Without straw, seeds can be exposed to too much direct sunlight and can be easily washed during heavy rains that deposit them in uneven areas, leaving other places uncovered. Straw also discourages birds and small mammals from feasting on seed. As it decomposes, straw provides valuable nutrients to the soil. Covering a newly planted lawn with straw mulch helps facilitate moisture and heat retention of the soil, which improves the germination rate of turf seeds.
Newly planted turf seeds generally need moisture, heat, and seed-to-soil contact to encourage germination. Straw on grass also helps keep seeds in place until germination occurs. A shallow layer of straw is all that is needed to help retain soil moisture and fresh seeds. A bale of straw covers approximately 2,000 square feet.
Sprinkling it in a light layer allows it to decompose naturally so you don't have to rake it once the grass has sprouted. If you are applying it to an inclined area, place a mesh or net, such as the one used to keep birds away from plants, on the ground above the area to help keep the straw in place, which in turn keeps the seeds intact. It does a good job of retaining moisture, preventing erosion during heavy rain and discouraging birds from eating the seed. Are you going to plant a new lawn? A common way to protect turf seedlings is to place straw or hay on top of the soil.
This practice helps keep fresh seeds warm and moist until they develop a strong root system. The main reason for spreading a layer of straw on freshly planted grass is to limit the amount of evaporation from the surface. Growing new grass involves planting the seeds just below the surface of the soil. This shallow level of planting subjects the seeds to dryness and dehydration.
Without uniform levels of moisture, grass seeds may not germinate, and young grass seedlings may wither and die. Straw does not add nutrients to the soil or improve the health of the underlying soil. However, it is advisable to use only well-aged compost, since the introduction of non-decomposed organic matter into the lawn can attract birds that feed on newly planted grass seeds. Like straw, pine straw also facilitates moisture and heat retention, while allowing sunlight to reach and warm the soil in which the grass seed grows.
Finally, as straw breaks down over time, it adds nutrients to the soil, which is beneficial for the growth of newly planted grass seeds. However, there are other covering materials that are just as effective in covering turf seed germination. To improve the germination of grass seeds, make sure that the layer of straw you apply to the newly planted grass is no more than three inches thick. Peat is probably the most common alternative to straw for covering grass seeds, but it can be particularly difficult to work with.
However, covering the grass seed with a thin layer of straw, mulch or compost will help retain moisture and speed up the germination process. This lawn care instruction calendar is a monthly guide for cold-season grasses, particularly Massachusetts and Zone 6, which have grasses such as Turf Type Tall Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass. Another reason to cover newly planted grass with straw mulch is to prevent lawn seeds from being damaged due to excessive exposure to sunlight. However, before germination, newly planted grass seeds are very vulnerable to being blown away by wind and rainwater.
Of course, proper seed propagation, moisture and sunlight are also crucial for germination, but if the seed cannot come into contact with the soil in which it is placed, it is likely that it will not grow very well. You don't need to remove the straw even after the seeds of the grass have sprouted, because it will decompose on its own. However, in order for peat moss to effectively facilitate the germination of grass seeds, you need to apply it correctly. I've seen mulch rates as high as 88 percent, which means you're not getting much seed in your seed purchase.