spreading wet pre-soaked rye seed

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Coachbob, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    situation - alumni softball game on a secondary field this Saturday 12/22 in SoCal. I only Have two weeks to close field for over-seeding after the game. It’s a small outfield of 15,000 square feet. I am considering soaking the seed for a couple of days but won’t be able to dry it. I have a Lesco with the stock agitator which didn’t handle wet seed in an experiment today. I have time to put a breakthrough agitator on it, but not sure that will do the trick (has anyone tried?). How can i get an even spread of 150 lbs of wet seed?

    Thank you,

  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    You won't be able to spread that wet seed. You have irrigation right ? Just keep the seed wet after you put it down. Soil temps are whats going to slow everything down. If 2 weeks is all you have, then that's all you have. Just document and take pictures of everything. You will probably be fine.
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,250

    Couldn’t you use a slit seeder instead of broad casting it?
  4. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    I was hoping there was some kind of trick to getting it through the spreader. I plan to top the seed with compost to warm it up some. I hope that works okay.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,373

    Spread the seed out on a garage floor to less than a quarter inch thick. Add a couple fans for more air circulation. Add heat to lower humidity, if possible. It should dry in 24 hours.
    If necessary, mix it with Milorganite, which will help dry it out. Should be spreadable.

    I did a test.

    Wet seed can be spread using the water as the carrier. In water suspension it settles out quickly; it needs to be agitated almost continuously. I used a 2 gallon watering can. (OK, but this would be slow.) For a large field, I suggest use a short garden hose, from trash can or drum on a trailer. Siphon the seed in water suspension onto the ground. Attach a hose valve to control the flow--or better--just kink the hose to control the outflow of the seed slurry. Move the hose rapidly back and forth, to assure an even application of the flowing water slurry. Using a siphon, the flow is very low pressure, maybe 5 lbs psi. For faster flow you can use a larger hose--maybe an inch diameter. If you want to put your thumb over the stream to help spread the flow and throw the stream a little farther--so be it.

    A sprayer could perhaps be used, but the slurry would probably clog the filter and pump quickly. Do not start the pump, Unless it is centrifugal. However if the sprayer had a drain valve--possibly the hose could be attached at that point. Your assistant walks behind and tries to soak every square inch of the prepared soil or turf. If no drain valve, just bring the hose out of the hatch cover and down to your applicator guy.

    Do not siphon by mouth--fill the hose to start it.

    Of course--any hydroseeding contractor would probably be happy to help you--and would have suitable equipment.

    If you insist on using a spreader. Just fill it full of the water suspension of seed in water. I have not actually tried this. Watch out --it will leak fast. Should hold about 20 gallons. Break-thru agitator should work fine.
    I don't know how much to mix--maybe a pound of seed per gallon.
    Calibration--you are on your own. Do a couple plain water tests to establish the basic parameters. Wear boots.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  6. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Interesting you tried this. I was going to mix in some giberellic acid to the slurry after reading
    An article saying to do so, and soak for 48 hours. I really doubt i can dry it. I’m going to put on the breakthrough and try it again. If that doesn’t work i might have to call a hydro seed company for advice. Do you think it will dry in a steel shopping container with ambient temps at about 50 at night?
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,373

    Coach Bob, shipping container for drying the seed--I am doubtful. I guess the fire took out your "permanent building".
    Can you drive the seed to a warm city with low humidity? Phoenix comes to mind. Las Vegas? Its a business expense, right? They say Death Valley is nice at this time of year.
    Experiment a bit with a watering can or water bottle to spread a seed slurry, as a test. Do a practice test with agitation, water and the siphon hose. The water looks a bit brown when properly agitated and the seed is in it.
    Can you do the seed water soaking time with fairly warm water? Is it practical to add some annual rye? AR is probably 24 hours faster.

    I hope this works out for you. Get pictures.
  8. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    funny guy, yeah Vegas should work.

    This guy made an interesting hydroseeder.

  9. Coachbob

    Coachbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    A thought just occured to me. what if you put an industrial vibrator on the spreader hopper to get the seed moving down to the impeller? Might work.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,373

    Interesting home made hydroseeder on the video. Siphon should work--just slower.

    Sure--park at the casino on Fremont Street. Or maybe Mesa Arizona. Spread the seed out in the back of your pickup or in the next parking space. Does the pavement get hot? After a few hours at the slots. Sweep up the dry seed. Be ready to scare away the seagulls. It is a long way to the ocean, right?
    Does it get hot in your truck when parked in the sun? Got a topper on your pickup? Painted black? Spread seed out in the bed. Should dry in a few hours. A fan would help. Pull out the humid air.
    Good luck at the slots, also with the seed and the likely green infield.
    If stay home, you can spread the seed out on some widow screens--and elevate the screens a few inches off the floor--it would drain better and dry quicker with the air circulating under the seed. Stir it occasionally.

    Mix with Milorganite to facilitate spreading.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    Coachbob likes this.

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