How to Get a Fuller, Greener, Healthier Lawn

Broadcast Seeding is Best Done in the Fall

The term broadcast seeding refers to exactly how it sounds.  It is the process of spreading seeds over the soil to facilitate seed to soil contact.  Broadcast seeding is typically only recommended in the fall, unless particular circumstances call for spring seeding.  Before seeding takes place, the entire area must be aerated to allow for proper penetration into the soil.  Sometimes broadcast seeding has a higher likelihood of success if the soil is rolled or tracked before and after seeding as long as the surface is not wet.  These extra measures ensure even better seed to soil contact.

Prolawn Lawn Care employee broadcast seeding after aeration in the fall.

Depending on the size of the area to be seeded, it can be done by hand. Typically in large areas a broadcast seeder or cyclone spreader is used.  The seeder regulates how the seeds are dispersed. It feeds seeds either directly onto the soil or onto a spinner for wider range. 

Small, hard seeds do better with broadcast seeding as opposed to fluffy or chaffy seeds.  This is because the weight of smaller seeds facilitates better distribution.   It’s recommended to cut the seeds in half and spread one part vertically across the area, and the other part directly overtop, but in a horizontal direction.  This ensures a greater coverage area.  Once the surface has been treated post-seeding, cover it with a light layer of organic matter to hold in the moisture and prevent the seeds from getting dry.

Here are a few facts and tips about broadcast seeding…

  • Broadcasting is one of the easiest and most affordable methods for applying seed to large areas of land.  It is also often used to seed in erosion control.
  • Some smaller plots of land are not well-suited to mechanical planting methods. This is where spreading seed by hand becomes an effective alternative.
  • The maximum depth a seed should be planted is 5 times its diameter.  Since smaller seeds have a smaller quantity of stored energy, they should not be seeded as deep.  In the case of mixed seeds, always plant at the depth of the smallest seed.
  • Timing determines success. If you seed during the late summer/early fall and use the proper methods and techniques, your lawn should be free of dead patches once spring arrives.
  • Rotary spreaders are better for large areas. Broadcasting by hand or drop spreader is well-suited for smaller areas and getting around hardscaping, plant beds, pools, etc.
  • Don’t spread seed when there is a breeze in the air.  The slightest bit of wind is enough to jeopardize an even spread.

For more information about broadcast seeding, and to learn about our organic fertilizers, contact ProLawn today at 540-662-8316.