Overseeding is one of the best things you can do to promote a high quality lawn of thick, healthy grass. The best time to over seed a large lawn is in the fall, while the soil temperature is still warm, the nights are relatively cool, and the chances for rain are better than during the summer. This way, the grass seed has its best chance to germinate and become established before winter arrives.
For this project, we’ll be working on a large lawn in southeast Kansas that is about 250 feet (76.2 m) long, and about 100 feet (30.5 m) wide.
We’re using a Frontier GS1160 Ground Driven Overseeder (USCA) and a John Deere 3039R Compact Utility Tractor (USCA). And because this Overseeder has a dry weight of 861 pounds (3565.7 kg), we’ve also added 12, 70-pound (31.75 kg) suitcase weights on the front of our tractor as ballast.
What makes this Overseeder special?
Now, there are lots of ways to over seed a large lawn, and lots of different implements you can use to do it. But here are a couple reasons why this Frontier Overseeder really makes sense.
With this machine, you can choose between a pair of angle-adjustable spiked front rollers, or front disks, to help prepare the soil for seeding.
Since this is a lawn, we’ll use the spiked front rollers, and we’ll set them at 0° angle so we don’t tear up the turf. This will act as a shallow aerator that will puncture the soil surface, allowing moisture, nutrients, and oxygen to penetrate.
It also comes equipped with 3 seed boxes that can be set to operate individually, or all together, so you can plant 3 different seed types if you want, and at 2 different depths.
Each seed box is designed to handle a different type of seed – one for large seeds, like soybeans; another for small seeds, like legumes; and one for long, fluffy seeds like native prairie grass. We’ll be using the legume seed box for this project.
Okay. Time to get started.
First, we’ll attach the overseeder to the tractor. We added an iMatch Quick Hitch, which makes hooking up all kinds of implements as easy as possible because you don’t have to get off your tractor to attach compatible implements to your 3-point hitch. You just focus on the top hook and everything else falls into place. Then lock down the locking levers, and you’re ready to go.
One of the challenges for any seeding project is to get the application rate right. The Fescue Grass seed we’re using isn’t real expensive, but you should make sure you apply any seed at the correct amount per acre to get the most for your money.
To help with that, this overseeder includes a calibration chart inside the seed box lid that shows exactly how much seed per acre you should use, and where to set the dispersal rate for the seed cups. To do that you’ll set the flow control lever to the proper position.
To make sure your calculations are correct, use the unit’s seed calibration tray to capture the proper volume of grass seed for your dispersal rate test. Then you’ll need a very small volume scale to weigh the captured seed to make sure you’ll be dropping the right amount of seed at the proper rate.
Once you’ve added the seed to the seed box, and made sure the dispersal rate is correctly set, you’re ready to get to work.
Straight and not too fast works every time.
Now all you have to do is make sure you maintain your speed from 2 to 5 miles per hour (3.2-8 km/h) and travel in as straight a line as possible without leaving any noticeable gaps between passes. This 2500 square foot (232.3 m2) lawn will take about an hour to completely over seed.
Frontier has nearly 600 implements that are available only from your John Deere dealer, the place to go for advice and equipment.
So remember, for implements that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, think Frontier and your John Deere dealer.
And lastly, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.