My worst nightmare came true when big trucks rolled over my lawn to access a sewer pipe. The result was a huge mess. Suddenly I was faced with the cost of doing a make-over on my lawn. This led me to do some research over whether I wanted to reseed or go to the expense of buying turf.
Before I launch into talk about fescue and ryegrass, I would like to take a moment to complain. The trucks had to do a job, but did they have to tear up my lawn? Construction mats are made to protect yards from this type of devastation. If I had known beforehand, I would have demanded that they lay down these temporary roadways. As it was, I suddenly had a big issue on my hands.
The first and most important issue here is your budget. Sod is expensive. It makes sense since this is mature grass that has been grown by professionals and carefully moved to your lawn. It takes professionals to install it properly. On the other hand, seeding can be very inexpensive. You can do it yourself or you can pay someone to do it. This will be the deciding factor for many homeowners.
If you need the problem corrected fast, the only solution is to pay for new turf. You will need to pay close attention to how to care for it in the first year after it is planted.
Keep in mind that sod is best planted in the fall or spring. This may hinder your plans if it is the dead of winter or the dog days of summer.
Do It Yourself
The absolute opposite of hiring someone to lay turf is to do the reseeding yourself. This takes time and patience. When I was considering it, I did a lot of research. The big variables were grass varieties, soil health, and seasonal timing. I wanted to plant fescue. That meant waiting until the spring. At this point, I could have done the whole project by myself, but I decided to get help.
Professional Lawn Restoration
Hiring a business that specializes in lawn restoration is a bit pricey but it raises the likelihood of success. Before you do this, however, you should discuss all of the steps it will take to breathe new life into your old lawn. You may need to purchase new topsoil, which can make a dent in a tight budget.
Your soil will make a difference, and this may be where your money is best spent. Landscapers should be able to counsel you on whether you need nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium fertilizer. Clay soil will need organic matter to help bring it back to life.
In the end, I decided to do it myself with the help of a landscaper. My soil needed work before I could plant. It was winter, leaving me months before seeding could take place. The area was thoroughly fertilized and mulched. By the time I planted grass seed, it had the best chance it could have of succeeding.
So, do I wish I had used sod? Sure, I would have loved to have the perfect lawn overnight. The budget dictated that I get creative, and it was worth the work to have the lawn I have now.