A lush green lawn is a dream of all homeowners. Thus, we all are tempted to put down grass seed on the lawn when spring advances after a long and hallowing winter. However, most homeowners will use grass seeds without considering the lawn space, soil structure, and the actual amount of grass seed they need.
So, arises one obvious question, “Can You Out down too much grass seed?” Also, if you put down more than necessary grass seed, will it hamper the growth?
To be precise, putting too much grass seed in the lawn or garden will bring an unhealthy competition for sunlight, soil fertilizer, and proper space for growth. So, you may end up getting a rather ugly-looking garden with some spaces having more than enough grass and some spaces looking barren.
Can You Put Down Too Much Grass Seed?:
When it comes to planting grasses on the lawn, this is an obvious question. Can I put too much seed on the ground?
The short answer to this question is- NO. You should never put down too much grass in a limited space. Yes, it seems tempting that the more grass seed you put on the land, the better the grassy lawn will be, lush and green.
But that’s not the truth. Likewise, all plants, grass seeds also need an adequate amount of space, water, sunlight, and fertilizer to grow spontaneously.
When you put grass seeds thickly, the following things will happen and result in a somewhat dull-looking garden and lawn.
Poor germination rate:
You should make no mistake that applying grass seeds thicker than necessary will limit their access. Each grass seed won’t receive the same amount of soil, sunlight, and fertilizer. In fact, experts say that too much grass seed on a lawn means a massive number of seeds won’t even find any access to the soil and fall above other seeds. It is a waste of the seeds.
Plus, you will see a poorer germination rate with no access to soil, water, and fertilizer. It happens because germination success depends on the accessibility of the seedlings to the soil. On top of it, a thickly seeded lawn will also hurt the growth of those seeds having contact with the soil. These seeding without access to the soil will try to soak fertilizer and juice of soil from the nearby grass seed. Hence, the overall fight will result in reduced germination.
The grass seed may seem a tiny one compared to the towering oak or birch tree. But, even with such a small size, grass seeds need ample space for growth and root spread. It is common in all plants, unlike small or large.
When you spread these seedlings too thickly on the topsoil, the planted seedling will find them in unhealthy competition. So, you actually encourage a harmful fight among the seedling as they grow up in a thickly seeded lawn or garden.
It results in poor water reception, soil fertilizer, and, most importantly, proper space for each seed. Some healthy seeds will push the weaker one to access the nutrient and moisture, mostly in an existing lawn.
It will deliver you a patchy and unhealthy lawn with most seeds struggling between them for moisture, space, and nutrients.
Poor look and structure:
Yes, some hardy seeds will still find their roots in soil with enough nutrients and moisture to sprout to growth. But with such high competition to receive their required soil space, water, and fertilizer, these seeds will suffer from an inferior physical appearance.
Grass seeds will have the thin shape of their blades and leaves with limited access to their nutrient sources and highly competitive struggle on the lawn soil. So, they will be weaker and fail to withstand the regular foot traffic on the lawn. Also, with fewer nutrients, the grass will fail to withstand the harsh environment, especially during the scorching summer.
So, you will never get a uniform look at the lawn. And is this the last thing you want?
Lack of uniformity:
Ask yourself, “Why do you put grass seed on lawns?” It may seem an absurd question, but the answer is truly important.
All homeowners will say, “We put grass seeds on lawn or garden to make it lush green with an attractive look.” Well, for such an attractive look, uniformity is a must.
But what happens when you put too much grass seed on a lawn is overwhelmingly surprising. You will see that some lawn spaces have received thicker grass while some portions are barren. It disturbs the uniform look of your outdoor lawn space. It will cause problems in watering the garden with a hose and using a lawnmower too.
But the most disturbing result is even worse- your lawn with abrupt and varied levels of grass in different parts of it will look ugly and dull. So, you may think that your all attempt to transform the lawn into heaven has failed.
Doesn’t it seem frustrating?
Well, this brings us to an all-important question-
How Much Grass Seed Do I Need?
We have already realized that putting down too much grass seed may seem a lucrative and tempting scheme, but it is practically a bad choice. So, it is important to know the amount of grass seeds you will need for a specific space, along with the best time to plant grass seed.
You can use a grass seed calculator for this purpose. Also, the process of grass seed counting remains the same for whether you are starting from scratch or reseeding an existing lawn.
Also, the thickness of grass seeds varies mostly according to their hardness rating, species, and sub-variants. For instance-
- According to the US Department of Agriculture, the common perennial grass (Lolium perenne) has a hardiness zone rating from 3 to9. So, spreading 8-12 seeds per square inch of this grass species will be enough.
- Fescue (Festuca spp.) is another common grass variety used in lawns. It has a hardiness rating zone of 4-8 mostly. It means you can spread 10 to 12 seeds on each square inch of the lawn and expect a uniform look.
Also, consider grass seed with fertilizer to determine how many nutrients it will need for proper sprout and growth.
You also need to learn the technique to spread grass seeds properly. You should start with a broadcast spreader with seeds inside it. Then, walk in one direction from one end to another of the lawn. Then turn 90°angle and spread the seeds until you reach the starting point.
This grass seed spreading technique will allow you to rake seeds properly and fast too. Last but not least, consider the amount of nutrients and moisture these seeds will need. You may use grass seed fertilizers to get the best result.
Lastly, don’t forget to cover the seedlings with grass mulch or grass cover to help them keep moist and sprout adequately and happily.
So, can you put down too much grass seed indeed?
The clean answer is –NO. You must never spread too much grass seed on the lawn. It will compel them to be engaged in an unhealthy competition to receive ample space, nutrients, and moisture. So, instead of providing you a lush and green lawn, it will make it look uglier.
Hence, you need to maintain the suggested spreading technique. We recommend you use 8 to 12 grass seeds per square inch for an excellent lawn set-up. Also, feed them with proper fertilizer and cover them using mulch for quicker sprouting and growth.