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As part of street reconstruction, lawns are damaged. For the past six years, the City has restored those areas using seed. Before that, the City restored with sod. Both require ongoing maintenance from residents after installation. Seed has a lower environmental and financial cost. Seed can cost $250-$500 per single-family home where as sod costs $500-$1,000 per single-family home.

Topic: Sod Or Seed?

If street reconstruction occurred on your street, what would be your preference for restoration of your lawn: sod or seed?

27 Responses

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Eric Anderson 23 days ago

Seeding makes the most sense in the long run grows in thicker and more drought/winter resistant with patience and watering.

0 Supports
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Lynn Peterson 17 days ago

The problem with seeding is that it's mostly weeds and it always has to be redone. So what's the cost saving in doing this? The lawns look absolutely horrible. I ended up redoing my lawn myself with weed-free seed.

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Joel Stegner, Community volunteer 17 days ago

The previous reader suggests focusing on long term outcomes. If they are better with a lower cost solution, the question sort of answers itself.

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Doug Johnson 17 days ago

Allow choices...

Set the cost to seed or sod. Give the homeowner the opportunity to get a credit if they do it themselves...obviously, you'd have to have strict parameters so it gets done.

Otherwise, I pick sod. Why? When they seed, it is about 90% weeds. Unless you are willing and able to weed just about every day, it is a lost cause.

5 Supports
 
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David Frenkel 17 days ago

The city of Edina should talk to other suburbs on their policies on lawn rehab. The city of Plymouth does not allow hydro-seeding on large projects and sod has to be used. Sod planted in late fall has the best chance of surviving.

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Bruce Kirking 17 days ago

We had our street redone a few years ago and it was "foam" seeded late in Oct or November. It came up great the next spring! Still looks great! I have seen a lot of sodded repair jobs after street and home construction. Often it does not get watered enough and the sods dies. Go with seed. Most people don't know how much water to use to keep sod alive and municipalities have better things to do with their time that properly keep sod watered so it does not get watered enough and it dies.

0 Supports
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Alan Eastlund at October 08, 2018 at 9:42am CDT

I believe the process Bruce is referring to is called hydro-seeding. We also had the same done to the edge of our lawn, and it looks just fine. We did not have to deal with weeds or thin grass growing. I also agree that sod isn't a great solution as it requires constant watering. Hydro-seeding won't die off if it isn't immediately watered.

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dennis berkowitz 17 days ago

In my case, the seeding was not too good. There were a ton of weeds that I was constantly picking out, it was very sparse, and the leveling has sunk in parts. So - this year, I will need to add black dirt at the end of the season and hope that things will level out and not be lower in that area and around my driveway. I would have preferred sod for sure. I think with what we paid in assessments, that is what we should have had.

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Lynn Peterson 17 days ago

If the city is going to use seed, at least use seed that is at least 99% seed. Every job that I've seen in my neighbor and surrounding areas have been seeded, and they've all come up with 90% weeds, and have not been redone by the city. If you can't get good seed, then use sod and water them with your water trucks every other day, or tell the property owner how often to water them. Either way, the people that do the sodding usual do a horrible job so they start dying around the edges because they don't use soil to seal in the spaces and edges.

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Ted Davis 17 days ago

The seeding works great, as long as you keep it watered, as is the case with sod. The weeds typically are from the soil that is used. It has been two years since our street was done, but I am still dealing with poor soil and areas that won't let grass grow. I've also had to bring in many, many wheel barrows of soil, as the contractor did not meet the previous contours of my yard. All of this is the fault of the contractor, not the seed concept. I'd definitely vote for seed, a higher quality of top soil, and a contractor with a solid reputation!!

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Amy Olson 17 days ago

I agree with giving homeowners choices. During our sidewalk project we would have been willing to regularly water sod, but recognize that other neighbors may not, and would prefer the lower maintenance of the seed.

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Richard Letsche 17 days ago

We had street reconstruction 2-3 years ago and the City had it reseeded....twice. We watered it almost daily and it finally grew but it was very full of weeds. Some annual weeds have been so dominant where the reseeding was done I recently dug out those weeds and have sodded and seeded with 100% blue grass.. Right now that area looks like "crap", where the rest of the lawn is perfect. Apparently the hydro-seed the City used was very poor stuff and full of weed seeds....or the dirt they replaced before the seeding was full of weed seeds.. All in all the City should be responsible for the mess that resulted....they have not responded to my concerns. Only sod should be used after street reconstruction. The cost the City noted for sod is greatly inflated for the amount of sod needed.

3 Supports
 
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Jeffrey Kuhs 17 days ago

I live in a neighborhood with a lot of tear downs in the past few years. The new homes all have sodded yards and they all look good. One block away the streets have been replaced maybe 2 years ago and the yards seeded. The majority look poor – bald spots and weeds. I like a good lawn and have taken classes on the subject. I understand that seed is generally better than sodding, but I do both in my yard depending on many factors. For example, the larger the area and the closer to weed season the more I use sod. The type of seed matters too. My lawn is 100% Kentucky Bluegrass as is most(?) sod. Fast germinating and other types of seeds have advantages but may not match existing yards and in my opinion are not as attractive. I would prefer for sod.

