Protect a New Lawn With Straw

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Using Straw

If the weather in your area is dry or warm, you may consider protecting your new lawn with straw. Spreading a layer of straw mulch over seeded areas will slow evaporation, provide some shade, and disperse raindrops that might otherwise dislodge young seedlings.

When selecting the straw for the job, choose a clean mulching straw that is free of seed, such as wheat straw. Evenly apply about 50 to 80 pounds (one or two bales) of straw per 1,000 square feet. Be cautious not to put down too heavy of a layer, or the straw may inhibit the growth of the grass! If your area tends to be windy, stretch string over the mulch every few feet to keep it from blowing away.

Alternatives to Straw

Alternatives to the straw technique include burlap and agricultural fleece (textile mulch that admits water and sunlight), which will also protect the seed from drying sun and wind. These alternatives, when staked over seeded slopes, will help prevent erosion and seed runoff.


Note: Whichever method you select, don’t forget to remove mulches approximately three weeks after germination!