Lawn installation by slit seeder

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Kurto_15, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. Kurto_15

    Kurto_15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I am going to install a few lawns this spring and am going to be using a slit seeder to do so. I was wondering when in the spring is the best time to do this, what would be the best types of seed to use for a mostly sunny area and what would be a good starter fertilizer and rate to use? Any other advice is more than welcome as I am just starting out.
    Thanks in advance
  2. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    use a fescue and blugrass blend. up there i would guess to seed about the first to middle of april, and use about 8-10 lbs seed per K. any starter fert is good , but mostly look for balanced or higher P and K then N in your fert choice. make sure you dont put the fert down too heavy, depending on the fert ratios, you are looking at around 3-4.5 lbs per K for fert.
  3. EcoGreen Services

    EcoGreen Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Take a look at for varieties tested in your area as well as which specific brands were best.

    As Grassman said, Fescue / Bluegass blends work well.

    If Michigan is about the same as southern Ontario temperature wise. It's normally the second or third week of April before the ground temperature gets up to 65F Degrees. Sometimes it's been as late as mid May here. Just depends on the weather and when the frost comes out. I imagine it will be early this year with the winter we're having. My rule of thumb is always be ready to go April 1st
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    You are almost in my back yard. By new lawns do you mean on bare soil? I am not sure if a slit seeder is the weapon of choice.
    Anyway, around here a mixture of bluegrass and perennial rye is most often used. Try to find a mix of 80 percent blue and 20 percent rye. The rye is more aggressive as a seedling and will tend to crowd out the blue--so you end up with about a 50 50 mixture. One of my favorites is Lesco's "Athletic Blend". (not the ratio I would like.)

    Begin when the grass greens up in your neighborhood--about April 15.

    Be sure to not guarantee anything as you cannot control weather or customer watering.

    Be sure to use starter fertilizer. And follow up at 3 weeks and 6 weeks with a high nitrogen booster feeding like 24-0-11 to stimulate maximum growth and rapid fill-in.
    You will need plenty of weed control for most spring seedings...send me a private message and I can set you up with a weed control and or fert program.
  5. Kurto_15

    Kurto_15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Alright, thanks guys this really helps and RigglePLC I sent you a PM, thanks for the help it is much appreciated.
  6. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    I have a few questions. Not about seed choice, but seed bed prep. Are these new lawns total new lawn or over seeding old lawn? If new, is everything leveled and smoothed out? Low spots filled in and high spots cut down?

    I find that for a completely new lawn, a slit seeder is not the best way to go. You will end up with rows of grass that will take time to fill in, look unsightly, and wide bare spaces, open to weed infestation. The best method, in my opinion, would be to run over the soil North to south-East to west with a Vertical Mower. then broadcast seed and roll it over. This method will give you complete coverage, & an even lawn, with less room for weeds.

    Slit seeders are nice for over-seeding an existing lawn.
  7. EcoGreen Services

    EcoGreen Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    You're right IMO
    Slit seeders are for overseeding.

    Because we do larger properties, for new lawns we use the tractor with a land leveler or a landscaping box depending on how bad the construction equipment left it, then a harrow. If the soil is very sandy like it is here a lot, we might till in Peat and Compost.
    Seed / Fertilizer is spread with broadcast spreaders then cover the seed with the land leveler on the lowest setting then rolled with the roller 1/2 full.
  8. Kurto_15

    Kurto_15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Well 3 of them are lawns that just have bare spots and will be overseeded, but 1 is a new construction that will be a fresh install. I haven't really decided on how to install that one yet weather it be the way you guys suggested or hydroseeder.
  9. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    Just a suggestion. On the new one, broadcast or hydro-seed which ever you choose. Bed prep is most important. Smooth out high and low spots, and scratch up the soil, for good seed/soil contact. And be sure customer understands the need for proper watering, until good germination is estasblished.
  10. EcoGreen Services

    EcoGreen Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    On smaller lawns we will loan the customer a inexpensive timer and set it up for them. Eliminates them forgetting to water and the ensuing hassles if the lawn doesn't establish properly due to improper watering.

    Most of the larger places have irrigation systems.

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