I recently reseeded portions of my lawn. Having done inadequate
research beforehand, I realize I didn't prepare the soil as well as I
should have. I only raked the surface (about 3/4" deep) and used some
old potting soil as a topper, instead of mulch.
I've been watering it twice a day (perhaps overwatering it), and after
two weeks, much of the reseeded areas have still not sprouted. These
are mostly areas that are shaded for most of the day and don't get a
lot of direct sunlight. It's also winter, which I understand isn't the
best time for reseeding. I live in CA, and it doesn't get extremely
cold, but we've just gone through a prolonged rainly period with little
sunshine. Temps have been in the 40's to 60's.
I wonder if I should start over, doing things properly (raking 2-3
inches deep), or if I should continue. Perhaps it'll begin to come up
when the weather gets a bit warmer and sunnier? I'd appreciate any
advice from the experrt here. Thanks!
Your biggest mistake is you probably seeded too soon. A shady area with air
temperatures in the 40s to 60s likely not to have a warm enough soil
temperatures for effective germination.
You shouldn't need to put "mulch" on a lawn. The only thing that I can think
of that you'd put on a freshly seeded lawn that would come close to "mulch"
would be some straw. But that's not necessary if you don't have a problem
with ground-eating birds cleaning up the seed, or full summer sun that's
drying out the surface too fast.
One question: Did you put the new soil on top of the seed? If so, that would
be a problem, too. Grass seed should be closer to the surface, not under
3/4" of soil. Lightly rake the seed into the loose soil; don't burry it. It
would do better just on the surface of loose soil than it would completely
If you're not washing away the fresh, loose soil and seed, you're probably
not over-watering it. That's not to say you should water it until you reach
that point. I'm just saying that if you're not talking about watering it so
much that it's washing away, you're probably not watering it too much,
either. The soil needs to stay moist until you start getting viable
sprouts -- usually about 5-7 days. Until then, drying of the loose soil on
top will stop germination.
Once germination takes place, and you have viable sprouts, gradually switch
from frequent watering of the surface, to less frequent, but longer watering
that will allow some drying near the surface, but not deeper. As you move
the available water deeper, the grass will grow longer roots to reach the
available water. But you can't do that until they sprout. Seeds don't have
Thanks. No, most of the seed is visible on the surface. I did sprinkle
some potting soil over it, but this has been watered down below,
leaving the seeds on the surface.
Yes, I probably seeded too early. I put some bird netting over the area
and will wait for it to warm up a bit, at which time I'll water
frequently. I assume that the seed hasn't been damaged so far by
sitting in the cold, right?
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