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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Comparison of planting methods


Planting method
Seeding Sodding

or plugging

All cool-season and some warm-season grasses Most grass species Many warm-season grasses that cannot be established from seed
Time of planting
Early fall for cool-season grasses; late spring for warm-season grasses Virtually any time of year Mid-spring - summer
Relative cost
Cheapest method Most expensive method Cheaper than planting by sod
May take 10 - 15 weeks before turf can handle traffic; could take up to 1 year to handle normal use Instant lawn, can handle traffic within 2 - 3 weeks of planting May take up to a year to establish lawn with no spaces
  • Susceptible to weed invasions, vertebrate pests, seedling diseases
  • Seed may get washed away by rain
  • May take a while to establish uniform coverage; not all seeds germinate at the same time or rate
  • Requires high maintenance with water needs and weed control
  • Gives the best quality turf of all methods
  • Fewer weed invasions than with other methods
  • Good uniformity
  • Less frequent irrigation required
  • Less maintenance than other methods
  • Can stop soil erosion
  • Good for slopes and other hard-to-reach areas
  • Susceptible to weed invasions

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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