Growing a lawn from seed is a hit and miss activity since the grass often dies before it reaches maturity. There are several methods used to assist grass seeds in the germination process and one of those is using straw. Straw provides several beneficial aspects to the grass. It retains much needed moisture for the seeds, protects the seeds from being washed away in the rain and keeps birds from eating the seeds before they germinate.
Things You'll Need
- Grass seed
- Seed spreader
- Wide-toothed rake
Prepare the desired planting area by tilling up the top 2 inches of soil using a tiller.
Fill a seed spreader with the amount of seed for your sized lawn as indicated by the packaging. Place the spreader at one end of the planting area and flip the handle on the side of the spreader to start the flow of grass seed.
Walk across the planting area at a slow steady pace. When you reach the end of the area, turn around and walk in a line directly next to the first row of seeds. Continue until you cover the entire planting area.
Walk to the edge of the planting area that is perpendicular to where you spread the first layer of seeds. Apply a second layer of grass seed using the same technique used to spread the first layer.
Rake the entire surface of the soil to mix the seeds into the soil.
Water the surface of the planting area thoroughly until the soil is damp to a 5-inch depth.
Spread a thin layer of oat, wheat or barley straw over the surface of the planting area. According to the Seed Superstore website, you should use one 80 lb. bale of straw per 1,000 square feet of lawn. The straw layer should not be thick and you should still be able to see the soil through it.
Water the area daily with 5 inches of water each time until the grass seeds start to germinate.
Wait until the small grass blades grow to be approximately 1/2 inch high and gently rake up the straw using a wide-toothed rake.
Tips & Warnings
- One disadvantage to using straw, is that is sometimes contains weed seeds which germinate. These weeds will usually die out as the grass grows stronger and overtakes them.
- Photo Credit grass image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com
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