How to Decide between Seed and Sod in St. Louis

May 11, 2021

How to Decide between Seed and Sod in St. Louis

Sod in St. Louis

So, you’re looking toward summer, and your lawn is just not where you want it to be. You’ve tended it carefully, but there are still patches that don’t look as nice as you’d like. Or, maybe you had some major renovations done, and there are bare spots around your yard you need to fill in. Or maybe you have an even more extensive need — your lawn is nothing but dirt, and you want a luscious green lawn ASAP. How do you go about solving that problem? Do you call up a sodding company right away? Or do you head out to the store for some grass seed? Does it make sense to plant sod in St. Louis? What type of grass is best for your yard? What varieties grow best in this area with these conditions? How can you achieve the lawn of your dreams?

If you have questions like these about sod in St. Louis, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll break down all the pros and cons of each option, and we’ll detail what a sodding company can do for you and your lawn.

What is sod?

Let’s start with the basics. Sod is just grass. Yeah, just plain, regular, old grass with a small amount of soil and roots holding it together. It’s harvested into rolls, and a sodding company can come out and install it for you. Sod in St. Louis is used in a variety of venues — golf courses, sports arenas, and private homes, to name a few. 

Benefits of sod over seed

If you decide on sod in St. Louis, you’ll have a beautiful yard in no time flat. Sod looks lush as soon as the sodding company puts it out. Grass seed is going to take a lot of work to grow into a beautiful lawn — you’ll need to prepare the soil, plant the seed, and tend it carefully. All that extra work is avoided with sod, especially if you hire a sodding company.

Sod is also a great choice when you need to establish a lawn during times of the year where seed would have a hard time germinating. Namely, that’s in the hotter months when the temperature is over 80 degrees. And if erosion is a major concern for your lawn, then sod is undoubtedly a great option — the roots of the grass are already there, so they get established in your soil quickly. 

These are the main benefits of sod in St. Louis, but any sodding company would be happy to go over just what sets them apart from the rest with you, too.

So what’s seed, then?

Grass seed is pretty much just what it sounds like: Seeds you use to grow grass. Unlike the sod a sodding company would install, growing a lawn from grass seed requires patience. And if you’re trying to go it alone, you’ll need to do some research to make sure you know how to read the label on the bag. There’s a wide variety of grass seed you can buy, and you can even buy blends and mixes. A grass seed blend is two or more types within the same species (like two different types of fescues, which we’ll talk more about in a bit), and a mix is two or more species. These combinations are created to optimize grass growth in every possible set of conditions.

Benefits of seed over sod

A sodding company might not tell you this, but sod isn’t ideal for all situations. Planting and tending to grass seed is going to result in grass with deeper roots than sod in St. Louis. Deeper roots can make some types of grasses more drought resistant, which can be a big plus. Another big benefit of choosing grass seed instead of sod in St. Louis is that you’ll also have a lot more options for type of grass with grass seed. Sod typically comes in just one type of grass, but as we mentioned above, you can buy mixes and blends of different types of grass seed to get the exact right formula for your yard. That level of customizability is a big plus for some people.

Different Types of Sod in St. Louis

Now that you’ve had a look at all the different benefits of grass seed and sod in St. Louis, let’s dive into the different varieties of grass you can grow with either method. As we mentioned before, you can typically find a wider range of options with grass seed, but there are plenty of sod varieties to choose from, as well.

The number one thing you want to achieve with sod in St. Louis is a healthy-looking yard, and to do that, you need to find a type of grass that will grow well in your yard. Every location has its own specific growing conditions — temperature, average rainfall, even the amount of sunlight your lawn gets. Each different type of grass thrives in different conditions, and finding the right type for the conditions of your lawn is a huge step toward ensuring a great, green yard. We’ll offer our tips here, but reach out to a sodding company if you have any more questions.

Cool or Warm?

Types of grass can be divided into cool season grass, which grows best in (you guessed it) cooler, more northern climates, and warm season grass, which grows best in warmer, more southern climates. Since St. Louis is fairly centrally located, you have both warm and cool season grass options for your yard. If you’re speaking to a sodding company or other lawn care professional, they might refer to this as the transitional zone, which just means the area of the country where both cool and warm season grasses are options.

