Sod (or turf) is primarily grown on special sod farms. I is usually grown locally to avoid long transport to prevent drying out and heat buildup of the product. These sod farms may have many varieties of grass grown in one location to best accommodate the consumer’s use and preference of appearance.
During the growing time, sod undergoes fertilization, frequent watering, mowing and finally vacuuming to remove the clips. The sod farmer uses specialized equipment, precision cut to customary sizes. Sod is typically harvested in small square slabs, rolled rectangles or large 4 foot wide rolls. Some sod farms have been known to export internationally.
Using seed has its disadvantages, as it may be blown about by the wind, eaten by birds, or fail because of drought. It takes seed weeks to form a visually pleasing lawn, and additional time before it is healthy enough to use.
Turf largely avoids these problems, and with proper care, newly laid sod is usually fully functional within 30 days of installation with its root system comparable to that of a seeding lawn two or three years older. Turf, however, is more expensive and requires considerably more watering for its establishment. Erosion after seeding may be a concern in some areas near water. Sod reduces erosion by stabilizing the soil in these type of areas.