The seeder is actually up in the air in the picture below. We work in straight lines because of the blades and the damage that can occur if we turn with the machine on the ground. The seeder drills a line in the ground, seed is then dropped down a small chute and slides to the ground where it is compacted by the roller on the back of the machine and helps to press the seed so it comes in contact with the ground.
The blades below are in the front of the machine. They are pto driven which spins rather quickly as we move forward. This is what cuts into the ground. We set the depth to about 1/2" which gives the seed adequate depth to begin to germinate and will take root. There are blades every 2" which go across the front of the machine at a total width of 4'.
Below are the slits or lines in the turf that are made by the blades in the last photo. The turf seed will germinate in the lines and begin to grow. We attempt to seed at a specific rate to improve the overall turf coverage. Too many seedlings make for a weakened turf stand. Not enough seeds leads to less coverage in an area which can lead to less turf in a given area as well. There is some mortality in seeding of turf. Birds remove a small percentage of the seed. There are times when the seed does not fall directly into the slit in the ground. This can lead to poor soil contact and weakened rooting of the seedling.
The back of the machine is shown below. The tubes are where the seed moves down to the ground surface. As the machine rolls along the ground, there is a wheel which turns. The turning of this wheel moves a mechanism in the seed box which turns at the top of the tubes and forces seed to drop down the tubes to the ground. If the machine is not moving, seed is not being distributed. The roller or packer on the back of the machine will help press the seed into contact with the ground. We use a cart and drag mat to aid in this process which is of utmost importance. If the seed does not make good contact with the ground, it will have less of a chance to root and survive.
We intend to seed into some close fairway rough in the next 7-10 days. We just spayed our bermuda suppressant/eradication material in our rough to assist our cool season turf to expand its influence in our rough. Our hope is that this will weaken the bermuda as it begins to prepare for winter and it will be severely injury over the winter. An additional application made next spring should also suppress the material as well as it tries to grow from winter dormancy. The material that we sprayed requires that new seed either be far enough along to have been mowed once or twice or we delay seeding. I chose to delay seeding because the drill part of our seeding operation disturbs the bermuda grass and creates a pretty ugly scene for a couple of weeks. The weather this summer has been less stressful on our rough turf which reduces the amount of renovation needed for next season. We are placing about 1 ton of seed down to continue to increase our fescue turf in our close rough areas in hopes of replacing and or competing with the bermuda grass.