How to Use Hay Over New Lawn Seed


The lawn is the first thing that people notice about most homes. Green lawns can add value to the home, while a brown or patchy lawn can lower the appeal of the home significantly. It is sometimes necessary to replant a lawn to fix the issues. When replanting the lawn, something is needed to protect the seed from the weather and animals until it sprouts. The most common item used for this is hay.

Step 1

Store the bales of hay off of the newly seeded area until needed.

Step 2

Make sure the seed is properly spread and raked in to the seeded area. Each different seed has different requirements, check the seed bag for proper instructions for the area.

Step 3

Cut the strings holding the bale of hay together. Make sure the bale strings are fully separated from the bale.

Step 4

Remove the flakes of hay three at a time. A flake of hay is the natural sectioning of a bale. Flake sizes will vary based on the hay and equipment used to make the bale.

Step 5

Break the flakes apart and spread over the new seed to create a walking path. Never step on the newly seeded area without the hay on the ground first. Make sure the hay fully covers the area but no thicker than 1/2 inch thick. The most common way to spread the flakes is to hold one side and shake the hay loose from the flake over the ground.

Step 6

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the entire area is covered.

Step 7

Water the entire area until the hay is wet. The hay will retain some moisture to help the seed germinate.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not leave the hay strings in the seeded area; they are dangerous to animals. Do not cover the ground with a layer of hay thicker than 1/2 inch.

Things You'll Need

  • Bales of hay
  • Scissors


  • Mark Daniels, GCSAA certified superintendent; Reno, NV
Keywords: new grass seed, hay bales, lawn seed protection