Will Grass Seed Grow If Not Covered? (Problems & Tips)

Are you feeling lazy to cover up the grass seeds you just spread on your lawn? Or, the seeds didn’t germinate enough, and you might be wondering if not covering up was the problem. Or, you might just be curious. Well, whatever be the case, we’ve got you covered!

In this post, we’ll discuss whether or not you should cover up the grass seeds, the consequences of not covering up, and many more. So, will grass seeds grow if not covered? Read on to find out!

So, will grass seed grow if not covered?

In simple words, grass seeds will grow even when planted uncovered. However, if your question is ‘Will the seeds grow easily and will the germination rate be good?’, the answer will most probably be No and No!

You might face several complications when trying to grow grass seeds without covering them, which we will discuss further down below. Let’s get started!

What might happen if you don’t cover your seeds?

There are various reasons you need to cover your seeds and not leave them exposed to the outer environment. Let’s go through them one by one!

1. Bird Food

If you don’t cover your seeds, it will be a major food source for the birds. So, if you want to protect them from the birds, you must cover them. As bird food is much cheaper than grass seeds, it will be waste feeding the birds with grass seeds.

2. Seeds might runoff

Heavy rainfall can easily sweep your grass seed away. So, if you do not cover your seeds properly, then the seeds get carried away to a place where you don’t want your grass to grow or might even get washed away.

3. Maintaining moisture will be challenging

Germination of seeds takes time, and thus, you must be patient for your grass seed to grow. But you have to make sure that you provide all the essential things for the germination of seeds, don’t you?

You must be careful enough to maintain the appropriate or right temperature and moisture for the seeds to grow. But if you leave the seeds uncovered, doing so will be challenging!

It’ll be difficult for the seeds to cope with the need for germination as, without mulch or topsoil for retaining moisture, seeds will most probably dry out.

So, if covering the seeds is not in your grass seeds planting procedure, be prepared to water your lawn at a much higher frequency than you’d have to otherwise.

4. The germination rate will be low

In order to germinate your grass seed, the most important factors you need are moisture and warmth. So you should be conscious enough to water your seeds properly for their proper growth.

Similarly, you also need to add some mulch or a top dressing to provide the nutrients for the seed to grow, or else your grass seed may dry out. If not, it’s almost certain that the germination rate will be low.

5. Grass quality diminishes over time

Sometimes, even the seeds that germinate may not be properly rooted, and the quality of such type of grass is certain to diminish over time. 

When the seeds are not properly rooted, then the seeds cannot absorb nutrients and minerals from the soil that helps the proper development of the seeds. Also, when you use a land mower, it might destroy the whole seedling rather than cutting the improperly rooted leaves.

What to cover your grass seeds with?

What to cover your grass seeds with

If you are thinking of reseeding your existing lawn, you don’t need to think much about covering the new seeds as the grass blades provide enough protection. But if you want to seed in a new place, it must be protected from the sun and rain.

It would be best if you also were careful not to provide thick covering because seeds also need sunlight to germinate. Thus, thin layering of covering would be sufficient for seeds to germinate.

Also, don’t spread seeds on the dried-out land as it doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients for the seeds to grow. If you have such land, you must first loosen the soil with a rake or by using an aerator.

You can also add a layer of paper mulch or topsoil which provides the necessary nutrients for the seed to grow. With the help of these facilities, it provides a fertile environment for seeds to grow.

If you have prepared your land before seeding, then covering the seeds would not be a big deal for you. You just need to rake the soil lightly to cover the seeds, but you should make sure that it shouldn’t be more than ¼ inch of topsoil.

If you haven’t prepared your soil, you can cover your seeds with a thin layer of straw or sawdust mulch. It would be best not to cluster the straw in one place such that it doesn’t block the sunlight for the seed beneath that.

Moreover, it would be best if you used sterile straw mulch. Discarding the hay is the best way to go as it contains the weed seeds. Mushroom compost can also be one of the best choices for covering as it is very nutritious and helps in the proper growth of seeds. 

So, how should you plant the seeds?

Planting the grass seeds is easier than you think! Let’s discuss how you can plant the seeds the right way in this section, shall we?

1. Spend on some quality seeds

If you want the luxury of flaunting the best lawn in the neighborhood, firstly, buy some quality grass seeds. In general, the lawn maintenance cost will likely exceed the price you spend on seeds. So, select the seeds wisely!

2. Prepare the soil

The next step is to make sure that the soil is ready! Loosen 2-3 inches of topsoil, in case you’re preparing a new lawn. Else, loosening about a quarter-inch of topsoil will be enough.

Remove any debris from the land, break the soil clumps if there’s any, and level the areas where you doubt excess water would collect.

And most importantly, do not use any weed killer before or after planting the seeds. If you want to use weed killers, wait until you mow the new grass at least three times.

3. Now, we plant!

Gently spread the grass seeds in small areas using hands or a hand or lawn spreader. You can also opt to use advanced technologies such as hydroseed at this stage, in case you have a too large area to cover.

Remember that if you plant too many seeds close to each other, they’ll have to compete for moisture as well as nutrition, resulting in thinner and weaker grasses in such areas. If you’re not a pro at estimation, we’d recommend you to plant around 16 seeds per square inch of your lawn.

4. Cover the seeds – you know why you should, don’t you?

Now is the time to cover your grass seeds. We’ve already discussed different ways by which you can cover the seeds, haven’t we?

Choose any mulch or simply rake the topsoil as per your requirement. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t cover the seeds entirely by adding a thick layer of mulch or topsoil on the top.

If you’re interested, there are various seeding formulas available in the market designed for holding seeds in place and retaining moisture.

5. Water, water, and water!

Water frequently, and by frequently, we mean daily! You must water the seeds every day until the grass is about 2 inches tall. And, in case you notice that the garden bed has become dry, water immediately.

Do you still not want to cover the seeds?

Do you still not want to cover the seeds

If you are very lazy and don’t want any hardship of covering the seeds manually by mulch, then there is a very easy idea of buying an all-in-one brand.

There are all-in-one type products available in the market that include mulch and fertilizer along with the grass seed. There is a company named Scott and Pennington that sells coated seed products that help to keep the seed moist for a long.

However, be careful while investing your money in these types of products as most of the time, half of the bag doesn’t even contain grass seeds.

You should always check the label of the products as it indicates the weight of the product that is seed versus the percentage of weight that is fertilizer or mulch. And, a quick tip for you – keep the soil moist such that the seeds don’t dry out!


By now, we believe that you’ve got your answers. We’ve even provided you with a proper step-by-step method of planting the grass seeds. Now, all you’ve to do is seed them the right way!

Have you tried planting the seeds without covering them? How did it turn out? And, do you think one should cover the seeds? Let us know!

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