Will Grass Seed Grow If Not Covered

Will Grass Seed Grow If Not Covered?

If your previous lawn did not grow well, you might decide to implement another technique. Also, you may not want to spend a lot of money and time.

Due to this, you may plan to spread the grass seeds without covering them. But the biggest question is, will grass seed grow if not covered?

Some grass seeds can grow on top of the soil. But you may end up wasting a lot of money. Even though grass seed will sprout when thrown on the soil surface, the quality of the grass will diminish, and it will stop growing over time.

So, Will Grass Seed Grow If Not Covered?

Grass will grow when left uncovered, but you will not achieve a dense and beautiful lawn. Remember, not all grass seeds will germinate. Thus, you may end up owning a lawn with patches. 

Therefore, if you plan to reseed or establish a new lawn, adding mulch to cover the grass seeds is essential. Mulching is a lawn care technique that helps to protect the seeds from harsh elements.

Here are 4 reasons why you should cover your grass seeds

1. Provide proper conditions needed for seed germination

As you know, grass seeds will germinate if left uncovered on the ground. However, the germination rate will be lower than the usual growth rate. Remember, grass seeds require soil, correct temperatures, and moisture to germinate and grow successfully. 

Mulching helps to preserve moisture in the soil, thus, preventing the seeds from drying out. Besides, mulches provide warmth to the grass seed, hence, speeding up germination. 

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2. Covering the grass seed increases root development

If left uncovered, the grassroots might find it challenging to establish themselves. When the roots grow too shallow, they will not be able to reach the moisture and nutrients that are below the surface. This situation can lead to stunted growth, and the grass can eventually die.

Besides, too shallow roots can be a problem when mowing your lawn. The mower can rip up your seedlings rather than cut the blades.

3. Prevent birds from consuming the grass seeds

Leaving the grass seeds exposed gives the birds a better chance to feed on them. And it is frustrating to spend a lot of money on grass seeds to become a food source for the birds. But if you want to protect the grass seeds from birds, you need to apply the right cover.

4. Prevent water runoff

Too much rain can lead to soil erosion. And if your grass seed has not developed roots to hold it in place, the lawn seeds might be get washed away. That’s why covering the grass seed is essential.

You can consider covers such as peat moss or organic mulch to offer maximum protection to your seeds.

FAQs on Covering the Grass Seeds

Does grass seed need to be buried?

As you know, grass seed left on top of the soil will attempt to grow. However, you will not get good results compared to grass buried under the ground. Uncovered grass seed can encounter issues such as drying out, being carried away by water runoff, or being eaten by birds.

If you want to get the most out of your grass seed, it is good to cover them with a thin layer of compost or soil. However, you should not burry the grass seed very deep since it requires light to germinate and grow quickly.

You can consider burying the seeds at a depth of about ¼ inches of the soil or compost. With this, you will provide a suitable habitat for the grass seed to germinate and the seedlings to establish strong roots.

Also read: Which grass seed can I plant in muddy yard?

Will grass seed germinate on top of soil?

Soil and light are among the essentials needed for grass seed to germinate. So, grass seed is likely to sprout on top of the ground. However, it will grow at a lower rate because of lack of moisture.

Besides, the grassroots can become shallow, making them struggle to access nutrients and water. This can make them susceptible to damage.

So, why don’t you save your grass seed from damage by applying a thin layer of mulch after planting? If you choose the best cover for new grass seed, you will get a healthy lawn.

You can consider mulch options such as:
1. Compost
2. Straw mulch
3. Lawn clippings
4. Polyethylene plastic

Also read: What to put on lawn to kill dandelions but not grass?

Can you use plastic to cover the grass seed?

Watering the newly seeded lawn is a practice that enhances the germination rate and prevents the seeds from drying. But applying water more often can be time and money-consuming.

Do you know that you can save the time spent in the yard by covering the newly seeded lawn with clear plastic?

This material helps to hold in moisture needed for plant growth. Besides, it provides warmth to the seeds and prevents physical damage by animals and birds.

Also read: Stone statues for garden

When is the best time to cover your grass seed

Mulching is a good technique of covering the grass seeds to get a green, dense lawn and prevent grass damage. The seeds can encounter challenges immediately after you plant them. For instance, heavy rainfall can wash them away.

Besides, the wind can blow them, leaving behind a bare yard. Thus, the best time to apply mulch is after sowing the seeds. Even though you will need to water the newly seeded lawn more often, using mulch will help to retain moisture. 

Will grass seed grow if not covered? This is the first question that comes into many homeowners’ minds when establishing a new lawn or overseed. Now that you know the benefits of covering the grass seed, it is vital to select the right cover for your newly seeded lawn. With this, you will increase the grass seed germination rate and improve the grass quality.

If you decide not to cover the grass seed, you will give weeds a chance to grow. But the good thing with applying mulch is that it suppresses weed. With this, the grass will not compete for essential such as nutrients, thus, enhancing growth.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care.

    bwambugi@gmail.com K Beatrice

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