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  #1  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:35 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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results for slit seeding vs core aeration/overseed

I'm in North Carolina. From June-August our temps are in the 90's-100's and many times it is dry. So fescue isn't the best choice, but that is something that many people only know. While they have shade the heat and humidity take care of most lawns.

I've finished all my seeding and many have been cut the first time. I'm never really pleased with the results, but many of my customers don't water properly or even have irrigation. Lawns look great from the road, but once on them you see thin spots. So, I'm looking for some info or recommendations on what steps to take to do things better.

CORE AERATION - this is my normal process and many people only know this method. I apply starter(lime was done earlier), aerate with a rental walkbehind clausen aerator or my Lawn solutions ride on, we then apply seed at a rate of 6 lbs per 1000. The results are decent, but some areas are plugged looking and in bare spots it may not germinate. As the blades grow and thicken it begins to look ok, but not sod quality. My thoughts are next year to apply more seed. since germination is only 85% at 6lb only 5lbs will germinate? Maybe double pass aeration?

SLIT SEEDING - I've never seen anyone in my area use this method. Think my rental company has a turfco 20 model?? What is the labor of running this machine compared to normal aeration? What prices are you getting 20 + seed cost per 1000? Double your aeration rate? I've read some guys do double pass at 1/2 rate of seed each time or some broadcast some seed and then do a single pass.

So i'm trying to give my customers options and wonder what your experiences are. would you say slit seeding will provide better results? slit seeding is 50% more effective than the core aeration method? Could you use 5 lbs of seed slit seeding vs. 7 lbs core aeration and get the same result?

I'm hoping that if I can create a thicker turf it will last much longer through the heat.
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2012, 08:38 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
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pro's and con's from what I can gather....

Core aeration
-cheaper
-core aeration relives compaction
-may get "plug" look

Slit seeding
-more expensive
-better germination due to seed to soil contact
-seed is planted much like a farmer plants crops(we are a farming town)
-no plug look and more even look
-could use less seed and get same look as core aeration?
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:38 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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I still think it was odd that aeration became a 'seeding' method...
a slit-seeder works the soil and hopefully some dead grass debris, in order that the seed may nestle into the little grooves created... after watering the seed is covered by some loose soil and hopefully some dead grass debris, to start phase I of the process i.e., soak up the water...

The farm crop analogy wasn't bad, but there is a distinct difference between planting grasses with an agricultural drill and a slit-seeder... the drill actually open the soil, drops the seed into the furrow then covers it up... the slit-seeder relies on the water to settle it into the loosened soil...

just like the only real germination that oftentimes appears with a slit-seeder are the rows, that with the loosened soil, the same is true of the loosened soil around/in the holes... The compacted hydrophobic surface of the rest of the open soil doesn't have the wherewithal to allow seed to germinate there...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2012, 10:27 AM
TruSomethingOrOther TruSomethingOrOther is offline
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IMO aerating / overseed is to thicken up an existing lawn. An actual slit seeder is to renovate a lawn (droughts, major fert burns, dogs, etc). To get rid of that row by row look of the slicer, double pass at a north - south then east - west.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:11 AM
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ron mexico75 ron mexico75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruSomethingOrOther View Post
IMO aerating / overseed is to thicken up an existing lawn. An actual slit seeder is to renovate a lawn (droughts, major fert burns, dogs, etc). To get rid of that row by row look of the slicer, double pass at a north - south then east - west.
I agree with that and that's what I have told customers who have total bare spots with no grass at all! They always tell me; "make sure you really aerate that area good, maybe 2 or 3 times because I can't get grass to grow." A while ago before I knew any better I'd say; "sure, not a problem." While wasting time and money and not getting any better results.

Now that I'm older, a little wiser, and more knowledgeable, I tell these certain people, let me till up the hard bare area or very, very, very thin area and consider it a renovation rather than a rejuvenation.

I can get more money and better results by doing this. Kind of like an "up sell." Now obviously, water!!!!!!!! I don't tell them what I'm doing is magic, I email some very detailed guidelines as to what to expect, germination times, do's and doníts, as well as watering guidelines. I have had very good results, happy customers and several referrals as well as "drive by" customers who have seen the before and after and asked me to do theirs.

Now, I'm not saying this is the cure all for the OP, also depends on the size of the lot etc. I agree that slit seeding might work better in certain circumstances too.

