New grass

Hi everyone,

My backyard was recently completely flattened and fixed up. All of the affected areas were tilled with top soil and grass seed was then planted. On top of that, a generous layer of straw was loosely placed.

I’ve been walking around checking out the results and it looks like the straw is kind of thick in areas. I’d say it doesn’t exceed 3-4 inches, but that’s where it is in some places. I called the landscaper and he told me to leave it there and to mow over it (in time, when the grass has grown) with a bag. It’ll eventually compost over the coming months and ultimately help the new lawn.

I’m just worried about the straw. I know he’s a professional running a business, but I just can’t fathom how sun would get to the grass (not to mention the grass being able to poke through some of those spots!)

Put my mind at ease.

Most people think the straw is to keep the soil moist, but actually, it is to keep it dark. Many weed seeds like dandelion need light to germinate but grass seed prefers to germinate in the dark. The straw will disintegrate at just about the time enough grass seed has sprouted to keep the weed seeds shaded.

You already paid the pro. Take his advice.

I’ve reseeded areas of lawn as you describe. It works out wonderfully.

My best guess – The new seedlings don’t need direct sun right away.
The seeds should have enough nutrients that, with sufficient water and soil to help out, the sun won’t be needed other than to keep the whole area in the right temperature range.
The blades should grow long enough (as long as they can work their way through the straw mat) to get sunlight when they need it.

Of course, this could be complete BS…

Thanks all. I didn’t even know that the seeds don’t really need sunlight until after germination. I did a bit of research but perhaps not enough.

I’m sure it’ll work out just fine. I’m assuming most of the seed is mixed into (and under) the top most layer of soil, because I see very few seeds on the surface.