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View Full Version : Slit seeder - How does it work?


Lawn-Scapes
05-18-2005, 11:01 PM
I've never used one before... Pictured is the underside of a Olathe slit seeder. Can someone explain to me what the toothed discs do and what the round/smooth discs do? I'm guessing the toothed disc opens up the ground and the round one pushes the seed into the opening... right???

If I were to use this machine on an already established lawn.. will it pull up a lot of thatch?

Drew Gemma
05-18-2005, 11:30 PM
do not use it on an established lawn! If you wanna do that use an aerrator. Slice seeder is for reseeding an existing yard that you completely kill then use the old dead vegatation as a seed bed. it puts heavy amounts of seed down and you can streak an existing lawn by using it on them.

rick2752
05-18-2005, 11:43 PM
I dont agree, Ive used them on existing lawns and they do an excellent job of filling a thin lawn. Tom, that seeder is a little better than mine, I have a bluebird. From looking at they pic I would say that the front blades cut the slit into the ground, tubes drop the seed into the existing slit and then the round blades in back work as a disc to close the slit you just made. The round blades dont line up with the toothed blades do they? The only time they streak a lawn is when you cut corners and only slice in one direction. You are supposed to do the whole lawn in one direction and then cover it again diagonally. That will take care of the "cornrows" you would see otherwise.

dkeisala
05-19-2005, 12:35 AM
Agreed - slit seeders are fine for exisiting lawns. I've done it on my own lawn with excellent results.

Lawn-Scapes
05-19-2005, 12:38 AM
Thanks for the comments. Will it pull up thatch too? I need to know if there will be a lot of clean up...

rick2752
05-19-2005, 12:57 AM
No not alot of cleanup it just cuts a slit in the dirt. It may slice through the thatch but not really pull it onto the top of yard. I havent ever really done a heavily thatched yard with one though.

Runner
05-20-2005, 03:05 AM
That's one of the beautys of a slit seeder. It allows you to incorporate different cultivars of grass into an existing one/ For instance, if you have a lawn, that as the trees mature, you get alot more shade. You can plant more crreping Red Fescue into the existing lawn. Say the opposite, and trees are removed. You can plant Bluegrass into it. I had a yard that was mainly perrenial Rye...In the fall, I cut it down low, and drilled in some Kentucky Blue. The lawn is beautiful, now. They are just awesome machines. I don't know what the Olathe sells for, but one you can't hardly beat for the price is a Lesco. They are around 2400, I believe.

JohnnyRocker
08-10-2009, 05:03 PM
How long does it take to slice seed a 1/4 acre established yard, if you do it twice, one direction plus diagonnally?

Az Gardener
08-10-2009, 06:17 PM
I bought one mostly to verticut my Bermuda runners and prevent thatch build up. The seed box on the front is so small how do you get any amount of seed down with that thing? Either I am missing a critical part or you slice a bag of seed and set it on top of the box. That's my guess anyway, I would like a yea or nae on this if anyone knows. I am thinking of using it for my fall scalp and over seeding for winter lawns, perennial rye.

White Gardens
08-10-2009, 06:47 PM
How long does it take to slice seed a 1/4 acre established yard, if you do it twice, one direction plus diagonnally?

I would think it would take no more than 2.5 hours, tops.

White Gardens
08-10-2009, 06:51 PM
I bought one mostly to verticut my Bermuda runners and prevent thatch build up. The seed box on the front is so small how do you get any amount of seed down with that thing? Either I am missing a critical part or you slice a bag of seed and set it on top of the box. That's my guess anyway, I would like a yea or nae on this if anyone knows. I am thinking of using it for my fall scalp and over seeding for winter lawns, perennial rye.


When you look at how many pounds per acre you need for lawns, especially over-seeding, then generally the box on the machine is more than sufficient to hold a good quantity of seed, unless you are doing a large acreage lawn.

DiyDave
08-10-2009, 09:22 PM
A little bit of edumacation (as Homer Simpson would say) this is why the box is small: Suppose you are seeding bare dirt with fescue, at a rate of 8 lbs per thousand square feet (the heavy rate). Now, in bare dirt, this rate is fine, but with a slit seeder, you are scratching a line every 2 inches, that is say 1/4" wide. 6 times 1/4" =1.5 . 1.5X12= 18 square inches of actual dirt turned up, in a 144 square inch area. If you set the seeder at that 8 lb rate, you are going to be dumping seed into that little slit, at a phenomenal rate, that will have seeds actually touching one another. This can lead to pythium fungus spreading from one seed to another wiping out your entire seeding. If pythium doesn't get it, over competition will make it look like Joe Biden's hair plugs. What you should aim for, at most is a seed or three, per inch of row. I find that 1/4 the rate, or 2 lbs per thousand square feet is adequate to get a good stand of grass growing. If you are going in 2 directions, halve that rate. That is why the box is so small, 20 lbs of seed will do an average 10,000 square foot lawn. Another hint: practice your technique, a little, remember to allow sufficient overlap to make each successive pass 2 inches from the last slit, or you will have the missing cornrow effect, again, see Joe Biden's hair.:laugh::laugh:

Az Gardener
08-10-2009, 09:46 PM
We typically over seed our winter rye at 10-12 lbs per K. At 8 lbs it looks OK from a distance but not when you are walking down a sidewalk looking down at the dormant brown Bermuda through the thinly seeded rye. So maybe I need to make more passes say 4 passes checkerboard then diagonal both directions.

The reason I ask is I have some very thick, putting green density Bermuda and it is so difficult to get the seed to soil contact needed to get a good stand of rye especially after what they are used to seeing in the summer time.

turfcobob
08-11-2009, 10:11 PM
Slicing overseeders are designed to slice through the thatch layer and into the soil. Making slices so the seed can get to the soil for good seed soil contact. The jagged blades do the cutting and the disc blades try to guide the seeds to the slit. It is usually the first watering that gets the seed into the slits not the disc blades. Most of the seed is wasted probably as much as 90% in some cases.

the amount of trash or thatch you will bring up will be directly related to how thick the thatch layer is to begin with. IF you have more than a half inch of thatch you better remove it before you seed. It will kill off your newborn anyway. Just dethatch the lawn and rake it up before you seed.

Aeration before hand is a great idea. It improves the soil condition, brings up cores that add soil to the upper layer and makes nice holes for seed germination. I usually aerate 3 to 4 passes before I overseed.

An overseeder or good quality verticut ( a machinie with cutting blades like an overseeder but no seed box) can be used to cut through the grass runners into the soil so the rye seed can get into the slits. Put out your seed first then cut the lawn in two directions in a diamond pattern and water good afterwards. Rye comes up in one week or so. You can feed it at about day 4 or 5 with a good starter fert.

Turfcobob

Exact Rototilling
08-12-2009, 12:23 PM
I rarely use the seed hopper on my BlueBird seeder. I use a large belly grinder fert spreader and broadcast the seed then aerate THEN I run the verticutter.

Anyone else aerate over the top of seed?