Will Grass Seed Grow If Not Covered?

It can be really tempting to simply throw your grass seed over the top of the ground and hope for the best, but this might not be the best way to approach the situation. If you are looking for the best results, a little bit of preparation often goes a long way. In this article we discuss: Will grass seed grow is not covered and explain why covering grass seed can be beneficial.

However, will your grass seed grow if it has been left uncovered? This is something that we are going to look at in this article to discover the best way to successfully grow new grass.

We are going to explain how to place down grass seeds and tell you all about the dos and don’ts of the process.

Will Grass Seed Grow if Not Covered?

It is possible for your grass seed to grow if it has been left uncovered, but it is usually a good idea to add a layer of either compost, topsoil, or straw mulch over the top of it to help to keep it moist and help with germination. 

So, it can grow if left uncovered, but there is more to growing grass than this.

Due to the fact that grass seed is resilient, some of the seeds will probably grow regardless of harsh treatment, but the germination rate will diminish, leaving you with patchy final results.

Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Grass Seed Uncovered

There are quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t leave your grass seed uncovered and exposed to the elements, and we will explain them below for you to read about.


Germination is the process of seed sprouting, and this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to happen. For any type of seed to be able to germinate, it is going to need certain things.

The soil will also need to be the right temperature for this to occur, and without enough water, the grass seed is unlikely to sprout.

The seeds need to be both moist and warm, and without either of these things, your grass seed will dry out and become useless.

Root Development

The seeds that do manage to germinate will struggle to get properly rooted, which can make your grass more susceptible to damage.

Roots that are too shallow in the ground will also prevent the grass from being able to reach moisture and nutrients that lie below the surface. Your lawn mower can even rip the seedlings up instead of simply cutting the blades.

Grass Seed vs. Bird Food

Not covering up your seeds will also mean that it becomes an easy food source for birds. Covering them up will hide them from wildlife and give them a better starting chance at not being eaten.

Prevent Runoff

Believe it or not, heavy rainfall can actually wash your grass seed away. It can take up to 4 weeks for the grass seed to germinate, and it is more than likely to rain in this amount of time.

Without the roots to hold them in place, the seeds can easily be swept away by the water, or be taken to other places in your property, where you didn’t want grass to grow.

How to Prepare Your Soil

For the best results, you will need to take the time to properly prepare your soil.

One of the best places to start is by testing the pH of the soil to find out if it needs any added extras to be within the ideal pH range, which is between 6.2 and 7.0. You can buy inexpensive pH testing kits online or at local hardware stores.

You should also be sure to aerate your soil before you put your seeds down. Yards that have heavy clay soil, or that have a lot of foot traffic will need aeration more than others, and by doing this, you are allowing the soil to loosen up.

This will increase the seed to soil contact and improve the level of water penetration and airflow, which will both improve root development. 

Loose soil and extra pockets that are created through the aeration process will provide the grass seeds with somewhere to go that is beneath the soil, allowing for better root development.

If you are only covering a small area, you can get the job done with a rake instead of a machine. 

How to Get Grass Seed to Grow Uncovered

It can be difficult to get your grass seed to grow if it has not been covered, but it is not impossible.

For the best chances at success, you should use a form of mulch as a top layer over your grass seeds to increase the chances of germination.

This will also protect the grass seed from birds and prevent run-off. So, while grass seed can grow uncovered, you are better off using mulch to improve your end results.

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