A Better Alternative to Sod Installation in El Paso Draft

December 26, 2022
9 min read

Sod, also known as turf, is made of soil and grass that is grown on a farm and then cut into rolls or squares for easy installation and transport. Sod makes it simple to grow a new lawn and restore damaged grass. It is the most common option for homeowners in El Paso, Texas who want to achieve a nice looking lawn within a short amount of time. 

Another reason why sod is popular in El Paso is that it is well-suited to the area’s hot and dry climate. Many types of sod are drought-resistant and can withstand long periods of dryness without needing to be watered as frequently as natural grass. This makes sod a cost-effective and water-efficient option for lawns in El Paso.

Though Sod may have many advantages, there are a few issues that you have to consider when opting for it.

Common Issues with Sod and Turf in El Paso

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1. Cost: Sod can be more expensive than grass seed, especially if you need a large area covered.

According to, on average, sod costs between $0.30 to $0.83 per square foot. If you want the sod installed by a professional, bump that up to $0.87 to $1.76 per square foot to cover labor and materials.

2. Limited variety: The types of grasses available in sod form may be limited compared to grass seed, so you may not be able to find the exact variety you want.

3. Limited adaptability: Sod is not as adaptable as grass seed, as it is already fully grown and established. This means it may be more difficult to get sod to take root in areas with poor soil quality or challenging growing conditions.

4. Limited rooting: Because sod is already fully grown, it may take longer for the roots to establish and grow into the soil. This can make the sod more susceptible to drying out or being damaged by pests or diseases.

5. Limited customization: With sod, you do not have as much control over the grass variety or the layout of the lawn as you do with grass seed.

There are however a few alternatives to Sod that will still help you achieve that attractive new lawn.

Top 4 Alternatives to Sod in El Paso, Texas

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1. Seeding

Instead of installing sod, you can plant grass seeds directly in the soil. This can be a more economical option and will allow you to have more options when it comes to the type of plants that you can have on your lawn however, it may take longer for the grass to grow. Other factors that you have to consider when it comes to seeding grass at home would be:

  • Make sure to choose the best quality seeds. Low quality seeds usually lead to poor germination and may take longer to grow.
  • Prepare the soil. Make sure to prepare the soil before planting grass seeds and clear it from weeds and debris. If the soil is not prepared properly, the seeds may not take root and will prevent the grass from growing. 
  • Regular maintenance. Due to the hot temperature in El Paso, it is important that you frequently water your grass to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients for growth. 
  • Plant at the right time. Planting grass seeds at the wrong time of year can result in poor germination and weak growth. It is generally best to plant grass seeds in the spring or fall when temperatures are cooler and there is more consistent moisture.
  • Keep your grass pest free. Pests such as birds, insects, and animals can eat or damage the grass seeds, and diseases such as fungus can also impact the grass’s growth. Proper pest and disease control measures should be taken to prevent these issues.

2. Hydro-seeding

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Hydro-seeding is a method of planting grass seed in which a slurry of seed and mulch is sprayed onto a prepared seedbed using a hose. It is a quick and efficient way to establish a new lawn or repair areas of damaged grass.

To hydro-seed grass, the first step is to prepare the soil. This involves removing any weeds, rocks, or debris and leveling the ground. The soil should also be fertilized and properly graded to ensure proper drainage.

Next, the grass seed and mulch are mixed together in a tank and sprayed onto the prepared soil using a hydro-seeder. The seed and mulch mixture helps to protect the seed from birds and other pests and helps to retain moisture, which can improve germination rates.

After hydro-seeding, the grass should be watered regularly to help the seedlings establish and grow. It is important to follow proper watering and fertilization guidelines to ensure that the grass becomes well-established and grows into a healthy, lush lawn.

