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Slit seeding vs. broadcast overseed then topdress

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,276

    Hypothetical question guys. For an established lawn (northern grasses, clay loam), what method of overseeding would be better for seed to soil contact and hence germination.

    1) Cut existing lawn short, then slit seed.
    2) Broadcast overseed, then topdress with layer of compost.

    Also, does it pay to core aerate before either or both of these operations to enhance results?

    Thanks much guys!
  2. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    I always core aerate before seeding.

    I have seeded both ways. Over/ slit seeding and broadcast with top dressing.

    Both methods are effective. I do like to cut the existing grass just a little shorter before seeding though.

    I always select a grass variety that will do well for the environment it is in too.
  3. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    another question to add to this thread, if the lawn is infested with various types of weed grasses and you wanted to do a new lawn would the steps be in this order?

    1. mow grass ultra short, nuke with round up?
    2. come back a week or so later and thatch/aerate/slit seed
    3. top dress and roll?

    To be honest I have never done it and want to make sure the steps are right
    before I try it. I may be buying a lawn solutions renovator at some point soon because I see a need for something like this.

    sorry to do a small hijack but it seemed along the same lines topic wise.

  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,276

    Bump - see OP.
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    Slice seeding is the best IMO!

    Slice seeding or core then slice seeding is probably your best, cheapert and simplest way.
  6. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I would Round Up two weeks before mowing it short... mow short then round up (spot) again. Seed 2+ days after that.
  7. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    I just figured if it was fresh cut it would get to the roots that much quicker.
    whats your favorite top dress to use? some kind of 3 way mix?

    By the way looking forward the Utah coming to Oregon in Sept. I rooted for them in their bowl game (impressive win) it will be a great game, 2 great teams. Man I can't wait for college football to start!
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If you have a lot of grass already, slit seeding may be your only way of achieving soil contact.
    If the surface is exposed and thin then you may be able to get by with broadcast and cover.
    If the soil is compacted at the surface, aeration is one way of breaking up the surface, but it is only a hole surrounded by impervious surface. Power rake or drag behind dethatcher works better for seeding, then cover with compost.

    Still have thin spots in November???... overseed during the first permanent snow storm. Freezing/thawing cycle of spring - plants the seed and sprouts it when the soil warms. It is a great backup for a lackluster performance in the fall.
  9. cpa4t9r

    cpa4t9r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    ++1 Smallaxe

    If you're gonna use Roundup, don't cut it beforehand - you want it be absorbed by the foliage - that's how it gets to the roots, not whether the top of grass is closer to the roots.

    Slit seeding is the best. I core before and then slit seed, which helps chop up the cores too. I cut shorter than usual, but they say you don't really need to if you're slit seeding because its all about soil contact. No need to stress out the existing grass if you have a good stand.
  10. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Have a question here also, this is my plan too as of this fall; core before and then slit seed and top dress with compost.

    My question is going to be on the compost. I will be renting the power seeder and doing all that in one day. Then spreading the compost by hand and since I'm the only one doing it that part will take a week maybe more.

    Will my seed end up rotting if it's not making contact prior to my getting to it with the compost?

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