1 Support
 
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Jim DeSimone 16 days ago

I would have preferred a choice, especially compared to the godawful results from the garbage job done for us. Graded horribly, no removal of loads of concrete that leech up all the time, and a double dose of weeds. It's crap. I'm going to end up doing what several neighbors have done and re seed the whole thing along with buying top soil. But the buried ton of concrete on one side is just going to stay. I'd prefer to have had sod than to pay for that disaster. It's Edina.

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Kris Hoplin 16 days ago

We had most of our front lawn torn up this summer and grass seed was planted by the city. The entire yard grew entirely as weeds. The weeds then spread to other parts of my lawn. I have now spent hundreds of dollars trying to fix what the city did and my lawn still looks terrible. I contacted the city and asked them to redo the seeding. They said it was Center Points responsibility and simply gave me a phone number that goes no where. The city as the project manager should be responsible for ensuring Center Point does a good job of restoring our yards. I should not have to call and email over and over again. The city assured homeowners before the street construction that their yards would be restored back to normal. I could not be more disappointing.

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Ed Cracraft 16 days ago

I live on a corner in the Concord district. The CenterPoint work extended well into my yard, which was used to place heavy signs and equipment The lawn was absolutely beautiful prior to the reconstruction project. CenterPoint's sub-contractor leveled and seeded before the curb and street were put in and my irrigation system repaired. Either the soil or seed was bad, as it quickly filled with weeds. Once the curb and street were installed and the irrigation system repaired, McNamera's sub, Friedges, re-seeded part of the damaged lawn along the boulevard, but inexplicably did not re-seed the entire footprint so poorly done by CenterPoint's contractor. After countless hours on the phone with Chad Milner and Derek Northernscold (city of Edina), Jerry Flicek (Friedges), Julie Beidler and Rick Gresdyck (CenterPoint), and a supervisor with McNamara, I now have a tri-colored lawn with a tire rut, deeply sunken footprints, and loads of weeds. I have three simple suggestions that the City should be responsible for executing: 1) Use sod, not seed. It is much thicker, weed free, and will hold up better when construction workers continue to use the yard. 2) Coordinate leveling, topsoil, and sodding between CenterPoint and the general contractor (McNamara) to ONE landscape firm done after the street and curb work is completed. 3) Improve communication. Leave website information at each affected home that enables owners to sign up for emails or text messages. Then please communicate activities frequently, clearly, and with as much reaction time as possible. For example, had my stay at home neighbor not been kind enough to call me at work to let me know the irrigation repair crew was coming through, I would not have been able to get the system up and running without numerous callbacks to align the sprinkler heads correctly. Thank you

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Wallace Wikoff 16 days ago

On the recently completed 60th St project, seed was used and so far it seems to be coming in OK, so I lam fine with that, as long as the end result is good, which we won't know until next year. I have a lush, well-kept lawn and want the restored area to be that way when it is done too. As noted above, sod, if not properly laid down and watered, can die alone the edges.

I think in some cases the problem is inadequate supervision of workers and a consistent "It's the contractor's responsibility" response from the city project manager with rare information about how, when or by whom the contractor will be held accountable.

On Sept 25 I had an email exchange with the project manager about areas where the landscaping contractor failed to repair disturbed edging (so I did it myself), scattered grass seed in my flower beds and an area where there is already 1.5 - 2" of settling next to the new sidewalk. This was all despite extensive efforts on my part to assist in making sure the job was done right. In particular, there was a problem with unsupervised common laborers who spoke little or no English improperly preparing the area (not taking the underlying soil down to 6" below grade, like they were supposed to, before backfilling with top soil and hand-spreading grass seed. They couldn't or didn't read the signs I put up next to my flower beds saying "CONTACT OWNER BEFORE SEEDING" because I had barriers ready to put up in order to keep the grass seed out of my flower beds.

On my next door neighbor's property they put down top soil and grass seed, then dug up around the sump pump connection site and water shut-off, but didn't fix those areas, so there are "sink holes" around them.

Here is his response:

"I agree it would have been much easier for the contractor to use some caution when working around your flower bed to avoid getting seed in them. Since the care wasn’t taken to avoid it, it still falls on the contractor to still finish up the restoration of the area by fixing all landscaping and disturbed areas as close to what they were. This includes removing any new grass that is germinating within a flower bed or garden area due to their processes. They are also responsible for fixing the edging.

The extensive amount of rain that we received last week caused settlements of the topsoil throughout most of Phase III and even a few in Phase II. The contractor is aware of the issue and once dry topsoil can be purchased they will be onsite to correct any low areas and reseed them. I will notify them to knock on your door before any seeding is done in your yard.