There are a few issues that you might encounter when hydro-seeding grass at home:

  • Poor seed germination: If the seed doesn’t germinate, it could be due to a variety of factors such as improper soil preparation, incorrect seed selection, or insufficient water or fertilization.
  • Pest and disease problems: Pests and diseases can damage or kill new grass seedlings. Common pests include slugs, snails, and grubs, while common diseases include fungi and bacteria.
  • Poor soil quality: If the soil quality is poor, it can be difficult to establish a healthy lawn. Poor soil may be too acidic or alkaline, have poor drainage, or be low in nutrients.
  • Watering issues: Proper watering is essential for successful hydro-seeding. If the grass is not watered enough, the seedlings will not receive enough moisture and may die. On the other hand, if the grass is watered too much, it can lead to fungal problems

To avoid these issues, it is important to properly prepare the seedbed before hydro-seeding, choose the right grass seed for your climate and soil type, and follow proper watering and fertilization guidelines. It may also be helpful to use a grass seed starter fertilizer to help the seedlings establish more quickly and successfully.

3. Drought-resistant grasses

Drought-resistant grasses are a great option for areas that experience hot and dry conditions, as they are able to withstand long periods of drought and still maintain a healthy appearance.

There are several drought-resistant grasses that can thrive in El Paso, Texas. Some options to consider include:

1. Bermuda grass: This grass is known for its ability to tolerate hot, dry conditions and is often used on sports fields and golf courses. It requires full sun and well-drained soil.

2. Zoysia grass: This grass is known for its ability to withstand drought and heat, as well as its low maintenance requirements. It requires full sun and well-drained soil.

3. Buffalo grass: This grass is native to the Great Plains region and is well-suited to dry, hot conditions. It requires full sun and well-drained soil.

4. St. Augustine grass: This grass is known for its ability to tolerate high temperatures and moderate drought. It requires full sun and well-drained soil.

It’s important to note that all grasses will require some irrigation during prolonged periods of drought, especially during the establishment period. It’s also a good idea to practice water conservation measures, such as watering in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation, and applying mulch to the soil to help retain moisture.

4. Artificial turf


Artificial turf is a synthetic grass surface that can be installed in place of natural grass. It requires minimal maintenance and can be a good option for areas that receive a lot of foot traffic or for those who do not want to spend time maintaining a natural grass lawn.

Artificial grass is a popular choice in El Paso, Texas, for several reasons. One reason is the area’s hot and dry climate, which can make it challenging to maintain a natural grass lawn. Artificial grass is a low-maintenance option that does not require watering, mowing, or fertilizing, which can be a significant benefit in dry conditions.

Another reason that artificial grass is popular in El Paso is that it is a durable and long-lasting option. Artificial grass can withstand heavy foot traffic and is resistant to wear and tear, making it a good choice for high-use areas.

In addition, artificial grass does not attract pests, so there is no need to use pesticides to keep them at bay. This can be a benefit for homeowners who are concerned about the environmental impact of chemicals.

Overall, artificial grass is a popular choice in El Paso due to its low maintenance requirements and durability, which make it well-suited to the area’s hot and dry climate.

“Artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular for the past couple of years with El Paso becoming one of the fastest warming cities in the United States with a 5 degrees increase over the last 50 years. This makes artificial grass a more viable option because of its water conservation and eco-friendly advantage.” – Richard Callahan, El Paso Artificial Grass and Turf

Installing Artificial Grass

Installing artificial grass involves several steps, including preparing the ground, installing a base, laying the turf, and adding infill. Here is a general overview of the process:

1. Prepare the ground – The first step in installing artificial grass is to prepare the ground. This involves removing any existing grass or vegetation, leveling the ground, and adding a weed barrier fabric to prevent weeds from growing through the artificial grass.

2. Install a base A base of crushed stone or recycled rubber is typically added to provide a stable foundation for the artificial grass. The base should be compacted and graded to ensure proper drainage.

3. Lay the turf – The artificial grass is then unrolled and cut to fit the area. The edges of the turf should be secured in place with nails or staples.

4. Add infill – Infill is a layer of material that is spread over the artificial grass to help support the blades and provide a realistic, natural feel. Common types of infill include sand and rubber granules.

5. Compact the grass – The artificial grass should be lightly compacted to help ensure that it is secure and level.

Start Replacing Sod in El Paso, Texas Today!

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best sod alternative in El Paso, Texas. However, you have to take into considerations various factors such as such as the climate, soil quality, budget and maintenance. To make the best choice, it is a good idea to consider these factors and do some research to find the best one for you.

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