Germination is the seed sprouting process and can take a few days to a few weeks to occur. You need your soil to be at the right temperature for germination and proper moisture.
The seed won’t grow if it is either buried too deep or sitting on the surface
For any type of seed to germinate, it needs specific conditions, whilst the seed needs sunlight to germinate, it also needs the heat, moisture, and air provided by the soil so if it’s sitting on top of the soil – it won’t be benefitting from all those things it needs to germinate.
Grass seeds will still attempt to grow on top of the soil; however, you will get poor results compared to grass seeds covered with 1/4 inch soil.
Uncovered seed is likely to be eaten by birds, or carried away by water runoff.
Will Grass Seed Germinate On Top Of Soil? If you want to know more about the germination of grass seeds on topsoil, then this article is for you.
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Does Grass Seed Go On Top Of The Soil Or Under?
Having topsoil spread over grass seeds after it has been planted may seem like a good idea, but there are other reasons why it is not.
Unlike other types of seeds, grass seeds are not able to push their way through topsoil or earthy materials.
Placing topsoil over newly planted seeds will suffocate the grass seedlings and ultimately they will never have the chance to even germinate or get started.
Grass seeds are very tiny and are quite sensitive in the germination stage, there is a proper way to prepare the soil for planting grass.
Preparing the soil with a seeding technique and aeration allows for the best protection and prevents from loss of any seedlings, If that can be attained the grass seed will germinate and provide a wonderful lush yard of grass.
To prevent suffocation by spreading topsoil on newly planted grass seeds, we recommend the use of mulching materials such as hay and straw.
Spreading a thin layer of about ¼ inch of this material will be able to protect the seeds from the common wind and even pests.
It also helps to provide the soil with moisture retention which will also help in the germination of grass seeds.
Adding mulching materials not only protects the seedlings and keeps the moisture but after it degrades it adds nutrients to the soil that provides for some great turnout for the grass seeds.
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DO Grass Seed Germinate On Top Of Soil?
Germination of grass seeds will be tough if too much soil is placed on top of the seeds.
If grass seeds are planted much deeper or covered with an inch or two of fresh soil, you have planted too deep and the seed will not germinate, the germination time for grass seeds ranges from 5 to 30 days depending on the variety you plant.
It can be longer than this in cooler temperatures therefore, a biodegradable mulch should be placed on top of the grass seeds to prevent them from drying out, being carried away by water runoff, or being eaten by birds.
However, grass seeds can germinate on top of the soil depending on how well you prepare the ground. Here are some required practices for the best result:
- Prepare your ground by getting rid of weeds, do this either by pulling them out manually or using a broad spectrum herbicide.
- Loosen the topsoil to create little pockets for the newly rooted seedlings to grow into, you might need to hire an aerator if this is a large area but you can easily use a digging fork if it’s a small area.
- Test your soil for both nutrients and pH. Grass tends to prefer slightly acidic soil within a pH range of 6.2 – 7. You can purchase kits to do this yourself or call in a professional. If your soil is slightly alkaline, try adding wood ash or lime. On the other hand, if your soil is highly acidic, you can add sulfur or organic material such as a good compost to lower the pH.
- Spread a starter fertilizer on the ground, the fertilizer should have the required level of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Lightly water in the water.
- You can then scatter your grass seeds by hand if it’s a small area or uses a seeder for larger areas.
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Will Grass Seeds Grow If I Just Throw Them On The Ground?
The short answer – is yes. Grass seed can grow if you just throw it on the ground, but the success of the germination will be much different compared to when you do the right preparation and sowing technique.
Some seeds on the soil’s surface will sprout, but the germination rate will diminish, and you will not be left with ideal results.
While the seed should germinate if you just throw it on the surface, you should know that there are a few negative effects of planting the seeds in this way.
It could harm the speed and success of germination and may leave you with patchy and uneven coverage.
Normally you are supposed to cover the grass seeds with a thin layer of soil or you are supposed to use some tool to get the seeds mixed in the very top layer of the ground.
The roots of the grass will also have a hard time establishing themselves properly so after a while the grass could die because it is not as resilient as it could have been.
Try to at least protect your grass seeds with a little bit of soil and you could even use special soil for growing grass that will help to give your grass seeds the best starting conditions that they could have.
If you want to create a vibrant, thick, and lush green lawn you should follow the correct preparations and sowing guides.
This can take time and effort, but the results will be much more rewarding compared to scattering the seeds onto the soil.