Slit seeding in the fall can help thicken up a thin lawn. The past two years have been brutal on Iowa lawns because of the lack of moisture during the summer. Last year most areas in eastern Iowa experienced a severe or extreme drought. This year’s August was the driest on record. Dry conditions in conjunction with high temperatures means stress for turf grass. This stress can become overwhelming for turf grass and may keep it from recovering in the fall. Patchiness or large dead areas may require slit seeding in order to help them fill back in. Slit seeding works great because it makes direct soil contact with the seed. Soil contact is one of the most important parts of seeding. Slit seeding insures that the seed is planted in the soil and spaced evenly. Slit seeding also helps reduce wasted seed from an over application.
Slit Seeding tips for success.
- Make sure that your soil is moist but not wet. Moist soil will allow the slit seeder to insert the seed in the soil. Hard ground may keep the machine from properly installing the seed.
- Make sure that your machine is set to the correct depth. If your machine is set too high, soil contact from the tines will not be made. If your machine is set too low, it may tear chunks of soil and grass.
- When slit seeding a large area, it is beneficial to run your machine in different directions to create cross planting. Running your machine in multiple directions will help reduce the look of corn rows and help create a thicker turf. You will use more seed when you cross plant, but it will provide you with a better end product.
- Fertilize your newly planted seed and water it in good to start the growth process.