Slit Seeding Installation

Slit seeding Installation: A slit seeded lawn is an effective and relatively inexpensive option for seeding large spaces quickly. It costs more than hand-seeding, but quite a bit less than sod or artificial turf. Split seed has a higher success rate than hand-seeded lawns, because the papery mulch used in the over seeding mixture keeps seeds warm and protected. That said, over seeded lawns still need extra water, weed control, and protection from foot traffic in the first two months just like a hand-seeded lawn does. All of that costs time and money to implement, especially if you need to fence off the new lawn to protect it from pets.

seeder3Maintenance: A slit seeded lawn is identical to a hand-seeded lawn in the sense that once established, it will be a stronger living turf than will a lawn started with sod. This means that over time, you’ll spend less money and energy applying pesticides.
A slit seeding lawn is an inexpensive, efficient alternative to using sod in areas where a living lawn is desired. However, it’s not without drawbacks. Any kind of seeded lawn takes more maintenance to establish than sod. Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of choosing a slit seeded lawn.

Pros and cons of slit seeded lawns Pros:

Better adaptability – A primary benefit of slit seeded lawns is that you can choose whatever seed blend you’d like to use. This means if you have difficult soil, shade, or other tough conditions, you can choose the varieties of lawn that will best suit your landscape.
Greater disease resistance – Sod is made up of a single type of turf grass, and any time you plant a single variety of plant, or monoculture, there is greater chance for widespread disease than when you plant a blend of multiple types of turf.
Saves money on large areas – Once your landscaper has set up the over seeding machine, it takes very little additional effort to spray lawn over a larger area than a small one. Contrast that with the high material and labor cost to install sod, and over seeding is the clear choice for large properties.
More attractive – While sod varieties are often chosen for their ability to withstand sitting in rolls on a pallet, you can choose whatever seed varieties you like when over seeding. If you prefer a finer-bladed grass, seeding is the way to go.

Cons:

seeder2No cost savings on small lawns – While slit seeding is a cost-saving choice for large areas, the initial time and expense of getting the slit seed machine set up means that you don’t save much money on small lawns.
Requires a lot of water to establish – While a sod lawn requires about two weeks of intensive watering to establish well, a over seeded lawn can sometimes require two months of intensive watering.
Weeds are a given – When slit seeding, you are creating ideal conditions for sprouting seeds. This means that if there are weed seeds in the landscape, you will probably end up sprouting those along with your grass seed. While you can remove the weeds by hand or with selective herbicides, this is a definite disadvantage over sod.
Keep off the grass – If you have children or pets, it can be tough to keep them off of your newly-sprouted lawn for the two months it takes for the lawn to establish.
Harder to establish on slopes – On slopes, it can be challenging to keep your new lawn moist in those critical early weeks because of how fast water drains off a slope. You may need to water more often for shorter periods of time when establishing a slit seeded lawn on a slope.

Contributing Author:

Genevieve Schmidt, contributing writer for Landscaping Network and owner of North Coast Gardening