How to Spread Peat Moss Over Grass Seed

Overseeding grass is an important step to keep your yard looking thick and healthy. Those new grass seeds and seedlings can be fragile, though! Peat moss helps keep moisture near the growing grass. It also can act as a protective layer against birds and wind.

Give your new grass a boost with the help of peat moss! We’ll look at more information about peat moss and how to apply it.

What is peat moss?

Peat moss is an organic matter made from Sphagnum moss. It is a clean, all-natural, and safe way to help your lawn retain moisture. This soil conditioner usually comes in bags and is easy to find at most garden or home improvement stores. It is relatively inexpensive, as well!

What is peat moss

How do I apply peat moss?

Peat moss is simple and quick to apply as a top dressing! You only need a few tools and a little bit of time.

Materials needed

  • Grass seed
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Mower
  • Aerator (optional)
  • Fertilizer (optional)
  • Peat moss
  • Compost/peat moss spreader
  • Hose and/or a sprinkler
  • Netting/or temporary fencing (optional)

Grass seed and peat moss: step by step

1. Choose a grass seed

It’s important to pick the right grass seed for your climate! If you live in a dry, warm area, consider a warm weather grass like bermuda grass or St. Augustine grass. A cool weather grass, like fescue or ryegrass, will grow well in a moderate or northern climate.

Choose the right time to plant grass seed! Warm weather grass varieties grow best if they are planted in the spring. Plant cool weather grass in the early fall or late summer.

2. Prepare the lawn

If you are overseeding, mow the grass to a height of two inches. It may be helpful to aerate the lawn at this point, as well. Aeration lets air, water, and nutrients get into the root zone of the soil for strong, healthy grass!

If you are applying the grass seed to bare dirt, rake or till the area first. This will loosen the soil so the grass can grow deep, strong roots. You may want to add a starter fertilizer, too.

3. Apply the grass seed

Use the broadcast spreader to apply the grass seed in an even layer. Follow the package instructions to determine how much grass seed to apply.

4. Add peat moss

Load the compost spreader with peat moss. Spread the peat moss ⅛-¼ of an inch deep over the grass seed.

5. Water immediately

Use the hose or a sprinkler to moisten the peat moss with a thorough watering! The peat moss will expand when it gets wet.

6. Protect the grass seed

If your newly planted grass seed is in a high traffic area, consider installing netting or temporary fencing around the area until the grass is established. Continue to water the grass seed 2-3 times a day until germination. After that, watering once every day or two should be enough.

Why do I need peat moss?

Why do I need peat moss

Why put peat moss on grass seed? There are two reasons why peat moss is beneficial for grass seeds and newly sprouted seedlings.

Peat moss retains moisture

First, the peat moss holds in water. Grass seeds need to be moist in order to sprout. As the seedlings grow, they have high moisture needs. The peat moss acts kind of like a wet blanket to keep the seeds and seedlings moist.

Peat moss protects the seeds and seedlings

New seeds and seedlings are tempting to birds, rabbits, and other animals. Peat moss gives the new grass a protective layer. Grass seed may also fall victim to strong wind. Peat moss will provide the seeds with some shelter from the wind.

How much peat moss do I need?

A single bag of peat moss will go much farther than you may think! 1 cubic foot of peat moss will cover 100 square feet of lawn. Most bags of peat moss are 3 cubic feet, so they will cover around 300 square feet. Keep in mind that peat moss expands when wet.

Frequently asked questions

How much peat moss do I need

You asked, we answered! Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about peat moss and grass seed.

How to spread peat moss without a spreader?

It is possible to spread peat moss without a compost/peat moss spreader! Just use the backside of your rake to spread it evenly over the grass seed.

Can you spread peat moss with a broadcast spreader?

It is possible to spread peat moss without a broadcast spreader. It will just take a little more time to create an even layer.

Can you put too much peat moss on grass seed?

Peat moss is acidic. Too much and it will change the pH of your soil, which may inhibit grass growth. We recommend only ⅛-¼ of an inch of peat moss on top of grass seed. This amount is just enough to hold in moisture and protect the seeds, but it shouldn’t affect the acidity of the soil.

Final thoughts

Peat moss is a great, all-natural soil amendment! Not only will it help retain moisture for your growing grass, but it protects it from wind and scavengers. Peat moss can be used for overseeding or new seed. Give your new grass a boost with peat moss!


Author: Matt Hagens

Hi, I’m Matt the owner of Obsessed Lawn. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Learn more about me and find me on Facebook.