Originally Posted by maynardGkeynes
This has been my experience as well. Seedlings want light, well-aired soil. I've had situations where you can see them germinate under the soil, but never break through to the outside because the soil on top of them is too dense and traps them. Now, on bare spots on clay soil, I often use a power drill with a 1/4" drill bit to punch a bunch of 5 inch deep holes in the dirt, which core aerates/loosen the compaction underneath, then I lightly mix the seed in on the crumbled top, and cover with the minimal layer of light compost, spray just enough to moisten, only if needed. Takes a little more time, but the results are a lot better.
Talk about micromanaging and being extreme,,, I bet it does work better...