Best conditions to Spring slice seed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,286

    Like most of you, last summer took a toll on lawns around here. When the snow fully comes off and things dry out, I expect to see a lot of patchy lawns due to death from drought and/or disease. Also expect to get some spring slice seed calls (normally don't get hardly any). Conditions wise, when is the best time to slice up an existing lawn? Talking northern lawns here, with a per rye/KBG mix.
    What soil temp should be a starting point?

    My gut says, you want to do this work before the existing grass fully 'wakes up' so the seedlings have a better chance to make it and not get choked out. Around there, that timing would be late April/very early May.

  2. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Yep, late April early May to mid May would be a good time to slit seed. You want the Spring rains, since most people won't water every day like they should to help the new grass seed germinate.

    You can also pre-soak your grass seed, so it will wash off it's coating to keep it from germinating when sitting in it's bag/container. You would fill a bucket larger enough to hold your grass seed. Place the new grass seed into your container and soak the grass seed for 24 hours. Then spread it out on a tarp and let it dry for a day. This way your grass seed to germinate quicker and the customer will see results sooner than later.

    You will need the ground drier, because you don't want your slit/slicing blades to turn into a mini rototiller from the winter snow/moisture soaking into the ground. You would have one muddy mess!!!

    Then spread a starter fertilizer on the new grass seed area and ask the customer to water each day for 20 minutes for 3 weeks.

    For me, I will be using organic compost this Spring instead for slit seeding. The old/dead grass makes a great seed bed, and spreading 1/4" to 1/2" of organic compost over the new grass seed will add moisture, works like starter fertilizer, improves soil condition, and helps hold moisture better. Plus the customer only needs to water every two to three days....since it keeps the ground moist to promote germination.

    Good luck!!! And post your before and after pictures!!!
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We expect the 1st mowing, maybe even a 2nd,, during April...

    I'd start seeding as soon a you can safely run the slicer over the lawn... smaller areas I toss seed by hand and let the freeze/thaw set it for me... even way up north we may very well have germination in lateApril early May...
    winter seed perhaps sooner...

    I hope to have pix to document how the Dormant Seeding went and how this Spring's overseeding goes... that is IF spring ever comes... :)

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