Fall Seeding..."The Options"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jrblawncare, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    When looking to do fall seeding what are your deciding factors on which process is best to use ? example: Double Aeration w/Overseed vs Power Seeding . Are you looking at the good existing coverage ? Are the end results the same or is one better than the other ? THANKS
  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Assume you mean overseeding an existing turf. In any seeding, success is determined by seed to soil contact: cast seed by hand over an existing thin lawn, and you get only about a 15% successful germination rate. Slit seed in the same turf, and you get more like a 65% rate.

    So the object is to have seed in contact with soil. Ideal planting of most grass seed is to be planted 1/32" to 1/16" deep into soil. Slit seding cuts grooves in the soil for seed to drop into. Aeration pulls up plugs of soil to be dissolved around the seed. Both can be beneficial.
  3. In my opinion slit seeding is best much better seed germination then just areation and broadcasting the seed with a spreader.

    Small seeds like bluegrass seeds should be like groundkrs said around 1/16 inch deep.

    The larger seeds like tall fescue can be a 1/4 deep and come up good.
    We have ryan matteway slit seeders they have been good machines for us.
  4. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    Yes Jim , overseeding existing turf. I'am offering aeration w/overseeding..... just wondering if some of these lawns would be better off power seeded rather than the aeration w/overseed.Working with mostly Fescue.I guess what I'am looking for is what determinates which process is better for any given lawn.
  5. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Another option, which is the one I use, is to do as you have suggested ... aerate and then overseed and fert., but then after you have done that, get a JRCO tine rake dethatcher on the front of your machine and make one or two passes over the area.
    I know that many here do not see or fell there is any benefit of usefulness to the JRCO dethatcher, but in this particular case, it not only makes that 1/8 inch or so slit for the seed to fall into, it also breaks up the cores. If there is a bit of thatch pulled up, no big deal, it will shade the seed from birds and help keep it moist. And if you have ever used a renovator (slice-seeder) they do pull up a little bit of thatch like material also which is usually left in place.
    By this method, you have a less expensive investment vs. a slice-seeder and get pretty much the same result.
  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Core aeration helps existing turf by loosening soil for better root growth. Core aeration helps when overseeding by bringing more loose soil to the surface for seed/soil contact.

    Slit seeding is a good way to overseed, for soil contact. Aeravation is probably the best method for overseeding, but aeravator is a relatively expensive machine.

    So, help the existing turf by aeration, and then slit seed (ideally just after cores have dried). You'll get more success with seed germination using both processes.

    On a complete renovation, where levelling of the lawn is not necessary, I will Roundup the old turf, mow at about 1" in 3 weeks, then aerate 3-4 passes, then slit seed. We rarely need to overseed up here, unless trying to introduce different turf types to a lawn.
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Jim knows his stuff. We have tried it many ways in the past, but aeration (thorough) with slit seeding to follow gives the best results.
  8. dr grass

    dr grass Banned
    Messages: 242

    klm - im not to sure about leaving the thatch on the lawn. wouldnt it kill the grass. or at least leave a brown spot? just thinking out loud....


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