Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Use a Slit Seeder

By Elizabeth Knoll ; Updated September 21, 2017

If you have ever renovated your lawn, you know how big of a chore it can be. If you are replacing it manually, you first have to remove the old grass, then prepare the seedbed, spread the seeds and keep them moist until they germinate. By using a slit seeder, you can make a few of those processes much easier---virtually no seedbed preparation and you don't have to spread the seeds by hand. The slit seeder doesn't need a prepared seedbed because it injects the seeds right into the ground. With a little practice, it is fairly easy to use a slit seeder.

Prepare your lawn for seeding. This may include a complete grass kill using a nonselective herbicide or scalping your lawn with a lawn mower if you are planning on over-seeding your lawn.

Fill the slit seeder with gas and fill the seed hopper with grass seed.

Set the slit seeder application rate to half of your intended total application, because you are going to do the seeding twice.

Run the slit seeder in parallel paths over the entire lawn. You will be driving it much like you would a lawn mower--the paths should be tight to each other.

Run the slit seeder over the entire lawn again, this time perpendicular (90 degrees) to the first path.

Fill your lawn roller with water and roll it over the entire yard. This will encourage seed-to-soil contact to help promote germination.


Things You Will Need

  • Gasoline
  • Slit seeder
  • Grass seed
  • Long pants
  • Work boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Lawn roller
  • Garden hose


  • Running the slit seeder over the area to be seeded twice--in perpendicular rows--helps hide the "grass rows" as your grass germinates.
  • Read the operation manual carefully before using your slit seeder. Each model has slightly different controls that need you should become familiar with before using it.


  • As with any machinery, always operate using appropriate safety protection. Long pants, work boots and safety glasses should be worn to prevent injury.