Are you planning to establish a new lawn, and buying sod is on the to-do list? If so, you’re probably wondering about the cost. In today’s article, I’m going to tell you all about sod, including how it compares to seed and how much you can expect to pay. Keep reading to find out the answer to the question how much does a pallet of sod cost?
One of the advantages of sod is how it gives you the closest thing to an instant lawn. Unlike seed, you don’t have to wait for sod to grow.
Of course, this instant gratification comes at a cost.
Sod costs a lot more than even premium grass seed. I’ve personally had experience establishing new lawns by laying sod, and by seeding bare soil, so I have some inside information to share in today’s article – which also includes some pricing data I got by calling some of the top sod suppliers in the U.S.
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Average Cost of Sod Pallets, Explained
On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $150 and $450 for one pallet of sod. The exact cost will depend on the type of grass and its quality.
Prefer to buy by the square foot? You’ll find the prices are usually between $0.35 and $0.80.
So if, for example, your lawn is one-fifth of an acre (8,712 square feet), sod will probably cost you somewhere between $3,049 and $7,405.
I have a lawn size calculator that uses satellite imagery to provide an accurate measurement of your yard. You can use this free tool to get an exact measurement of your lawn’s square footage, and save your map for reference:
This should help you accurately estimate the cost of your project, and it will tell you exactly how much sod you’ll need to order.
I also have an article about how many square feet of sod are on a pallet, which may be useful.
Sod Units of Measurement and Average Prices
Sod is sold in different units of measurement. Some of these are square foot, square yard, roll, and pallet.
Remember that cost varies by quality and the type of grass, but here’s some basic information about sod pricing that can help you estimate how much a specific measurement of sod would cost.
Cost of Sod by Measurement Unit (chart)
|Measurement Unit||Average Cost||More Information|
|Square Foot||Between $0.35 and $0.80||The most common sod measurement|
|Square Yard||Between $3.15 and $7.65||This covers nine times the space as a square foot.|
|Roll||Between $3 and $8||This typically covers approximately 10 square feet.|
|Pallet||Between $150 and $450||There are different pallet sizes (usually range from 400 to 500 square feet).|
|Average Yard (One Fifth of an Acre)||Between $3,025 and $8,205||This covers about 8,712 square feet.|
|Quarter of an Acre||Between $3,785 and $10,255||This covers about 10,890 square feet.|
|Half an Acre||Between $7,490 and $20,825||This covers about 21,780 square feet.|
|Full Acre||Between $14,900 and $40,340||This covers 43,560 feet.|
Should You Use Sod or Seed?
I have a full sod vs seed comparison article that you may be interested in when deciding what the best method for establishing a new lawn will be for you, but here’s a handy summary:
The main advantage of sod is that it gives you an instant lawn (as soon as it is installed). With seeding, you have to wait for the seedlings to develop and a lawn to appear.
As you might expect, sod is much more expensive than seed.
However, planting from seed is a lot more work and there are many things that you’ll have to worry about
For example, you’ll have to worry about soil issues ruining all your efforts. If you have a steep slope, soil erosion and seed washout can be a significant problem.
Also, even in good conditions, a lawn grown from seed might need between one and two years to get fully grown in and established.
Lawns that aren’t thick and fully established are more vulnerable to problems with pests, disease, and damage, so most homeowners can expect higher annual maintenance costs as they purchase additional products to combat these issues.
Popular Kinds of Grass and Sod Costs
You should think about what variety of turfgrass you want to have on your lawn before deciding whether to get sod or seed.
Consider where you live and its climate before narrowing down your potential grass choices.
For example, if you live in a northern state, you will need a cool-season grass. And if you live further south, you may need a warm-season grass. Check out my grass zone map for guidance on what to look for.
Below I’ll talk about a few popular grass varieties and information on their average sod cost.
Fescue is the most popular lawn grass in the United States, and it’s found in many other places all over the world. It’s the primary grass type in my cool-season lawn.
Fescue is a cool-season grass appropriate for northern states, and can handle a variety of soil types and light conditions, which is one reason it’s so popular.
