Will grass seed grow if you just throw it on the ground? A common question among house owners, is how can I get my lawn looking like a million dollars? Generally, after years of use, a lawn will become weathered and areas may need to be reseeded.
We have done many tests over the years to find out the best way to reseed and seed new soil as well as tips for mixing grass clippings into your soil.
Grass seed will grow if you just throw it on the ground, but the quality won’t be as high as if you prepared the soil beforehand. If you throw grass seed on compacted soil, it won’t germinate as well as it would if the soil was prepared.
Grass is very resistant however, over time if you haven’t prepared the soil for reseeding, the roots won’t grow as deep into compacted soil, and therefore having a proper planting and maintenance routine in place, will turn your average lawn into a stunning one.
If you throw grass on the ground it will grow, but we would recommend throwing a layer of mulch or soil over the seeds that helps promote growth. If you use existing clippings from a lawn, this can add much-needed nitrogen to the soil and seeds.
Certain conditions can mean that if you throw grass seed without the correct conditions it will lead to grass spots not growing and seeds not sprouting.
Related: Best Tiller for Breaking New Ground
Will grass seed grow on hard soil?
If your soil is too hard and isn’t prepared accordingly, is wont grow well, or at all. If it is neglected in the wrong climate procedures taken to grow grass normally need to be changed. If the soil isn’t soft enough for the seeds to germinate upon, it will not grow. You will need to make sure the soil is moist enough so that the roots of the seeds can penetrate the soil. If the ground has lots of dips and hollows it might need a rake as well as being aerated. By getting a handy garden fork or a heavier duty lawn dethatcher, you can aerate and rake the soil. Make sure the hols are roughly 5 inches or deeper. Once you’ve done this, let it sit for a while and monitor it daily.
If the soil is lumpy and bumpy or upon inspection there are weeds growing through, removing what is there is paramount to enable new grass to grow well. You could use a roller and flatten out the soil, making it ready for seeding. If you have a heavier mower, depending on your set up, you can get on that and go through your soil. If it isn’t producing productive results, however, cease using the mower. If you’re looking at breaking up new ground, perhaps consider an electric tiler.
Whatever method you chose to do, a lawn needs regular maintenance and mowing needs. If you are raking any debris it will most definitely need more work.
Prepare soil for grass seed
When preparing your soil, you will need to make sure you have the right irrigation so that your new lawn gets the water it needs. For instance, you may need up to 4 watering a day if you live in a hotter climate. Make sure you keep your soil and seed moist and watch out for oversaturation.
How to rake in grass seed
The seed doesn’t need to be raked in. Grass seed germinates on top of the soil, buried too far the seeds won’t germinate at all.
New, ungerminated seed should be kept wet but never soaked (only because the seed will tend to float and bunch up as the water soaks into the ground). Shortly after sprouts start coming up is when you transition to watering deeply and less often. This promotes deep root growth (since there won’t be water near the surface of the soil the roots will grow into the soil seeking the available water).
New grass seed doesn’t always need to be raked in as it germinates on top of the soil. Seeds that are too deep just won’t germinate.
New seeds should be watered often and shortly after sprouts start to show is when you should water less often.
With new grass don’t water too deep initially as you want the surface to be nice and moist. Keep seeds down to an inch so you don’t need much water. Keep the soil damp and you shouldn’t need to rake at all.
If it has been 3 or so weeks and nothing has happened, just let the soil dry out. If it has just rained however and you have a flourishing lawn, perhaps waiting before you mow your lawn would be a good option.
What to do if grass seed doesn’t grow?
When seeding, people like to pick a grass seed that has a diverse mix. This allows the lawn to grow in many different weather conditions and seasons.
This can also produce a very green looking lawn, similar to what you’d find on farms. Seeding takes place by hand or machine and generally do well when covered with a light layer of mulch or soil.
If you have just reseeded your lawn and its quite patchy, it could be that the local wildlife are eating the seeds. To counter this, you can equip your lawn with a high-quality sprinkler. Another option you could try is taking plugs from other spots of the lawn, planting them in a new spot. We have a list of garden gadgets that not only apply to older people, but to any garden enthusiast.
This has the benefit of existing grass growing down and spreading its roots.
You may also want to add compost and grass fertilizer and see if that increases your grass production.
Continue to water it, rake the soil to loosen any thick clumps and put down more seed.
Is soapy water good for lawns?
There are a lot of ways to improve your lawn, however, this isn’t one of them. Using household items like soapy water, ammonia and different sodas are going to do your lawn far more harm than good.
We can’t recommend any good ways to be using dishwashing water or other soaps on your lawn. Excessive amounts of this can be very toxic to grasses and kill them over time. There are myths and common misconceptions when it comes to lawns, therefore you should know about grass before considering managing a lawn.
There are some common myths that people adhere to like using soapy water, or dishwashing water to kill bugs and other insects found grazing in your lawn. This may cause irregular brown spots and lead to areas of your grass to die. Over exposing your lawn to this type of water can cause black spots in your lawn also and a cottony mold may appear.
It can spread rapidly and wreak havoc on someone who hasn’t been monitoring their lawn. This is where we recommend dethatching and aerating.