If you're planning to sow grass seeds for a new lawn, you may be facing an uphill or -- more accurately -- downhill battle. Unless your yard is perfectly level, newly sown grass seeds may take a ride downhill, courtesy of gravity, if there's a heavy rain after you sow the seeds. Even strong winds can dislodge seeds, scattering them about the yard, which results in a mishmash of lush, grassy areas and bare patchy spots when they germinate. You're not out of the woods even if you have a level yard because grass seeds are favored snacks for many kinds of birds.
Don't let grass seeds fend for themselves by leaving them exposed to the elements. Cover them with specially designed netting that serves dual duty -- protecting the newly sown seeds and preventing soil erosion.
Some styles of netting are simply bare netting, with no fillers, fibers or layers.
Natural: Jute netting is made from natural fibers of the jute plant (Corchorus capsularis), which is a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Apply it to the ground over newly sown seeds by unrolling it and using metal, U-shaped landscape pins to secure its loose ends. You can also use biodegradable landscape stakes to hold the netting in place. After the grass seeds germinate, you don't have to remove the jute netting; because it's a natural fiber, it is biodegradable.
Synthetic: Synthetic netting is made from a material that resembles jute. After you seed your lawn or an embankment, install synthetic netting by unrolling it and spreading it over the seeded area. If you seed a slope, start unrolling the netting at the top of the slope. Overlap the sides and ends of sections of the netting by at least 4 inches, and secure the netting with U-shaped landscape pins or biodegradable landscape stakes at 1-foot and 4-foot staggered intervals.
Seed "blankets" are made of natural fibers -- such as jute, straw and coir -- sandwiched between single or double layers of organic or synthetic netting. They cover newly sown grass seeds as standalone netting does, but, when used to cover seeds on a slope, they're installed a little bit differently from standalone netting.
Seed blankets are heavier than standalone netting. So they need to be "keyed in" at the top of a slope to keep them from moving downhill in heavy rain storms:
Things You'll Need
Seed blanket netting
U-shaped landscape pins or staples
Dig a small trench at the top of the slope on which you sowed grass seeds.
Line the trench by folding the end of seed blanket netting underneath itself and placing it into the trench.
Secure the blanket lining into the trench by using U-shaped landscape pins or staples.
Fill the trench with soil.
Unroll the blanket to cover the slope.