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Will Grass Seed Germinate on Top of Soil?

4 min read

Will grass seed germinate on top of the soil? Yes; in fact, germination will suffer if too much soil is placed on top of the seeds. The experts at Jonathan Green recommend placing a thin layer of mulch or topsoil over them to help keep them moist and warm and promote growth.

The Jonathan Green name has represented genetically superior grass seed, innovation, integrity, determination, and a commitment to lawn excellence since 1881.

Today, six generations later, we are industry leaders in organics and have developed Black Beauty® grass seed mixtures as well as organic and traditional soil amendments, lawn fertilizers, and control products that feed your lawn AND your soil.

About Seed Germination

Depth of Planting

Grass seed needs to be planted only ¼ inch deep and pressed into the loosened soil. If planted much deeper or covered with an inch or two of fresh soil, you have planted too deep and the seed will not germinate.

To get your new turfgrass seedlings off to a good start, we recommend placing a very thin layer of our Top Dress™ Seedling Cover and Growth Accelerator to protect them from washouts and conceal them from birds.

The biodegradable green mulch swells to encase the seed in a warm moist blanket. Once the new grass plants are rooted, the mulch biodegrades and disappears into the soil, so there is no need for removal. Mow the new lawn when the turfgrass reaches three inches tall.

Germination Time

The germination time for grass seed ranges from 5 to 30 days depending on the variety you plant. It can be longer than this in cooler temperatures.

At Jonathan Green, we mix elite varieties of Kentucky Bluegrass seed as well as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass to create our Black Beauty® Ultra Grass Seed. This seed germinates in 7 – 14 days, as do many of our other grass seed blends.

If this is not fast enough for you, consider Jonathan Green Fast Grow Grass Seed. Thanks to the annual ryegrass we include in this mixture, which is the fastest germinating grass seed variety, you can expect this seed to germinate in 7 days. It is designed to fill in troubled areas in lawns or grow an entire new lawn quickly.

We take every precaution to ensure that our Black Beauty® seed will germinate. However, do not expect all seeds to sprout at the same time. If you wait the expected time and there are still no signs of life, the culprit may be the lack of soil moisture or soil temperature that is too cool or too warm.

Old Seed

On rare occasions, the age of the seed can be a problem.  To test if your grass seed will germinate, wet a paper towel or toilet tissue and put it in a cup. Spread a small amount of seed on the wet paper and cover the cup with a plastic bag.  This creates a little greenhouse environment.  If the seeds are good, you will see a small shoot emerge that will be either white or light green in color.

Growing grass for your lawn involves more than just watering and waiting. Visit Jonathan Green online to learn more about whether grass seed will germinate on top of the soil and about turfgrass seed germination.

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