Many people plant grass seeds to stabilize eroding, bare dirt, but do you know what happens to seeds on a slope in a rainstorm? It flows downhill along with the rain and ends up growing great next to the storm drain. It’s a bummer to see your grass seed washed away and possibly germinate along the neighbor’s curb! Spare yourself the frustration and lay sod on a slope rather than planting grass seed.
1. Sod is the Quick Fix
Need to fix erosion in a jiffy? After you address drainage and grading issues, rolls or squares of sod will instantly stabilize the slope. It will secure the slope even before roots are tacked down!
2. Sod is a Water Buffer
The leaves, stolons, and rhizomes of turfgrass physically protect bare dirt by dispersing water over a larger area, thus slowing down the rate of water flow and aiding water to infiltrate the soil rather than erode it. Sod does this even before it’s rooted in and also when dormant.
3. Sod is More Secure
Seed, especially on slopes, gets washed away by rain. It’s common to redo planting seed multiple times due to washouts on slopes. Instead, lay your sod perpendicular to the slope and use sod staples. Using those two techniques, new sod will stay in place during rainstorms even before roots have formed.
4. Sod Allows for Quicker Occupancy
If you need a certificate of occupancy for a building, you can install sod the day before and still get your CO; if you plant the seed, you usually have to wait for it to germinate to be granted occupancy.
5. Sod is a Permanent Solution
Ryegrass is in most fast-growing seed mixes – but did you know that in the Southeast it dies out in the heat of the summer? Warm-season sods such as centipede, bermuda, and zoysia are permanent solutions that won’t die out.
6. Sod Can be Installed at Any Time
Warm-season sod (Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede) can be laid year-round. Yes, you can install dormant sod in winter and it will mitigate erosion even before it comes out of dormancy.
7. Sod Saves Money
Save time and money in the long run by avoiding other solutions that don’t work well on slopes, such as hydroseeding, erosion blankets, and from reseeding multiple times if the seed gets washed away.