1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

How much to run the slit seeder only

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by stumpman, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. stumpman

    stumpman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Question on slit seeding prices


    I have question about the pricing of slit seeding. I have seen prices of $35.00 to $75.00 per 1000 sq.ft. Some say that includes the slit seeding, grass seed, fertilizer and the labor of spreading the fertilizer. Others say that includes the slit seeding, and grass seed only. With the price of Turf Type Fescue seed going up and down (mostly up), I would like to know how much do you charge for just running the machine (slit seeder, power seeder) per 1000 sq.ft.. I want a base to start from and then add the price of the seed and fertilizer. And do most of you aervate before slit seeding?
  2. atouchofnature

    atouchofnature LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I sometimes give prices in the format of $X + price of seed & fertilizer. In such a case, I base the price at $40/1000 sq ft, then add marked up cost of seed & fert. This is for a level lawn with minimal obstructions/obstacles.

    I usually pay $1 - $1.50 per lb for the seed, depending upon how much I buy at a time. For this seed I charge $2 per lb and spread it for free.

    There are a few varieties that I only use in special situations that cost close to $2 per lb. In those cases, I mark up the seed cost by 30% or so and spread it for free

    For fertilizer, I charge double what I paid for it and spread it for free with a minimum charge of $30 for the fertilizer end.
  3. stumpman

    stumpman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36


    Do you aeravate the lawn before you slit seed. If so is that included in the slit seeding or do you charge so much a 1,000 sq.ft. to aeravate.
  4. atouchofnature

    atouchofnature LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I usually charge around $10 per 1000 sq. ft. for my "regular" customers who are on a full service lawn program for core aeration.

    One time customers usually pay in the $15 per 1000 sq ft neighborhood for core aeration.

    Again, this is for a level lawn without obstructions or obstacles.

    If the customer wants to add liquid aeration, I add 50% to the core aeration price and apply immediately after the core aeration.

    The slit seeder will often pull up a fair amount of thatch that will need to be raked up and hauled away, so if you aerate immediately before slit seeding, you will wind up hauling away some of the plugs when you rake up the thatch.

    From some of the posts on this forum, it looks like many operators don't rake up the thatch, but to me it seems pointless to pull it up and then leave it there where it will wind up back where it started. In some cases of very thin lawns, or lawns without much thatch, you will pull up little or no thatch, and in those cases I leave the thatch in place so it can help retain moisture, so in such a case, I might aerate immediately before slit seeding. You just have to take a look at the situation and make a decision from there.

    For lawns that I expect to pull up a lot of thatch, I aerate 2 or 3 days before slit seeding and ask the customer to water each evening so the plugs begin to break down. I also apply the starter fertilizer on the same day as the aeration so it will have some time to get into the soil and be waiting for the seed. Then the slit seeder will break up the plugs so they are less likely to wind up mixed in the thatch when I rake it and haul it away. If I don't have the luxury of making 2 trips to the lawn, for whatever reason, I aerate immediately after removing the thatch, then broadcast seed to make up for any that I might have raked up (which will not be much at all).

    I hope my answer wasn't too confusing. There are a lot of variables that can change my price, as well as methods. Also keep in mind that your overhead will definitely not be the same as mine, so you may wind up losing money using my pricing, and on the other hand you might be able to charge less than me, so definitely do some math to figure it out before you quote any prices. For example, I have my teenage daughter and brother who help me with renovations and work for a percentage of gross profits rather than hourly rate. I also own my equipment outright, so no payments or rental fees are involved.

    Good luck.

Share This Page