Warm Season Options for Sod in St. Louis

Let’s get into the pros and cons of a warm season grass for your St. Louis yard. The main advantage is obviously how much they thrive in the heat. We all know St. Louis summers can be brutal, and warm season grasses are obviously well equipped to handle the heat. They’re also good at surviving drought conditions. Any sodding company will also assure you that they also do best in the sun. That means that if you’ve got a shady lawn, it might be better to look into cool season grasses. 

You should also consider some other downsides when looking at warm season grasses. The biggest for many people is that they tend to turn brown in the cooler months. If you’re looking for a perfectly lush, green lawn year-round, maybe think about some of your other options. Warm season grass might also be harder to mow, more expensive to install and keep up, and less tolerant to lots of rain.


If after all that you’ve decided to go with a warm season grass, you might want to consider zoysia. It’s a popular warm season choice in these parts, and it can be a great option for sod in St. Louis. In fact, it’s better to use sod to plant a zoysia lawn — if you try to grow zoysia from seed, the individual plants tend to vary a lot in terms of color, hardiness, and leaf width. Hiring a sodding company to plant zoysia sod would be a great choice if this is the kind of lawn that appeals to you.


Another warm season option for sod in St. Louis is Bermudagrass. To be a good fit for this type, your lawn should receive full sun. Bermudagrass is also often a good choice for areas that see a lot of foot traffic because it tends to recover quickly. It’s not particularly popular around these parts, but it’s not unheard of, either. Keep in mind, though, that Bermudagrass grows quite quickly in the summer, meaning you’ll have to be out there mowing it quite often.

Cool Season Options for Sod in St. Louis

Now that we’ve enumerated all the virtues and lapses of warm season grasses, let’s take a look at their counterparts. Cool season grasses can also thrive in St. Louis lawns, and any sodding company should have plenty of cool season options for you. As the name implies, cool season grasses do tend to struggle when the heat and humidity climb, but if they’re properly tended, they can stay green for greater portions of the year than many of their warm season counterparts. Cool season grasses grow the most during the spring and fall, and summer heat and drought can cause them to go dormant. If they do that in the summer, odds are that they’ll turn green again when conditions become more favorable. That means keeping them watered is of utmost importance.

There’s also an interesting hybrid option when it comes to choosing between warm or cool season grasses. Sometimes, cool season grass can be seeded over warm season grass in the fall. That means that when the warm season grass turns brown in the cold, the cool season grass will provide a green cover instead. Obviously, this isn’t an option if you’re only looking for sod in St. Louis, as it necessitates grass seed, but it’s an interesting option to keep in mind if you’re open to forgoing a sodding company and doing the work yourself. Let’s move on, though, and look at some of your cool season options for sod in St. Louis.


There are several different types of fescues: Tall, chewing, red, and hard. Tall fescue is the most common in the transition zone, which is the region St. Louis sits in where cool and warm season grasses can both be good choices. It tends to grow in bunches, and it’s pretty tolerant of many environmental conditions. One such condition is drought — because of its deep and extensive root system, tall fescue can withstand drought better than many other types of sod in St. Louis. That could make it the perfect variety for your yard.

Kentucky Bluegrass

This type of grass requires a lot of maintenance and isn’t right for everybody, but when you can take good care of it, bluegrass is a beautiful choice for your yard. Its deep green color appeals to many. Kentucky bluegrass is the most common type of bluegrass, but there are also other bluegrass options to choose from. This type of sod in St. Louis doesn’t tolerate drought as well as tall fescue does, and it does best in sunny spots. It won’t do very well in medium to heavy shade. So, if you’ve got a fairly sunny plot of land that you’re willing to keep watered, Kentucky bluegrass might be just the trick.

The Bottom Line

You absolutely can get a beautiful lawn, you’ll just have to be smart about it. Consider the unique growing conditions of your yard — the most important is probably how much sun or shade it gets. Then, choose a type of grass that best suits your needs. Since St. Louis can often support either warm or cool season lawns, those conditions might be the deciding factor. Warm season grasses tend to work well for yards that receive a lot of sun, and cool season grasses are often better suited to shadier areas. 

If you’ve decided you can handle all the extra work of trying to grow a lawn from grass seed instead of sod in St. Louis, then you can pick special blends of different types of grass to truly tailor your yard. On the other hand, if you’re not really into taking on yard work yourself and would rather hire a sodding company, you’ll also have different grass options there. 

No matter how you slice it, getting a perfectly green lawn is going to require some solid planning, even if you go the route of hiring a sodding company to do the manual labor for you. We hope we’ve given you all the tools you need to go out and find the right grass seed or sod in St. Louis.