Are there pro slit seeder that ACTUALLY slit seed, or are they all Drop N' Bash?

chilly81

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
Every "slit/slice seeder" I can find seems to just drop seed then agitate the ground AND THE SEED (since they all drop in front of the agitator). Some use aeration, most use slicing blades.

I believe this is still helpful, and plan to do it.... BUT the marketing and terminology gives the impression that these things are slicing and sowing seeds in the furrow created. That is false in any machine I've seen. If you believe seed dropping from 8"+ from holes less than 1" apart is going to drop seeds in clean rows, I have a bridge I can sell you.

I thought I had seen mention of a machine that would slice with discs and the seed would be dropped against the disks and end up falling into the slit. These seems feasible, but I can't find anything like that anywhere. Does anyone have or know of something like that?

Long story short, since I see no real 'slit seeding' going on, my plan is to just use my normal broadcast spreader to get good even seed distribution. Then just go over it with a slit seeder a couple times to rough things up. Since they all do this anyway, I don't think it would damage the seed.

Does my logic seem sound here, or am I missing something?
 

Mac-s Lawn & Snow

LawnSite Bronze Member
The Olathe model 84 did exactly what you are talking about. They haven't been made in atleast 30 years. Toro bought them out for their leaf sweepers but I don't the slit seeder was ever rebadged toro. I think maybe theres something similiar with a tractor 3point pto mount.
 
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chilly81

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
Wow that Olathe is an old beast. So then most residential professionals would use a similar style slit seeder to the ones I could rent? Just more commercial grade, but same general approach, and with good results it seems. I guess a professional might use the hopper just for time efficiency vs. a separate broadcast pass, but for me it's not a big deal to get even spreading vs. trying to fart around with trying to get comfortable with some integrated hopper that I'll only ever use once. Residential guys probably wouldn't be using a big 3point tractor style one - only for big commercial situations I would guess?
 

Trees Too

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
USDA Zone 6a
 

RedSox4Life

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Mass
Depends what your seeding into.
Bare dirt? Yeah maybe a slit seeder isn’t ideal. That’s not it’s role IMO.

Regarding seed dropping directly into the furrows……I personally havnt seen any machines advertised that way. All the literature Ive read seems to claim the seed gets dropped either in or close to the furrow…..where water then washes the seed into the furrow…..and then more water also closes the furrow.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
The Bluebird and Husqvarna slit seeders that I've used cut a slot, drop seeds from a hopper in the back and then a rear flap smoothes it over. I find them good for very smooth ground. If it's all humpy, lumpy, bumpy I use a dethatcher, which you can set deeper, and then broadcast the seed. There can be quite a lot of cleanup to do after using a dethatcher though.
 
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chilly81

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
Depends what your seeding into.
Bare dirt? Yeah maybe a slit seeder isn’t ideal. That’s not it’s role IMO.

Regarding seed dropping directly into the furrows……I personally havnt seen any machines advertised that way. All the literature Ive read seems to claim the seed gets dropped either in or close to the furrow…..where water then washes the seed into the furrow…..and then more water also closes the furrow.

You're probably right about the literature actually now that I think about it. I think I got that impression more from all the guides and videos and everything on the internet more than from the manufacturers themselves. All the ones I've seen drop the seed before cutting the slit... so of course they can't drop it in - actually you can see the drop holes don't even line up with the blades anyway. But like you said, a fair amount probably makes it in there from the pounding then watering. And whatever doesn't still probably has better contact from the general agitation of the soil etc.

I'm doing a fairly poor lawn, but only a few bare spots. I think this will work out pretty well - just wanted to make sure I understood how it worked.
 
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chilly81

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
The Bluebird and Husqvarna slit seeders that I've used cut a slot, drop seeds from a hopper in the back and then a rear flap smoothes it over. I find them good for very smooth ground. If it's all humpy, lumpy, bumpy I use a dethatcher, which you can set deeper, and then broadcast the seed. There can be quite a lot of cleanup to do after using a dethatcher though.

Interesting - I hadn't seen those two. Have seen the Lesco, Classen, and Billy Goat ones.... I think I only have access to Lesco Renovator 20 or Classen TS20. Hard to tell which would be better - was going to go off name alone and try the Lesco I guess. Tiny chance i can get a Billy Goat which looks better for uneven ground - kind of pivots in the middle so the cutters track better it seems. Need to call one place in the morning. I think the lesco does have a brush behind like those you mention.

Sadly my yard is the definition of humpy lumpy bumpy and way too big for me to ever level out. I'm just going to give it the best shot I can to thicken things up to keep the weeds down - I have terrible weed pressure on 3 sides of unmaintained yards :( I think it's thin enough so I won't have a substantial amount of thatch come up.... I can see dirt between the grass blades in most areas still.
 

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