Grass seeds need nutrients and moisture to grow. Compost can give grass seeds nutrients and help them stay moist. Compost can also hinder the growth of your grass seeds if it is not applied in a manner that helps them get started.
Good compost is made of organic material that has decomposed into what is called humus. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, and other nutrients. It also contains microorganisms that are important for grass seeds to grow. Applying a layer of compost over your grass seeds or mixing it with your grass seeds will help you grow the best grass possible.
In this article, I will answer the questions you have about mixing grass seeds with compost.
Can you mix grass seed with compost?
The short answer is yes, you can mix grass seed with compost. Grass seeds will germinate in compost and will have the nutrients it needs to build good roots.
The thing you may want to think about is does compost retain too much moisture for your grass seeds. Because compost is dense, it has the ability to retain a lot of water. This doesn’t mean it will retain too much water for your grass seeds. It just means you need to think about will it retain too much water..
The amount of water retention for your compost will largely depend on the type of compost and your environment. Because different compost can vary in density from each other, you need to determine the density of your compost. If it seems your compost is holding too much moisture for your grass seeds, then you should mix in some topsoil to help the water drain better.
How much compost to topdress lawn?
If you want to topdress your lawn with compost before adding grass seed, you can add between 1/8” to 3/4”. For 1/8” you will need about 0.40 cubic yards of compost per 1000 square feet. For 3/4” you will need about 2.3 cubic yards of compost per 1000 square feet.
If you want to spread grass seeds and then topdress with compost, you should not add more than 1/4” on top of the seeds. This will allow your grass seeds to get enough sunlight. For 1/4” you will need .75 cubic yards of compost per 1000 square feet.
Placing more than 1/4” of compost on your grass seeds will block too much sunlight. This will either cause your grass seeds to germinate poorly or it may cause them to not germinate at all.
Will compost kill grass and grass seeds?
Compost, if applied right, will help grass and grass seeds grow. If you put too much compost or poor quality compost on your grass and seeds, there is the potential for it to kill your grass.
Using a good quality compost is the best thing you can do for your grass.. Also, be sure to only put enough compost to cover the tops of your grass seeds.
What if I have too much compost on my grass seeds?
If you put too much compost on your grass seeds, you have two options to fix it. You can rake some of the compost to another area and spread more seed or you can just spread more seed.
Raking will allow you to move some of the compost into other areas of your lawn. This will move some of your grass seeds away from where you spread them. Applying more seeds to the area you rake will be a good way to make sure enough seeds are present for germination.
Sometimes you don’t have any extra area to rake the compost. In this case, you should spread more seed on top of the compost. You may want to lightly rake once you have spread more seed to bury it under the compost.
Can you use multipurpose compost for grass seed?
You can use multipurpose compost for grass seeds. Multipurpose compost will supply the nutrients your grass seeds need. Just remember that multipurpose compost is dense and will retain a lot of water. You may want to mix it with topsoil to lessen the amount of water retention.
You may want to use a starter compost instead of a multipurpose compost. Starter compost are made of less dense organic material like peat moss. This will provide your grass seeds with nutrients and will retain the right amount of water for getting your grass seeds started.
Do I need compost for grass seed?
You don’t need compost for grass seeds. There are a number of ways you can plant grass seeds that don’t involve compost.
You can aerate your existing lawn. Then spread your seeds. This will give your grass seeds minimal contact with the soil, but they will germinate.
You can dethatch your grass. Dethatching your grass will expose a lot of the soil under your grass. After dethatching, spread your seeds generously into your lawn.
Aerating and dethatching your existing lawn will provide your new seeds with enough moisture retaining cover because the existing grass holds water.
Topsoil mixed with grass seed is a great way to get your lawn started. Bare ground can be a hard place for grass seeds to germinate. Mixing your grass seeds with topsoil will give them nutrients and help with water retention.
Finally, you can avoid using compost by tilling your soil before spreading grass seeds. Tilling your soil will bring some of the moist nutrient rich soil to the surface. This will provide a perfect environment for grass seeds to start.
The right solution
Grass seeds are very resilient. They will grow in just about any environment where conditions are fair for the type of grass you are growing. This doesn’t mean, though, they will grow healthy roots or germinate correctly. You have to provide them with the right amount nutrients. Mixing your grass seeds with compost is a good way to nurture them.
Although compost can help your grass seeds, it can also hurt them. Multipurpose compost is dense and may retain too much water for starting grass seeds. Mixing it with a little topsoil can fix this issue. Starter compost are more lightweight, and could be a good investment for your grass seeds.
Applying too much compost on top of your grass seeds will block the sun. This, in turn, will be detrimental to the growth of your grass seeds. Be sure to only apply a very thin layer of compost on top of your grass seeds.