"The project is starting to near the end but there is still plenty of work to be done and a lot of monitoring that I will do yet. This week I will walk the entire job site and take notes of any large or small issues that I find and add them to a punchlist that is sent off to the contractor. I will continue to walk the sight at least once a week until everything is complete. Items that I pay special attention to are landscaping and gardens for any signs of disturbance or construction, turf establishment, low spots or settlements, and anything that needs to be corrected."

Admittedly we have had a lot of rain since that email exchange and more is expected. I will be interested in seeing if they do, in fact fill in and re-seed the low spots.

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Kerry Anderson 16 days ago

Seed is the most cost effective obviously. Seeding follow street reconstruction here was a failure the first time as nothing but weeds grew. Second try was 50 % successful. The problem lies in properly specifying what is required when the contractor is selected. Residents want grass not weeds. Much easier to do it right the first time and makes the property owners much happier.
Great to see the city recognizes the problem but do they realize the real issue lies in how they specified what the contractor was to do. I see in this "discussion" a justification for adding the cost for sod. If a property owner wants sod then charge them the added cost including the time to administer another contract in their assessment.

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Robin Savageau 16 days ago

Success for our homes has been more dependent on timing. A recent project left huge piles of dirt and gaping holes. It was at least 3 months before seeding / sodding was filled in. That gave plenty of opportunity for the large area to become weed infested. Piles of dirt even became infested - which was then spread into the holes (weeds and all). It was a season long battle to get rid of deeply rooted weeds and restored lawn to flourish. No matter what the solution - It seems to me like rapid & timely restoration is as critical - maybe even more critical - than what product is used.

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Mark Reilly 14 days ago

I would say the entire restoration process was poor last year. My sprinkler system was damaged, taking two attempts to get it fixed, damaging seeded area. The seeding looks horrible. I have spent this summer patching the bare spots and dealing with all the weeds. The grading was non-existent and had to take brick-sized chunks out of seeded area. I would say seeding is the way to go to keep costs down, but more care and time needs to be spent on doing it right the first time.

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Bev Larson 14 days ago

Generally I would prefer seed as I think it blends better with the existing lawn and is a bit more forgiving. I would still like the fabric cover to help protect the early growth stages.

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Doug Haining at October 06, 2018 at 4:39pm CDT

We had a Centerpoint project this summer that impacted our lawn. The CP landscape contractor laid down a burlap-ish fabric with a very lightweight mesh to hold it together. I don't know if they put seed under the fabric, or if the seed was built into the fabric, but the results were great. No weeds, just nice grass sprouting up. It germinated rather quickly too as I recall. Then a truck cut the corner and destroyed the redone area on the corner. The city filled in the tire holes, and put down seed and some loose green material to hold the seed in place. This product did not work nearly as well as the burlap-ish product used by the CP landscapers. I would recommend the city find out what the CP people used and use that from now on.

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Greg Rustad at October 06, 2018 at 4:51pm CDT

Our street was done 5-6 years ago. Our boulevard is horrible. The first summer after completion, I was picking out large chunks of concrete, big rocks, etc from the “reclaimed” soil used as the foundation for the seed. I’m still picking out concrete chunks and large rocks. It’s a given that the seed quality was very poor...who can blame the contractor if no specification for seed quality was given so they chose the cheapest. My larger concern was the quality of the soil used. When confronted, they called it “reclaimed” soil and that the use of it was part of the contract. Silly me thought the city would help with restoration. No luck.
And I agree that the lawn re-construction should be a separate contract with a landscape professional, not an ancillary part of the road re-construction contract.

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kathleen dahlheimer at October 08, 2018 at 4:17pm CDT

I think sod yields the most instant solution to get the lawns back where they were before this project. Concord Phase 111 reconstruction has been a disaster in my yard and the way the contracts are written per Chad Millner if the city suggests anything like more or less water etc. the warranty is null and void. I have complained enough about the restoration on this job as well as noting that in many surveys the restoration gets very low ratings...I am hoping the city will consider other options including separately bidding the landscape job to a company that answers to the city and is not a "sub". I feel the city has an obligation to restore the yards in the quickest and best way possible and that is not happening.

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Dana OConnor at October 12, 2018 at 1:23pm CDT

Our street (Lakeview Drive) was done 2 years ago and seed was used and it was probably 90% weeds when it came up. I remember talking to the crew and our liaison on the Project and all said , "it's not the seed that's weeds, it's the dirt we used". Needless to say, I called BS on both accounts. We would have preferred sod. We water. I'm still weeding from the area that was seeded and it's a pain.

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Bruce Dahlke at October 15, 2018 at 10:06am CDT

I'm in favor of sod since the seed and preparation were below expectations. The seed is terrible and now that area of my yard looks thin and terrible. I have also pulled most of the weeds that came up. The mixture of seed is unacceptable.

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RuthAnn Metzger at October 19, 2018 at 2:46pm CDT

Which ever will make my yard look exactly like it did before the Roadway Reconstruction. No weeds! Green lush grass! For 28 years I have been having Davey Tree Expert Co do 5 fertilizations each year, aerate & overseed when needed so I am expecting the City will ensure that my yard after reconstruction will match the pictures I take of it prior to reconstruction.

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