I'm planting some new grass in a ~50 sq ft area, plus in the spaces between a hundred or so newly placed stepping stones.

Against all the advice I've seen, I mistakenly laid down my mulch before my grass seed. I had spread some lime and fertilizer before this mulching.

Can I just go ahead and spread the seed on top of the mulch? If so, should I do just that, or get some more mulch to place overtop again?

Or should I attempt to remove the mulch first, and then spread the grass seed?

  • What do you mean by mulch? Do you mean something like Pennington's Penn Mulch which is used when planting grass seed or a similar paper based mulch product? Did you use straw or peat moss over the area you plan to seed? Or are you talking about mulch in adjacent flower beds? Out of curiousity why would you put the mulch down first if others told you not to? May 27, 2016 at 4:29
  • I used organic mulch bought from a nursery mixed specially for planting new grass. I've been working so hard for weeks to remove a ton of concrete and about 3 cubic yards of gravel and sand, then brought in 1.5 tons of new stepping stones. I just rushed this last part. Last fall, I planted grass in a large area successfully, so I thought I remembered what I was doing correctly. This evening after laying out the mulch, I second guessed myself, then checked online, to my great consternation.
    – Faust
    May 27, 2016 at 5:00
  • 1
    Faust, welcome to Gardening SE! As you are familiar with the SE system, you probably won't need the tour but checking out the help center might still be interesting. Oh, and we'd love to see pictures of your project.
    – Stephie
    May 27, 2016 at 5:38

1 Answer 1


I'm still not sure what mulch you're using. My answer is likely going to be the same but I'd be interested to see pictures of it as I've never heard of an organic gass seed starting mulch.

Grass seed needs to have good contact with the soil. The mulch is supposed to sit over top of the grass seed and soil to help keep everything moist. If the seed is on top of the mulch it will dry out more from wind and direct exposure to heat/sunlight.

If you can manage to remove the mulch and then reapply it that's what I'd try to do.

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