slitseeding in the spring

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Old 03-30-11, 07:59 PM
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slitseeding in the spring

From what i have read, slit seeding is best in the fall. Has anyone had success in the spring? My lawn is good but thin.

Also, if I slit seed, does that mean i can not use scotts step 1?

thanks
birch
I live on Long Island
 
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Old 03-31-11, 10:40 AM
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Hi Birch:

I wasn't familar with the term "slit seeding" so I got this definition from the Scotts web site:

"In order for grass seed to germinate, it must be in constant contact with moist soil. A "slit seeder" is a gasoline-powered machine that slices even rows into the soil, and drops grass seed directly into those rows to improve seed-soil contact. Slit seeders are most typically used to apply seed over an existing lawn, where mature grass or weeds may get in the way of the new seed. The slit seeder may tear up some existing grass, but the new seedlings will fill any thin areas within a few weeks. Slit seeders can typically be rented from equipment-rental stores."

I read this as basically overseeding with mechanical help to prepare a seed bed. Sounds better than the rake I've used.

Here are the reasons why doing this in the spring would cause problems with Step 1:
1) If you make the slits and apply the seed BEFORE applying crabgrass preventer, the seed would have trouble germinating and penetrating the barrier the preventer creates.
2) If you make the slits and apply the seed AFTER applying crabgrass preventer, you will destroy the 'barrier" and allow crabgrass to grow.

So what to do???
1) If your lawn is "good but thin", why not address the reasons why it is thin? Is it poor soil? Traffic? etc.?? If there is some reason why your lawn is thin, you'll also have the same problem with any new seed. I've improved a lot of lawns with just fixing problems a soil test discovered and applying fertilizer. A four step program does a great job along with using a mulching mower for your grass clippings.
2) If you want to go ahead and slit seed this spring, don't put down anything with a pre-emergence crabgrass killer. Just use fertilizer. After the new seed has germinated and you've cut it twice, treat any crabgrass with a post-emergent killer.
 
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Old 03-31-11, 10:41 AM
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Seeding is best done when grasses are growing at their best - fall for cool season grasses and spring for warm season grasses. That said, you can seed a cool season grass in the spring but you're more likely to see summer kill than if the grass had been seeded the previous fall.

I don't know what Scotts step 1 is but you do not want to use any pre-emergent herbicide until your seed has germinated
 
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Old 04-01-11, 02:42 PM
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[QUOTE=BigRedSoxFan;
So what to do???
1) If your lawn is "good but thin", why not address the reasons why it is thin? Is it poor soil? Traffic? etc.?? If there is some reason why your lawn is thin, you'll also have the same problem with any new seed. I've improved a lot of lawns with just fixing problems a soil test discovered and applying fertilizer. A four step program does a great job along with using a mulching mower for your grass clippings.
2) If you want to go ahead and slit seed this spring, don't put down anything with a pre-emergence crabgrass killer. Just use fertilizer. After the new seed has germinated and you've cut it twice, treat any crabgrass with a post-emergent killer.[/QUOTE]

I think it is thin because of a lage oak tree in yard which takes much of the nutrients and allows little sun. Last year I fertilized more than normal and had a real nice lawn (green), but thin.

Is there a brand/type of soil test you reccommend?
thanks
birch
 
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Old 04-01-11, 03:18 PM
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A big oak tree is a significant deterent to a good lawn, I'd think about removing it rather than wasting time and money throwing seed which will never amount to anything
 
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Old 04-02-11, 08:21 AM
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Hi Birch:

You asked: "Is there a brand/type of soil test you recommend?"

I never thought about a different brand or type. Generally I've used my local county extension service with is a service of the state agricutural university.

Here's a link to the New York service at Cornell University:

Cornell Cooperative Extension

As I remember there was a small charge and they sent a kit for me to mail in samples from my yard. They also ran a series of "Expert Gardening courses.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BigRedSoxFan View Post
Hi Birch:



Here's a link to the New York service at Cornell University:

Cornell Cooperative Extension

As I remember there was a small charge and they sent a kit for me to mail in samples from my yard. They also ran a series of "Expert Gardening courses.
Thanks..i checked the site, but didn't see anything about soil testing...

Mitch,
Removing the tree is not an option (cost/landscape). Would it make sense to "over fertilize" assuming the tree is taking the bulk of the nutrients and seed using a part sun seed blend?
thanks
birch
 
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Old 04-04-11, 10:00 AM
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I'd get rid of the grass beneath the drip edge of the tree and put in mulch

Oak trees and beautiful lawns are uncommon combinations
 
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Old 04-04-11, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
I'd get rid of the grass beneath the drip edge of the tree and put in mulch

Oak trees and beautiful lawns are uncommon combinations
Thanks for replies. i am definitely not going to seed this spring, but will try in fall. Like mitch says, the tree is a problem but also permanent...thanks again
 
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Old 04-06-11, 10:21 AM
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Hi Birch:

Use the site to find the telephone number of your county extension service. Call that place and they can tell you about the soil testing.
 
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