Slice seeder with disc vs without

BrendonTW

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oklahoma City
Hello all,

Needing some help, we have always overseeded on bare ground with very slight scarifying of the soil with power rake. Wanting to improve results. Trying to decide between a simple slice seeder like a billy goat, exmark, blue bird, etc. vs the more sophisticated ones like a Ryan mataway with the discs that actually turn the soil over onto the seed. Quite a bit more expensive for option two.

Opinions on the different types?
 

Rick Engasser

LawnSite Member
Excellent question, I have been looking for university/controlled testing of the seeding advantages for several years. Turfcobob has weighed in on that subject on this site several years ago. He had first hand experience with both types.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Good question, Brendon.
I would like to see some side-by-side comparisons. Seed then cut slits--or cut slits, then seed.
University turf departments are happy to do this--if the equipment companies pay them.
But maybe there is a risk a competing company would would win, in a direct comparison.
How would you estimate the percent germination?
You need three steps: cut short, aerate, cut grooves (verticut), sow seed, pulverize cores, and then apply the core soil and clippings on top.
Maybe 6 steps. Topdress? And then roll, and then water every day for 30 days.
Which of the five steps is most important? Should any of the steps be done twice? Can any of the steps be skipped?
Would hydro-seeding work as well or better?
As always, I suggest double seed, which will result in establishment of a thicker stand of new grass.
This needs some experimentation. Anybody willing? For instance on 10 sqft plots: standard, double and triple seed.
 
OP
BrendonTW

BrendonTW

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oklahoma City
I don't suppose there is a significant difference or I imagine we would have had more input. I would love to do a trial between the two but don't have either machine yet lol.
 

That Guy Gary

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
SW Idaho
I don't suppose there is a significant difference or I imagine we would have had more input. I would love to do a trial between the two but don't have either machine yet lol.
Here's my view on them and why you might find it hard to get opinions.

They aren't necessary to start a lawn from seed. There are many ways to do it with tools already available and get great results.

The real benefit these machines offer is efficiency. They do an excellent job of placing seed at an ideal depth for germination. You can use half the seed and get great results.

No big deal when planting 10k sq ft but a nice chunk of change saved when planting 10 acres.

It's a money saver that becomes a money maker with enough volume.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Turboguy are you here?
Why not mow short and hydroseed?
Quick and easy.

Reminds me of an experiment last year. Pre-germinate, but no need to dry the seed. Add a pound of seed to a gallon of water. Pre-germinate overnight. Spray it onto the soil in a fat stream. It does not spray too well. Seeds plug filters, spray wands and nozzles, and needs lot of agitation. I used a hand sprayer. A watering can, with the nozzle removed worked fairly well.
It also works with a half-inch diameter garden hose and then siphoned onto the soil. Use a hose shut-off as a valve.
Green dye and fert optional.
Someone must have found a method that works.
 

zlandman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Ohio
Every slice seeder I've rented has been crap. If its moist enough for the machine to actually cut it loads up with thatch and stops cutting. Too dry and it tickles the soil.

On small areas I've used my stihl tiller with straight tines to slice grooves. Had moderate success with that but still issue with thatch loadup.

I'll watch for posts from someone who's found good results.
 

sjessen

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Knoxville, Tn
Every slice seeder I've rented has been crap. If its moist enough for the machine to actually cut it loads up with thatch and stops cutting. Too dry and it tickles the soil.

On small areas I've used my stihl tiller with straight tines to slice grooves. Had moderate success with that but still issue with thatch loadup.

I'll watch for posts from someone who's found good results.
Have read that slice seeders are the go to when it is very dry because the knives shatter the soil. When the soil is wet/damp the knives make grooves.

Watering afterwards is still the determiner of success or failure.
 

CHARLES CUE

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
BURTON WV
I run a slit seeder works very nice for best results go in 2 differt directions makes a nice seed bed. mine is self propelled i have used the ones that are not they are tough to run. I never use the disk one i have seen them and if you can put it on a tractor they look ok but as a walk behind they look hard to work with.
 

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