Slice seed BEFORE topdressing?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RedSox4Life, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,843

    im in renovation season. My process has generally been to aerate, topdress with about 1/4” (sometimes a bit more)of compost, then slice seed.

    This season has been very wet. The ground is holding a lot of moisture.....and the compost especially has been real wet. So the other day this combination was actually plugging up my slice seeder real bad. The job took much longer than it should’ve....and I’m nervous the results might be less than desirable. Not to mention flipping the seeder up and unplugging it by hand 20 times got to be real annoying.

    So my question.....does anyone routinely put top dressing on top of seed? If so.....how deep do you run the seeder before the seed is actually too deep?
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,022

    I don't know. This is a difficult test to try. A side by side trial with topdressing before and after seed would be best. But who has time to count the grass seed germination sprouts? (Around a thousand to 2000 per sqft.)
    So...my suggestion is to apply the topdressing after the seed. Include starter fertilizer.
     
  3. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 13,881

    A 1/4 inch of compost was clogging the slice seeder?
    Is this an overseeding ?or repair
     
  4. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,041

    I don't think a 1/4" of compost over it will really harm it. Burying the seed a 1/4" deeper makes the seedling struggle more to emerge, loose compost won't really provide any resistance.

    It's not that the seedling only has enough energy to grow 1/4" but how much soil it has the energy to break through.
     
  5. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,843

    Total kill and reseeding. Lawn was sprayed with gly 2 weeks prior. So the seeder pulling up and getting clogged with a combination of existing soil, dead grass and compost.

    I’ve done this process many times and never had this issue. I can only assume it was the wetter than usual conditions. Unfortunately a year like this.....simply “waiting til it dries out”isn’t really an option.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,843

    It’s worth mentioning that I’m not using a mechanical top dresser.....we’re broadcasting it out by hand essentially then raking it around a little. Coverage is less than uniform. I say 1/4”......but that’s just the math i use when estimating the job. Truth is there will be areas that the compost goes down much thicker.
     
  7. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 13,881

    I think of the slice seeder for hard ground just imo

    Maybe just use seeder no compost

    Or use seeder with no seed ,compost then seed

    It depends on how deep the seeder is setting the seed if you could topdress
    I've heard 1/4 " too don't know if it's a fact
     
  8. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Gold Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 3,559

    I've topdressed over seed with good results. It's my go to in small areas. No slice seeder tho. Seed was spreed with hand spreader and then compost added at a rate just shy of 1yard per 1000.
     
    That Guy Gary and hort101 like this.
  9. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,041

    Do you have a lawn roller?

    Broadcast seed, roll it, top dress is a method I've used with good results.
     
    Delmarva Keith likes this.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,022

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018

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