

#3 – Sod Lawns

Sodding your lawn is the process of installing pre-grown grass strips on top of prepared soil. The sod is grown by professional farmers and harvested in rolls, squares, or smaller grass plugs that can be used to fill in smaller areas. After about two to three weeks, the roots will take hold in the soil and you’ll have a full green lawn to enjoy.

As with grass seed, you have your choice of sod variety based on climate and growing conditions:

Bermuda – Ideal for southwest and southern climates.
St. Augustine – Fast-growing and adapts well to drought conditions.
Zoysia – Slow-growing and best for temperate climates.
When to use sod

Consider using sod when:

  • You want an instant lawn.
  • You want to prevent soil erosion.
  • You need to block weeds.
  • You’re looking for easy and low-maintenance lawn installation.


Expect to spend anywhere from $170 to $380 on the cost of sod if you’re doing the work yourself. Installation by a professional landscaper will cost between $1,000 to $2,500.

#4 – Hiring a Landscaper

Depending on your budget and the scope of the project, it may be easier and more economical to hire a landscaper to seed or sod your lawn for you. A professional landscaper will provide all the materials and equipment and prepare the soil before seeding or sodding.

Be sure to get quotes from more than one landscaper, ask for references, and get the quote in writing.

Ready to have that perfect lawn you can be proud of? Call a HomeAdvisor landscaping contractor in California and learn about the differences between seeding or sodding your lawn.