To understand the answer to this question, it is important to know a bit about lawns. The nature of a grass lawn does not allow the grass to go to seed. It is kept cut short. However, that does not mean that other seeds are kept from the lawn. Dandelions, nutsedge and other weeds look at the well-watered and fertilized area and take up shop. This calls for action to keep the lawn free of weeds and looking well kept.
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What Is Slice Seeding?
To understand slice seeding or slit seeding, it is important to know a bit about lawns in general. Because they are cut on a regular basis, the grass in a lawn never goes to seed. That does not mean that the rest of the plants in the area don’t. They will often infiltrate lawns. On top of that, because plants of all types eventually die, without new seed, bare patches will appear.
Special slit seeder machines can help this process. They help to spread the seed in a way to promote a fuller, healthier lawn. Naturally, seed slicing takes some preparation before it can happen. So do other methods of improving a lawn.
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Advantages Of Slice Seeding
The slice seeding machine cuts grooves into the soil in order to plant the seed. Not only does this help it to take root, but it also helps to prevent birds and other wild animals from taking off with the seeds. It is estimated that the grass seed will germinate about sixty percent faster with this method than broadcasting by hand.
A seed splicer does have other advantages, along with some disadvantages. It is less expensive and easier to maintain, however, it doesn’t have a means of automatically pushing the seeds of grass out into the grooves.
Difference Between A Seed Slicer And An Overseeder
There is very little difference between the two machines. Both of them do the same thing, although the overseeder has a broom and mechanism to push the seed out into the groove. Both do the same job, and each has an advantage. Some say that it is easier to use than seed slicer, and others prefer the better germination rate of the overseeder.
The overseeder does require more maintenance. Without it, the shoots can clog and develop fungus which will then be spread to the lawn. On the other hand, the slice seeding machine damages the seeds sometimes as it functions while the overseeder does not.
Aeration And Hand Casting
This is a much older method of replanting grass. Because grass seed requires contact with the soil if it’s going to take root some means of getting to the soil is needed. Without it, the seed is more or less fodder for the wildlife in the area.
Aerating can be as simple as taking a pitchfork and punching holes through the thinning grass before casting the seeds. There are also aerators for this purpose. Grass seed can be cast by hand or put into a wheeled hopper and run over the area being reseeded. This is a labor-intensive way to handle reseeding, and not for large areas of lawn.
Preparing The Lawn For Slit Seeding
The first thing to do in preparing the lawn for slit seeding is to get rid of the weeds. The definition of a weed is any plant that is growing where it’s not wanted. In some lawns, this is a simple task of digging up dandelions. However, other lawns have invasive plants that are hard to get rid of in this manner.
It is suggested that large areas of lawn or areas that have nutsedge or other grass-like plants be sprayed with herbicides. This is a fast way to do it, but it is not without its dangers. Recent scientific findings and court cases indicate that some herbicides are toxic to man and beast as well as to the plants. When choosing a method to get rid of weeds, make sure to keep safety in mind.
The next step is to prevent competition amongst the remaining plants and seeds. Short of completely reseeding from scratch, there will always be seeds and other plant competition for a lawn. In order to do that, it’s time to get out the lawnmower. Set the blade to cut about half again shorter than for normal lawn maintenance.
This is called scalping the lawn, and it will look sort of like that. However, it will both make it more likely that grass will grow rather than weeds and make it easier to maneuver the seed slicer through the lawn. Cutting through roots can be hard, even for a slit seeder.
The next step is to choose the seed. There are many types of seeds, including some hybrids. It is important to find out what sort of seed will grow well in the area, whether or not it responds to the amount of sunlight available and how much water it will need. In some areas, drought-resistant grass seed is better. Others may need seeds that can handle precipitation on a regular basis.
The last step before slice seeding is to estimate the amount of seed and the rate of its flow. For those new to this process, spend some time talking to the nursery or seed supply store to get the formula. You will need to know the square footage of the area to be seed sliced.
A slice seeder machine is not a hand-operated like the lawn seed hopper. It is a powered machine with steel blades that do the slicing. To use this machine, it is important to read the instructions and follow them. Make sure to use appropriate safety gear and keep small children and pets out of the area.
How To Water A Seed Sliced Lawn
Watering after slice seeding is different from watering after new sod installation. For the first three weeks, the newly planted lawn should be watered lightly every day. At this point, saturating the soil is not a good idea, as the seeds will wash away.
The following three weeks the watering should be more thorough, but only two or three times during the week. It is not advisable to water in the evening unless it can’t be helped. Find out if there are any water restrictions in the area before slit seeding.
The first mowing should be done when the lawn needs it. However, be sure that the lawnmower blade height is returned to three point five inches, or whatever the setting is for the grass seed chosen.
Choosing a method to reseed a lawn depends on a lot of factors. Small areas may not need the expense of a slice seeding or overseeder. However, larger areas will most likely need one or the other. In order to make the best choice for your lawn, speak to a lawn care professional.
It would be best to speak to someone who maintains lawns for a living over a salesperson. The lawn care professional will not try to sell you something you don’t need. They will also be able to help you select the seeds, estimate the amount needed and tell you about any zoning laws, watering restrictions or other things that could play a role in reseeding your lawn.