Which is the Best Cover For New Grass Seed?

Growing a new lawn is not easy. Birds and pests are always looking for food in all environments. Thus, if they come across your grass seeds, they are likely to consume them. Also, the grass seed can be washed away by heavy rain or dry out during the hot seasons.

Due to this, it would be best to cover the grass seed to allow them to sprout more successfully. But not all materials are essential for covering the seeds since some may contain perennial weed seeds, which can hinder the growth of your seedling.

So, which is the best cover for new grass seed? Before choosing a cover for your grass seed, it is good to consider your budget and lawn’s needs.

Here are 4 best covers for new grass seed

1. Straw

A good way to allow your lawn to grow more efficiently is by ensuring that the grass seed stays in place until it establishes the root system. Also, it is vital to keep the newly planted seed moist to encourage germination. You can achieve this by laying thin layers of straw until the grass seedlings appear. 

The straw will not only keep the grass seed moist and warm but also keep grass seed in place to avoid being washed away or blown during windy days and heavy rainstorms. Besides, it discourages birds and other mammals from eating the seeds.

The good thing about straw is that it is budget-friendly. However, it is vital to be keen when choosing the straw option since some may produce weeds in your yard or chemicals that can affect the growth of the grass seed.

2. Mulch

Grass seed protection covers are essential for every lawn. They improve the soil, conserve moisture, and prevent weeds from germinating. You can cover grass seed with peat moss or use grass clippings.

With this, you will help to lock in moisture and allow good aeration and drainage in your yard. Besides, mulches decompose, hence, enriching the soil with nutrients. 

Read: Best metal lawn rake for grass clippings

3. Transparent polyethylene plastic

Clear plastic is another effective cover for new grass seeds. It is a good option to use during the hottest summer months. It works by raising the soil temperatures, which helps to kill the seed weeds and pathogens.

With this, your grass seed will germinate effectively without competing for nutrients with weeds.

However, not all plastics are designed to cover the grass seeds. Thus, before choosing one from your local stores, it is good to make sure that it is specifically made to protect your grass seed and lock in moisture.

You can choose a clear sheet instead of a black one to prevent the soil from becoming too warm. Too warm soil can harm your grass seed. Also, transparent polythene will allow light to reach the grass seeds.

Hence, it would be best to avoid the blue, green sheets, or any other color since they can interfere with the growth of the grass seed.

Read: Ideal grass for muddy areas

4. Compost

Grass seed requires water and nutrients to sprout and thrive. And because watering the grass seeds and applying fertilizer more often is an expensive and tiresome task, you need to consider compost.

Compost is a budget-friendly option that is ideal for covering new grass seed. It helps to retain water, thus, keeping the grass seed moist. Also, it contains nutrients that grass seeds require for growth.

covers for new grass seed

The good thing is that you can make your own compost using fallen leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and other organic materials.

Remember, good compost results in a high seed germination rate. Also, it lowers your dependency on fertilizers. In this case, it is best to pass the compost through a sifting screening to ensure it is ready for use. 

Read also: Best rake for small leaves

FAQs on the best cover for new grass seed

What is an alternative to straw for covering grass seed?

Straw is a great cover for new grass seed. It protects the grass seed from excess sunlight, birds, and insects. Besides, it decomposes to add organic matter to the soil. However, there are other covering materials that are effective at protecting the grass seed.

Here are 3 straw alternatives for covering grass seed

Sawdust mulch

Sawdust is a great alternative to straw. It features fine particles that encourage evaporation which removes excess water from the soil. But with straws, you may end up with excessive water due to slow evaporation, which can damage the grass seed.

Peat moss

Peat moss is commonly used to enrich poor-quality soil. But it is also a good material for covering grass seed. Because it is an organic material, it will improve the soil with nutrients after it decomposes.


Applying compost over your newly-seeded grass lawn will help to retain moisture and, at the same time, feed the soil with nutrients needed for grass seed germination.

What will happen if I fail to cover my grass seed?

It can be tempting to spread grass seed on your yard and wait for it to germinate. While some grass seeds will germinate, a big portion will become food for the birds and insects, and others will die due to lack of moisture.

Hence, if you don’t want to waste your money and effort, investing in the best cover for your new grass seed is a good idea.

Also: How much grass seed per square foot overseeding

Do I need to water the lawn after spreading a cover for my new grass seed?

Grass seeds are sensitive to high temperatures and may die due to drying. But if they are exposed to the right humidity levels, they start growing. That’s why watering your lawn more often is vital.

But during high temperatures, the water can evaporate at high levels. In this case, it is good to cover the grass seeds to retain moisture.

Once you apply the right cover, you will not need to water the lawn more frequently since there will be enough moisture for the grass seed to germinate.

See also: Does soaking grass seed speed up germination?

When grass seed is exposed to harsh weather elements such as wind, heavy rainfall, or hot temperatures, it is likely to be blown, washed away, or die.

That’s why having the best cover for new grass seed is a good idea.

If you invest in the best mulching material, you will ensure moisture retention, protect the grass seeds from harsh conditions, birds, insects while enriching the soil with nutrients. 

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