Seeding your own lawn is an ideal way to achieve a lush, green and healthy lawn. It is also easier, possibly more productive and less expensive then sodding a lawn. Whether you are overseeding or planting a lawn for the first time, the most important thing to remember is to protect the seed after planting it by spreading a thin layer of materials over it. There are a few ways to do this.
Peat Moss or Sawdust
Peat moss and sawdust are two common ways to cover grass seed when planting. After planting, you generously sprinkle one of these materials (or combine them together) in a layer about 1/3 inch thick over all the seed. The fine dusting of this material helps retain moisture on the seeds, and also helps camouflage them from foraging birds or animals.
Straw or Mulch
Straw and mulch are more bulky materials to cover lawn seed with after planting. Spreading straw or mulch (not together as this will be too heavy) will help hold the seed down in windy environments, as well as retain moisture for the grass seed. Spread it evenly over the grass seed after planting with your hands. If you notice the mulch is dry, sprinkle the area again.
Protective Seedling Cover
Protective seedling covers are commercially made specifically to protect grass seed. This product is definitely more costly then other materials, but is ideal for large areas, sloping areas, or for fruit and vegetables seedlings as well. The covers trap heat and moisture, which speeds seed growth. They are not difficult to use and is usually just rolled out and cut to desired size. It is ideal for cooler regions, as it retains warmth and moisture as it vents excess heat, which increases and speeds seed germination. The covers can help protect against insect, bird and animal damage.