Why New Grass Seed Keeps Washing Away (and How to Stop It)


It's not uncommon for new grass seed to wash away. When it rains, runoff may pick and carry up new grass seed away from your lawn. As a result, your lawn will remain barren in the areas where you originally applied the new seed. To prevent this from happening, you must understand why new grass washes away.

Applying Immediately After Mowing
Applying new seed immediately after mowing your lawn may cause it to wash It. Grass offers protection again runoff. It will disrupt the flow of rainwater as it travels across the soil's surface, thereby holding new seed in place. The taller your grass, the greater the protection it will offer.

If you just finished mowing your lawn, the grass may be too short to provide a sufficient level of protection against runoff. Therefore, you should wait a few days before applying new seed. Allowing the grass to grow just a little taller will minimize the risk of new seed washing away.

Hills or Sloped Terrain
New grass seed is more likely to wash away when used on a hill on sloped terrain. Runoff, of course, follows the law of gravity. It will gravitate downwards while taking the path or paths with the least resistance. Reseeding areas of your lawn on hill or sloped terrain means runoff will take some of the new seed with it.

You can still reseed areas of your lawn on a hill or sloped terrain, but you should consider adding some form of mulch to prevent the new seed from washing away. Like tall blades of grass, mulch will disrupt the flow of rainwater so that new seed is less likely to wash away.

Heavily Compacted Soil
Another common reason why new grass seed keeps washing away is heavily compacted soil. With heavily compacted soil, new seed won't be able to work its way underneath the surface. Rather, it will remain stuck on top where it's susceptible to runoff.

There are a few ways to deal with compacted soil. If the soil has a high concentration of clay, for instance, you can add sand to it. Adding more sand to the clay-based soil will help to loosen it. Another solution for heavily compacted soil is to aerate it. Aeration will score the soil while simultaneously breaking it up and making it less compacted.

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