Looking for seeder options

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Rayholio, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Rayholio

    Rayholio LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,465

    We've landed a good seeding contract based on references from past clients.

    This contract is over a year old now, and I'm looking to improve the service.

    Currently, we seed and fertilize with a spreader, and then run a grasshopper with aera-vator to get the seed to soil contact. It works very well. The divots resist run off, and the results actually won us the contract.

    I own an MT55 bobcat, and would be willing to buy equipment as needed. I am seeding 7,000 sq ft lawns, sometimes with fences. I just don't need a huge seeder. The 70"+ models I was looking at would be too large really. 42-48" would be perfect.

    Looking for suggestions. I've looked all over, and I'm thinking at the moment that a power seeder in my size doesn't exist?

    Thanks in advance!

    hort101 likes this.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,603

    Is the seed being applied to bare soil--or an overseed situation?
    My opinion is that your setup of: seed first, fertilizer and then aera-vator is a good plan.
    It is flexible. You can go over twice with the seeder or the area-vator, or with the fert. Extra heavy seed rates are a help--costs more--but seed is cheaper than labor--usually.

    It is possible you could switch to a spiker as a means of opening the soil. Makes holes or slits but does not remove any soil. No rake-up of residue needed. (That saves a lot of work). I think it is best to sow the seed separately with a spreader--but it depends on your conditions.
    Think about a pass with a roller to press the seed into the soil. Easy and quick.


    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP

    Rayholio LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,465

    Thanks, it has been effective.. the problem mainly being that it takes 2 people about an hour to do a quarter acre.. it would save a bunch of cost to just run one employee..

    We spread half the seed, and then start aerating.. the fertilizer goes down, and then after aerating we put down the other half of the seed. Too labor intensive.

    Most of these lawns have just been Harley raked... loose, perfect soil.

    The contractor before me used a hydroseeder.. but they had really poor results.

    Thanks again!
    hort101 likes this.
  4. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 17,058

    have you heard of stinger?
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,603

    My idea --spread all the seed at once: 11 minutes. Then spread the fertilizer: 11 more minutes. Then use spiker to make thousands of holes or slits--pull a roller or cultipacker behind the spiker. If possible have one guy apply the fert and seed, while the second punches the holes or slits with the power equipment. If it is possible--cover the spreader and wear a raincoat. Apply water at the same time--at least you will know it was watered once deeply. Eat lunch while the sprinklers run a few more minutes. Don't leave until a half-inch of water is applied. Read the water meter--guarantee is void unless a inch of water is used per week.
    An inch of water on 10,000 sqft is 833 cubic feet.
    hort101 likes this.
  6. Stinger Equipment

    Stinger Equipment Sponsor
    Messages: 493

    Check out the Stinger Super Seeder 2400. Makes "commercial" power seeders feel like a toy after running the Stinger. It will do an acre per hour single pass. That pretty darn quick for only 7,000 sqft.

    Get 2 of them and be in and out in 10 minutes. Have 2 guys running 2 different direction and it will look like you unrolled new carpet in 2-3 weeks.

    Before getting into the renovation business I had a lawn care business and I started making my own seeders because the others were too slow. I would net $500 / hr part time. I have personally done 200+ lawn renovations in my day.

    Seed at 4 mph, 24" wide, with counter rotating blades that cut in like nothing else. Also powered with the largest engine of any seeder...Honda GX390 (13hp) vs 6-9 hp.

    Complete lawn renovations in and out in 30-40 min.

    hort101 likes this.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,603

    And do not forget it is fairly easy to roll the lawn to establish more seed to soil contact. Possibly, you can substitute tire tracks for rolling. Drive the equipment back and forth until every inch is firmed down. Still, there is no substitute for water. Be sure to try to do your seeding when the soil temperatures and fall weather is most favorable, 8 weeks before frost for cool season grass.

    Which is more important? Aeration, slits, water, holes in ground, starter feed, roller, double seed?
    Lots of opinions and claims are online. Nobody knows for sure. No proof. No data on percent germination.
    What about top dressing? Compost?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    hort101 likes this.
  8. Stinger Equipment

    Stinger Equipment Sponsor
    Messages: 493

    Most Important
    1. Seed to soil contact
    2. Water
    3. Double Pass (45 deg to the 1st) Make diamonds in the ground.
    4. Aerate
    hort101 likes this.
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,603

    Which method results in the best germination and "take"? And how do you prove the claim? I cannot really count the percent of grass that germinates after an overseed job.
    However, suppose you seeded something that was easy to see--and count--to determine what method is most successful. Suppose as an experiment you planted zinnias or petunias? Or maybe an annual crop like wheat or barley? Alfalfa? Clover? This way it would be easy to determine the success or failure of the verticut, seeding, aeration, topdressing and fertilizing method. And it would be easy to kill the flowers or clover. Then lawn would then be normal again.
  10. tdoeizreal

    tdoeizreal LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 577


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