Just thought I'd share this information.
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2012, 10:33 AM
Dave Stuart Dave Stuart is offline
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Propagation by seeding

There will be many different opinions on this, most of us have methodology that has worked well for us in the past. For the last 27 years of my lawncare career I have seen " seeding " services morph from one extreme to the Next.

Aeration is more of a maintenance service not really designed for lawn establishment, it relieves compaction, introduces oxygen into the root zone which increases microbe activity to help decompose thatch as well as promote lateral propagation of rhizomes and other perennial parts, it is primarily designed for established turf stands that are in need of the above maintenance, with that said Axes quote in my opinion is 100% right. How did it become a service considered for uniform establishment of a turf stand??...

The answer / marketing by big companies that sold the service on that very premise and distorted the Agronomic principles of beneficial services.

Slit seeding is a very effective method for establishing a lawn uniformly and depending on the density and native monocots already existing on the site can be utilized one, two or multiple ways, this method makes good seed to soil contact and slightly covers the seed pod and allows for proper hydrolysis to take place.

The key to proper slit seeding ( find a really good piece of equipment ) / the only really good hand held models in my opinion are :

Toro hydrostatic
Lawn solutions hydrostatic

I prefer a land pride 38" PTO driven seeder behind a tractor for most of the open work, then utilize the smaller ones for the trim and clean up.

Success cultivating depends on timing, proper seed selection, equipment, and knowledge in which method suits which situation as well as weather monitoring.

Dave.
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2012, 02:53 PM
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jfoxtrot9 jfoxtrot9 is offline
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The basics of everything stated by Smallaxe and Dave Stuart are true concerning both aeration and slit seeding. I agree that the main function of aeration is lawn maintenance.

With that said, I can state that it is a fact that aerating and over-seeding to help thicken a poor to decent stand of grass does work given that whatever the cause for the weak stand of lawn is addressed and corrected. I say this as a fact with confidence because I have done it multiple times over the years. This includes success this year with what appears to be a very good germination rate. This also recommended by the Ohio State University Extension Office. http://ohioline.osu.edu/srt-fact/0002.html

Now, I am not arguing that this is the best method to germinate grass. I am just saying that it is a tool that we have to help improve a lawn. It works. I know because I use it. I do several lawns a year and most with success and even better without irrigation by the home owner because of the time of year that it is typically done. The plugs and holes DO provide soil for the seed to have contact with. Also, typically where the lawn may be very thin, I will double or triple aerate the area, seed and then drag a couple times with a rake and always get pretty good results as well. It is a quick and easy way to improve a lawn.

My only question, that I wish I knew is, what is the germination rate? What percentage of loss of seed is there? And how late in the year does this worsen? I see my best results with the lawns that are done earlier in the "aeration season" (for me late august until late october considering enough soil moisture to do so) I use a 50/50% blue/rye mix from late August to later Sept, then switch to a 75/25% blue/rye, then to 100% rye around the first week of Oct. I always prefer to over-seed earlier in the year, but you all know we get the calls much later than any of us would recommend for over-seeding, in which I do my best to educate the customer.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:43 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is online now
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Interesting questions. How much aeration is enough? How much is too much? How deep should you go? 2 inches? One-inch? Half-inch?
I see the problem as, after you plant the seed...in an experiment...how do you tell which part is new grass--and which is old grass?
Perhaps a test could be simplified by running the test on bare soil. Compare different depths and different numbers of holes per sq foot. Simple to do...just count out 1000 seeds per square foot. And have at it.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:06 PM
lalllc lalllc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RigglePLC View Post
Interesting questions. How much aeration is enough? How much is too much? How deep should you go? 2 inches? One-inch? Half-inch?
I see the problem as, after you plant the seed...in an experiment...how do you tell which part is new grass--and which is old grass?
Perhaps a test could be simplified by running the test on bare soil. Compare different depths and different numbers of holes per sq foot. Simple to do...just count out 1000 seeds per square foot. And have at it.
the depth should be no more than past your second knuckle on your finger. you can tell if grass is old if it is shooting rhizomes in a fescue. and blue grass is a big tuff. I would say for how we do it(plug) is we take a pass one way then cross it once. more in clay by one cross pass.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2012, 08:22 PM
Cadzilla Cadzilla is offline
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Aeration and over seeding is for rookies and Tru Greens of the world. If you want to install and grow seed you have to have a machine seeder.

I won't even sell aeration and over seeding.

The Lesco Renovator 2 is a bullet and a money maker. I have one thats five years old, looks new and has generated close to 100,000 in revenues.
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