Will Grass Seed Germinate on Top of Soil - Backyard Boss
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Will Grass Seed Germinate on Top of Soil

Keeping your lawn lush and healthy can be challenging no matter what climate you live in. One of the best ways to maintain a green and abundant front or back yard is to regularly seed the soil so it can grow new sprouts. However, you might be wondering if grass seed will germinate if it just sits on top of the soil.

In this article, we’ve laid out everything you need to know about grass seed and what it takes for it to sprout. By understanding everything about the process, you can keep your lawn looking fresh and new all year round.

How Long Does Grass Seed Take to Grow

Grass in front of public building
Image credits: Petar Tonchev via Unsplash

If your lawn has started to look a little sparse, find a way to fill it out and bring it back to a healthy, full sprout. Usually, this will require you to re-seed it and wait for new sprigs to come up and fill the bare areas. This could take some time and one of the keys to this kind of project is making sure that you wait long enough to allow the new seed to take root and begin to grow.

Generally, grass seedlings will take anywhere between 7 and 21 days to start sprouting if they’re given the right conditions and the weather is ideal for growing. However, depending on the type of seed and how fresh it is, it could take a little bit longer. For example, Bermudagrass can take up to 3 times as long before it takes hold in the soil and starts to sprout. The important thing with lawn care is patience, and knowing what type of seed you’re using will help you know how long you need to wait before you can see results.

Does Grass Seed Need to Be Buried

Large field of grass
Image credits: Phil Goodwin via Unsplash

Like any other plant, such as basil, grass will need help to take root in the soil and get itself ready to grow. However, unlike most plants, it doesn’t have to be buried completely. The grass is a relatively delicate plant, and it’s more difficult to come up out of the soil if it’s buried too deep. It also requires quite a bit of sunlight to sprout and germinate, and if it’s buried too deep, it won’t reap the benefits of sunlight properly.

Work grass seed into the soil about ¼ of an inch instead of being completely buried. You can do this by spreading it using a hand-held drop spreader and then raking over it gently to disturb the soil and get the grass just below the surface. You can then use a roller to check if the seed is making the correct amount of contact with the soil to make sure that the seeds can take root somewhere and begin the process of sprouting.

Will Uncovered Grass Seed Grow

Wet grass closeup
Image credits: Khairil Nst via Unsplash

Grass seed doesn’t need to be covered to grow. However, there are many benefits of covering it with mulch or hay after it’s laid down. For one, grass seed has to retain quite a bit of moisture to germinate and sprout. Mulch can help lock moisture and keep it from evaporating as the sun beats down on it. It can also help protect it from elements like rain, which can wash it away. By covering your grass seed, you can be sure it’ll stay in place long enough to grow roots and start to sprout.

Covering your grass seed will also keep it protected from animals. Seeds are a great source of food for birds and rodents, and if they aren’t covered, they can end up getting dug up and eaten well before they have a chance to grow. It’s a good idea to place a bird feeder in your yard if you’re trying to seed your lawn. Birds will more likely go to the easier source of food, instead of digging up your grass seeds and ruin your chances of having a newly sprouted lawn.

Will Grass Seed Grow on Hard Soil

Green grass field under blue sky
Image Credits: Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

The grass is a relatively delicate plant and it’ll need softer soil to grow roots deep enough to be viable. If your grass isn’t allowed to root into the soil, it’ll end up getting torn out the first time you mow it, and you’ll have to start the whole process of seeding your lawn again. If you want to make sure that your lawn seeds properly, aerate the soil to soften it up and make sure it’s suitable for grass seed rooting.

If your soil is too hard and you can’t aerate it, there are special types of grass seeds intended for harder soil. These seeds will have a better chance of growing in a yard with harder dirt. Trying a few different types is highly recommended for the best results. On top of the hardness of the soil, the pH needs to be correct. For grass to germinate, the soil needs to have a pH between 6.2 to 7.0. You can get a pH tester from any home and garden store to see, and if it isn’t in this range, you can treat the soil with any number of compounds to bring up the acid or alkaline properties. It will give your grass seeds the best possible chance for growing and rooting correctly.

Give Your Grass the Best Chance at Growth

No matter what type of soil your yard has, there are always options available to help your grass seeds grow. Spreading them properly and ensuring that the soil is properly treated, will go a long way towards fostering a full, green lawn. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time planting individual grass seeds and that you can spread them around the yard to get the best results.

Have you had good luck with techniques for growing and germinating a beautiful lawn? Let us know in the comments below!