burlap used to raise soil temp for grass germination

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by JimMac, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. JimMac

    JimMac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hi guys;
    Been overseeding for a long time, but never tried using burlap for a soil covering during grasseed germination, what do you think? I've used hay before which worked ok, but really messy. I even remember a product from Lesco that was some sort of paper-like organic mulch designed to heat up soil for faster germination. This product even had starter fert in it, but it did not decay into the ground for appx 1.5 years. Just looking to try burlap, so the soil gets a little warmer as it gets colder in the fall here in Boston, MASS. My hope is to warm up the soil to get faster/better seed germination. Anyone ever used burlap for this? Thanks guys.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,168

    Never tried burlap. I don't think it would warm the soil much--maybe prevent soil from cooling off as much in the fall. It might retain moisture like a mulch. Clear or black plastic might help the soil absorb sunlight--maybe a thermal pool blanket. But you would want to use the plastic before the seed was planted to warm the soil, or at least I would remove it after the first sprouts came up--you don't want to risk "cooking" the new grass. Can you water it twice per day with hot water? Can you pre-germinate the seed in warm water? Can you use a higher percentage of perennial rye? Rye comes up quick(a quarter inch tall in 72 hours under ideal conditions).

    Use plenty of seed, rake it in, plenty of starter fertilizer and plenty of water of course.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    The basis for burlap is to hold in the moisture underneath as in balled n burlap material for root balls. I have seen materials like this utilized in high, slope areas to hold back sediment erosion. The seeds will adhere and stay in place but in my case of observation, the maintenance isn't a needed must. Areas where the burlap comes up or goes astray, the burlap will not be foregiving to the mowers. I am under the common sense that burlap isn't biodegradable and will last quite a while. The other ideas of burlap is to impede weed germination and light deprivation on bare soils and other areas where other mulch sources are needed. I guess I am not following your idea!!

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