When to Remove Seed Germination Blanket

We all love to rest and play on a beautiful lawn, but it can be quite challenging to grow new seed grass on your lawn.

Without existing grass to help, the grass seeds may not get enough moisture and my dry out. Covering the seeds can help in locking in the moisture to give them time to sprout.

However, you should find the right material to cover your new grass seeds or you may end up doing more harm than good.

When to remove seed germination blanket?The best time to remove the germination blanket would be when it has naturally disintegrated or 7-8 weeks after seeding when you mow your grass once or twice.

What is a seed germination blanket?

Seed germination blankets or erosion blankets are biodegradable products that help to prevent soil erosion and promote seed germination. It provides a way of re-seeding the bare spots on your lawn with an increased chance of sprouting.

This blanket allows water and light to reach the grass seeds underneath to help them sprout and warms the soil so the seeds can germinate faster.

The seed blanket holds your grass seeds in place and prevents them from being washed away by heavy rains leaving some spots bare.

It also protects the seeds and emerging grass blades from animals and birds that can eat them. You can use seed blankets in sparse areas over existing grass to ensure your lawn fills up evenly.

Alternative Materials to the Germination Blanket

Instead of using a germination blanket to cover your grass seeds, there are different alternatives as long as you place them properly over your seeded area.

There are many effective materials you can use to cover your new grass seed that can fit your lawn and budget.

  • Straw

Straw is a commonly used material to cover new grass seeds because it’s budget-friendly. However, choose a variety that doesn’t produce weed seeds on your lawn.

Straw from barley, oats, and wheat are a great option, but avoid using pine straw because it contains terpenes, a chemical that can affect the growth of other surrounding plants.

You can use old pine straw in which the terpenes have evaporated. Use a light layer of straw covering so you’re able to see the soil and seeds through the straw.

  • Mulch

Mulch will effectively cover your new grass seeds and lock in moisture. A combination of mulch and fertilizer will help the grass seeds grow successfully.

Spread a light layer evenly over the seeded area. You can use ¼ inch sawdust, peat moss, or shredded paper that will biodegrade with time.

  • Compost

If you opt to go the green way, compost is a great cover for your grass seeds. You can make your own compost out of wood chips, kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and other organic materials in your home.

Make sure it will breakdown easily and provide nutrients to your seeds. Use a ¼ inch layer of compost to cover your grass seeds to allow air to pass through the layer to provide the seeds with moisture, sunlight, nutrients, and oxygen for rapid germination. 

  • Polyethylene plastic

A large sheet of plastic that you use to cover the seeded area and use large rocks or stakes to hold it in place. Use a clear sheet so the soil doesn’t heat up, and lift the film when it’s hot to cool the soil.

Why you should use a seed germination blanket

  • Protects your seeds from getting eroded by heavy rains
  • Prevents your new grass seeds from getting blown away by the wind or being eaten by animals and birds
  • Unwanted debris can easily be blown off the blanket without disturbing the grass seeds
  • Prevents air-borne weed seeds from falling on the seeded soil
  • Helps to retain moisture to help in faster seed germination and root development
  • Provides your grass seeds a better chance of an even growth
  • The new grass can grow through the germination blanket without having to remove it

How to use a seed germination blanket over existing grass

  • Mow, rake and remove weeds and dead grass from the area that you’re going to reseed with new grass seed. Sprinkle the starter fertilizer by hand or using a broadcaster to feed your entire lawn and rejuvenate the existing grass.
  • Measure the sparse area that you’ll plant the grass seeds to determine how much seed germination blanket you’ll need. A roll usually has a width of 4, 6,8,12, and 16 feet and a length of 20 to 200 yards.
  • Place the grass seeds evenly by hand or using a broadcaster and don’t over-seed to avoid the grass being uneven and growing in clumps.
  • Lay the seed germination blanket on one end of your lawn then unroll it across your lawn with the netting facing up. Avoid walking too much on the seeded area. Overlap one end of the blanket with another piece to provide even coverage. Overlap at least 3-4 inches.
  • Use biodegradable stakes to secure the blanket at the edges every 3-5 feet and on any overlapping areas. Use a rubber mallet to secure them into the ground.
  • Water the area with a garden hose or sprinklers for a large area and soak the blanket thoroughly. Water the blanket to keep it moist until the grass sprouts through the blanket.
  • Allow the grass to grow at least 2-3 inches before you mow the area.

Grass seed germination periods

Grass seed type

Germination period

Kentucky bluegrass

10-21 days

Annual ryegrass

5-10 days

Zoysia grass

12-22 days

Bentgrass

2 weeks

Red fescue

12-22 days

Perennial ryegrass

5-7 days

Conclusion

Using a germination blanket is a great way of helping your grass seeds to germinate and take root without being blown or washed away to give you an even, thick, green lawn.

FAQ

Do seed blankets have seed in them?

The germination blankets hold the seeds in place so they don’t get washed to one spot and grow in clumps. They also allow water and light to reach the seeds in the soil so they can sprout.

Will grass seed grow if you just throw it on the ground?

Yes, because there are grass maintenance and lawn care that you performed before throwing the seeds on the ground.

Also read

References and Sources

https://todayshomeowner.com/benefits-of-spreading-straw-or-mulch-over-grass-seed/ 

https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/green-living/how-to-top-dress-lawns-with-compost/

http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/grass-seed-germination.html

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