If you want to go with fescue sod, expect to pay between $0.35 to $0.65 per square foot or $160 and $295 per pallet.
There are hundreds of different kinds of fescue. Many people consider fescue a turf grass as well as an ornamental grass.
How tall fescue can grow depends on the specific type you choose. Some varieties of fescue grow very tall, and I typically encourage homeowners with fescue lawns to mow their grass higher than they might be inclined to for best results.
Fescue grasses tend to be effective for controlling soil erosion. However, they don’t do as well as some other cool season grasses with heavy foot traffic.
If you decide to use fescue seed instead of sod, you will find it germinates fairly quickly and grows well with the right starter fertilizer.
However, be prepared for some patchiness. Most fescues do not spread readily.
One advantage to Fescue is its drought tolerance. Fescues are notoriously deep-rooted, which means when your neighbors lawn goes brown and dormant in the heat and drought of summer, your fescue lawn can access deep moisture reserves in the soil and will remain green.
If you have poor soil quality, you may still find that fescue does well.
You’ll find that fescue can enter dormancy when the temperature outside gets to higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit unless you’re supplementing with irrigation.
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St. Augustine Grass
St. Augustine is a popular warm-season grass. It has distinctly wide and coarse blades, and many people use it on lawns in southern states in the United States.
If you want St. Augustine sod, expect to pay a price per square foot between $0.35 and $0.75. For a full pallet of St. Augustine sod, you’ll usually pay anywhere between $160 and $340.
The average pallet cost is $250.
One variety of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Floratam, may be a little less expensive. It has an average pallet price of between $185 and $225.
St. Augustine Floratam is a hardy grass and can thrive in several different types of soil.
It will stand up well to lawn insects like chinch bugs and deal with drought, heat, and salty conditions. You’ll have to give it extra water when it gets extremely hot.
This versatile grass can handle shade, too. But if you have heavy foot traffic, it’s likely to get worn out, so you may want to go with Zoysia instead.
Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool-season grass. It does do best in full sun, but it can deal with shade if you give it the correct attention.
This includes the right kind of watering, mowing, and nutrition. This grass doesn’t do well with drought or too much heat, and is quick to go dormant in stressful conditions.
That said, it’s a grass that spreads via rhizomes, meaning it self-repairs and with time will create a thick, dense carpet of green in your yard.
The square foot price for Kentucky Bluegrass sod tends to be between $0.35 and $0.40. The average price for a pallet of Kentucky Bluegrass is between $160 and $180.
Average Sod Prices for Popular Grass Varieties
To sum things up in a handy chart, I put this together below.
|Type of Grass||How Much a Pallet of Sod Costs|
|Fescue||Between $160 and $295|
|Zoysia||Between $180 and $270|
|St. Augustine||Between $160 and $340|
|Bermuda||Between $160 and $385|
How to Save Money on Sod
Yes, sod is expensive. However, there are certain things you can do to help reduce the total cost of buying and installing it.
Try DIY Sod Installation
One thing you can do is forego professional service when it comes to installing the sod.
You can do the job yourself. It’s a physically demanding task, so get some help from family and friends. And make sure you know how to do it, too.
Here’s a link to my guide on how to lay sod – a great starting point, and below you’ll find a video of Roger Cook from This Old House helping a homeowner install sod in his backyard:
Something else you can do is to skip sod delivery. Find a way to get the sod to your property yourself, if you possibly can, but be sure that your vehicle can handle the weight of a sod pallet.
Something else you can try is ordering online. You might be able to find a bargain.
And if you’re wondering exactly where to shop, my article about where to buy sod should help.
Now That You Know How Much a Pallet of Sod Will Cost…
Now you know the facts about the cost of a pallet of sod, I’d encourage you to head over to my grass seed calculator to gain an understanding of how much growing a new lawn from seed may cost you.
This way you can compare the price, consider the labor involved, and decide which direction will be right for you.
If sod is in the budget, you’ll probably want to go that route – especially if you’re short on time to keep your lawn moist and watered throughout the day.
After all, when you put down sod, you get a beautiful lawn without the wait. Just make sure you remember all the tips I’ve provided here to help you save money.
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