Questions on Hay or Straw Cover on New Grass Seed
Hi, I'm new to using hay or straw to growing grass from the start and could use some help...
I had a new patio put in my back yard and it is surrounded by about 4' to 10' of new soil. It's a fairly large area including the part where the machinery tore up the lawn. The landscaper put down some grass seed and covered it with hay or straw. He said to just leave it and it will disappear when it gets mowed. It's about two weeks old now and is actually coming in very nicely all things considered.
I have a couple of questions. I don't usually bag my grass clippings as our town does not accept them. Assuming they stay on the lawn, how long will they stick around? They don't look very nice on the lawn and with winter approaching I don't really want to see them all year, especially right next to the house like they are.
I tried to move some of the hay as it was put on a bit too "thick" in some spots and I noticed that if I pulled the ones on the bottom it pulled some young grass roots up with it. Will that happen if I try to mow it also? The grass is becoming entwined with some of the hay way down by the soil but not the pieces up on top.
I'm starting to get some fallen leaves mixing in with the hay due to the time of year that it is. I'm not sure if this will hurt or help the new grass seed. If I try to remove them by hand or by rake it may do more harm than good by walking on it and pulling the new seedlings out. On the other hand, if I use a leaf blower it will blow a lot of the hay away with it. So do I leave the leaves or try to remove them?
How long is the hay supposed to stay on anyway?
Thanks in advance for your assistance!