Best way to apply grass seed - drop spreader or over-seeder?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by 1966vette, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    I plan to dormant seed my 1 acre Kokomo, IN lawn next week & I’m concerned about the best way to apply the small expensive premium blend Kentucky bluegrass seed.
    The local equipment rental – either Bluebird “rear seeder dispense” & Billy Goat “front seeder dispense” over-seeders appear to have a crude and inaccurate way to dispense seed. This is very important to me because I plan to use Kentucky bluegrass seed which is very small compared to rye.
    The seed rate for KGB is only 3# /1,000 sq ft new lawn – if I cut that in ½ and apply the seed N-S and then E-W. The seed needs to be accurately distributed at only 1.5 # / 1,000.
    The situation gets worse when over-seeding:
    The seed rate for KGB is only 1.5# /1,000 sq ft over-seeding – if I cut that in ½ and apply the seed N-S and then E-W. The seed needs to be accurately distributed at only .75# / 1,000.
    Does anyone have experience using either of the above over-seeders at this low application rate?
    Can the above equipment accurately apply the small expensive KBG seed at .75# / 1,000 sq ft?
    I have a 24 year old Scott precision flow drop seeder which appears to offer a more accurate way to apply seed. I want to do this job correct the 1st time!

    Thanks in advance for helping!
  2. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    Thanks to everyone for the reply and information!

    This is what I learned so far:

    1. The seed distribution method of a Bluebird or Billy Goat Over-seeder is very inaccurate.
    2. Drop spreaders are more accurate then broadcast spreaders. My almost classics, 24 years old Scott’s PF2 drop spreader is most likely as accurate as any on the market today.
    3. The spreader should be calibrated prior to use to ensure accurate seed distribution.
    4. Seeding an acre 43,560 sq ft with a 20 inch wide drop spreader is a job for the wife.
    5. If the seeder is in the front of the over seeder – the seed will be sliced in the soil.
    6. If the seeder is in the rear it will be distributed on top of the sliced soil.
    7. It is recommend applying grass seed in 2 directions - North-South then East-West
    8. Kentucky Blue grass is the best spreading grass.

    Thanks Again!
    Stay in the fight for Christ!
  3. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Coupla thoughts, here. Rent a heavier lawn renovator unit, like a ryan, turfco, or Lesco renovator. Most all are 20" wide, but the wheels add 6", more or less on each side of the seeder. That means you need to over lap each pass, on each side, you want the grooves along edges of each pass to look just like the center. The heavier slit seeders mentioned above are also self propelled, have better seed boxes (anything with a Gandy seed box is a quality unit), and the weight makes a difference when you hit a stone, or tree root. Don't go up and down hills, gravity + rain+ a slot cut into a hill = washed out seed. Go across the slope. Don't set the machine any deeper than needed to make a uniform slot, all the same across the width of the machine. Finally, don't put too much seed down, you are only tilling up a small portion of the entire lawn area, set the rate at about 1/4-1/5 th the bare ground seeding rate, half that, if you are going over twice. Just my $.02:waving:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009

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