Slit or power seeding

Slit or power seeding

fish13131 – posted 22 June 2004 14:31

I live outside Philadelphia and my home is new construction. Lawn was seeded last summer and is still fairly thin. In the fall I plan to overseed with a mixture of Bluegrass/Ryegrass/Creeping Red Fescue.

Question #1 – Should I slit seed or powerseed? Any advantage to either? My soil is in fairly good shape but still a little heavy on the clay.

Question #2 – I want to lime again in the fall. Can I do this at the same time as an over-seeding/fertilization or is that too much at once? I don’t want to harm the germination rate of the seed as I spent a lot of money on some quality grasses.


ted – posted 22 June 2004 20:17

if you have a new lawn you probably don’t need to dethatch yet. just overseed it in the fall. you can lime in the fall when you seed. how do you know you need lime??? need to soil test it first.

fish13131 – posted 23 June 2004 04:57

Thanks ted. Soil tested last year. Called for 50lbs per 1000 sq feet. Have not laid all that at once and have to do 10 more per 1000 sq feet this fall. Good to know I can do it at the same time.

So do you have a preference for slit or power seeding? Is slit seeding also de-thatching and is that why you brought up thatch?

cohiba – posted 23 June 2004 13:06


The main part of overseeding is to ensure good seed to soil contact. Powerseeding and/or slitseeding will give you the desired results: Bring soil to the surface to cover the seed. Here’s what we do: 1)Mow a little shorter than usual, without scalping.2) Broadcast out the seed at the desired rate: 4-8 lbs per 1000 sq.ft depending on the seed type and level of renovation.3) Slit seed in two directions, if the lawn can tolerate it, going deep(1.5″). 4) Drag a fence or drag mat around to ensure the seed is covered by the soil.5)Rake up debris and remove. 6)Fertilize if needed and keep moist, not wet. Mow when the new turf is up and growing.7) No Herbicides until late October, early November. In our area the best time to do this is in late August through September. Note: If Perennial Ryegrass is in your plan hold off until later in September. The reason for this is a disease called Gray Leaf Spot (Blast, down south). The tender new ryegrass will be desemated by this disease in September. We actually hold off until October with all of our ryegrass seeding.

Good Luck………….

ted – posted 23 June 2004 20:06

that’s exactly it, but i can’t help but wonder why the dethatching? seems like a unnecessary step with a new lawn. i know it’s the ultimate method using a mataway overseeder, but i’m wondering if a typical homeowner needs to go this far? maybe a problem with thatch in rye i’m not familiar with?

cohiba – posted 24 June 2004 19:37

Pure rye will never, but NEVER have a thatch problem. Physiologically impossible. The same mechanical function that dethatches will bring up soil when adjusted to the correct depth. If compaction were an issue then I would recommend aeration in at least two directions to bring soil to the surface. In place of the slit seeding. The final determining factor may be the cost and availability of the rental equipment! Bottom line: For a successful overseeding you need these things: seed to soil contact, adequet moisture, correct temperatures, proper timing.

Good Luck…………

fish13131 – posted 25 June 2004 08:15

GOT IT. So go with the slit seeding and/or power seeding. I don’t have thatch so I assume powerseeding is okay?

And since there is rye in the mix wait until 3rd week of Sept.

Sound good?

ted – posted 25 June 2004 15:17

powerseeding IS slit seeding- the machine you may be able to rent is a Ryan Mataway overseeder- does seeding and dethatching in one pass. as cohiba said, you would want to make 2 passes with a half rate on the seed in a criss cross pattern. you can also rent a dethatcher and accomplish the same goal using a broadcast spreader afterwards. lots easier on a homeowner to rent a dethatcher, but i still don’t know why you couldn’t just overseed it. folks in texas with super thatchy st. augustine can overseed rye into 2-3 year old sod without doing anything! good luck

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