How fast can I slit seed?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lawnjocky, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. lawnjocky

    lawnjocky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    Just purchased a used Ryan slit seeder and I would like to start making it pay for itself this season. I need some idea of how many square feet can be seeded in an hour so I can figure quote's. The lawn's I expect to be doing will be under 4000 sq. ft. Short of going out and doing a test drive I really have no idea how much seeding time to plan for. Would someone help me with real world numbers?
    Thank's
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Well, know that you'll be doing it twice...in opposite directions (or 45 degree angles is recommended). Take it out and run it inyour yard a little bit, and go by the area and multiply it. I'm thinking that doing it with the Lesco takes about 15 minutes per 1000 when I figured it up. That is including the double pass. One of the tricks is to get the turnarounds down pat so you are quick with them. I don't shut the seed hopper when turning, because it takes too much time. Now, with yours, I think the seed gate automatically shuts off when the machine is lifted (nice feature). I don't know if yours is hydrostatically driven or not, so the speed will be a bit different. (The Lesco only moves at 2 mph). The most important thing is, regardless of HOW fast or slow it goes, is make sure your seed calibration is right. With the hydro models, the charts show the exact setting for rate, but with the non-driven models, it wil vary, because the blades more or less pull it along. Keep your speed steady. Once you ge your rates downpat, and you know what settings it takes, you may be able to let the machine move a bit faster, and bump the setting (opening) up a bit. That would be nice. Also, remember; when reading the ettings, you have to cut that in half, because yo will be going over it twice. In other words, if the needs call for 8 lbs. per 1000 (like tttf), you have to set the machine for 4 lbs. per 1000. Oh,...the Tufco claims to do 30,000 sq. ft. per hour, but this machine moves at 3.5 mph. That's a pretty good clip. Also, this is only rated at a once-over, I'm sure. Anyway, enjoy this machine, because you got one of the finest. I hope this helps.
     
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Just one more thing to add to Joe post
    Seeding after a little rain when the ground is not rock hard will make it faster and easier on the machine and knifes
     
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    GREAT point...the same applies for aerating. Also, for renovation purposes, always cut the grass (or other vegetation) down real low like scalping right after it is sprayed (a day or so). This prevents alot of excess thatch (grass) on top after the slit seeding. Sometimes, it's just excessive. Also, if you are just incorporating more seed into an existing cultivar, the grass should be cut down low, as well. This way, moderate light can get through to the new seed. Keep it watered! :)
     
  5. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    I love to read these posts..Seeding after a little rain or when the lawn is damp will plug up the seed ports on the Ryan also dampness will plug up the clear down tubes..Keep and eye on them when seeding. Be careful on some property the unit will not do hills. Was not designed for hills and will just not do them. It was designed for golf use and redesigned for lawn use later. The unit is top heavy so keep that in mind. It will slow you down considerable on slopes if you can do them at all. In case you are wondering I helped develop the unit back in the mid 80s
     
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Then you should have done a better job at designing :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  7. Surf'n'Turf

    Surf'n'Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Classic! If I may add, could you have made it any more slow or cumbersome to use? :confused:
     
  8. Dr Green

    Dr Green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    each renovator has its plus and minuses. Ryan is not most user friendly.

    One tip. I keep a posting sign stick in my back pocket. If possible to stop blades and go over driveway for a turn around, you will see if you have a clogged tube not dropping seed. Then you have to poke with the stick to clear it out..
     

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