The Ultimate Guide to Hydroseeding

Hydraulic mulch seeding or Hydroseeding is a method to plant a seed in a large area. It would make the process faster than the traditional way.

People or contractors tend to use this service to seed the lawns efficiently and quickly.

Indeed, this method can save your time. Hydroseeding can be very profitable for businesses since it is used by many landscape contractors.

In this article, there is a lot of information about this seed-planting method that you need to know before having it.

What Is Hydroseeding?

The very first question you might wonder, what is Hydroseeding, exactly? 

According to sources, it is a process of planting that uses mulch and a seed mixture. Besides, people use this method to control erosion on constructions.

This is an alternative technique to the traditional one of sowing the seed. The name hydroseeding itself implies the involvement of spraying the mixture of seeds and water onto an area.

Moreover, it is not only seed and water in the mixture. There are also some tackifiers, mulch, fertilizer, lime, Biostimulants, and moisture retention polymers. 

The mixture is called a slurry. It gets stirred up over and over to get the materials mixed evenly.

Many people also define it as simply the efficient, inexpensive, and high-quality way of seeding the lawn. They use a hydroseeder tank to put the slurry and process it with high pressure to spread it onto the land.

Obviously, it makes the seed germination become faster. Using this method will probably make your new lawn begin to sprout in just one week. 

However, it may also take about 2-3 weeks in some cases. Typically, it will be sprouting in 1 or 2 weeks.

Brief History

Based on history, Maurice Mandell who was working at Highway Department in Connecticut USA discovered this method. In the 1940s, she found it by mixing water and seed together.

That made it possible to spray and spread the resulting mulch. So, seeding on the steep lawn and inaccessible slopes became easier.

The Benefits of Hydroseeding

Many people have this method for their lawn because hydroseeding has a lot of benefits. Here are some of them.

1. Money and Time Saving

There is no doubt that hydroseeding can save you money and time. Compared to the traditional method or sod, it costs up to 75% or less. 

That is because you do not need to pay extra money for more workers for installing and unrolling rolls of sod.

This method does not need a team of people to run the machine. You will only need a handful of workers or even just one. Thus, it depends on the number of trucks or the size of the area.

Compared to hand-seeding, this method works quicker. It only takes about one-sixth of the time you need for the hand-seeding technique.  

That is enough for customers to be happy because it is cheaper and faster.

2. Healthy Lawn

With hydroseeding for the planting process, you can have a healthy lawn at your house. Why? That because of the deep roots. 

The rich green grass needs a deeper root system. This plant would get the needed nutrients and moisture effectively.

For the hand-seeding and sod method, it is hard for the seed to get a deep root system to make the grass healthy and green. 

That must be the reason why you might have some bald spots and brown patches on the lawn. It would definitely decrease the beauty of your front yard.

Besides, the process can give you a thick, full lawn. As said before, there will be empty spots or patches in between the grass. 

You will make the garden or yard become more and more attractive. It gives the perfect growing environment to other plants.

3. Friendly Environment

Being one of the greatest advantages, this method is environmentally safe for children, pets, and the environment itself. 

As we know, using sod and hand seeding will include the use of chemicals. It probably increases the level of danger for all.

4. Erosion Control

Erosion is a serious problem for both homes and businesses because it can lead to structural damage. It may come from wind, rain, and pests.

So, Hydroseeding will combat erosion by spraying the slurry seed and water to hold moisture in. Also, it will protect the soil from destructive causes.

5. Great Accessibility

One of the best things about Hydroseeding is its ability to reach some difficult areas. It solves a lot of challenges inaccessibility. 

That is because of its gun-like sprayer’s ability for the seeding process. It is easier for the machine to shoot the mixture onto some steep slopes.

Therefore, many contractors use this method for a large landscape like golf courses, road projects, home developments, and complexes.

The Pros & Cons of Hydroseeding

This method has some pros and cons. Thus, consider the following things before applying the technique.

The Pros

Water-Saving

This technique helps conserve water. At first, especially during the germination process, this method needs a lot of water. 

Eventually, it becomes quite drought-resistant after it begins sprouting. In fact, some grass holds water up to 10 times its weight.

Then, the water retention becomes nutrients and moisture for the root system. It gets released gradually because of the mulch and tackifiers in the slurry.  

Weed Growth Control

This way of seeding allows the workers to reduce weed growth. When the hydroseeding is done during the spring and summer seasons, it can limit the growth of that pesky problem.

As we know, weed problems can make the lawn look worse. It also affects the sustainability of the environment. Moreover, soil erosion can become worse.

Cost-Effective

The price of sod is 50 to 80% more expensive than hydroseeding. That is because it does not require the same material costs, labor expenses, and installation fees. 

In fact, you need an hour to complete the process. It is faster compared to hand-seeding.

This method also maintains a more attractive result and healthier grass. That is why it is the cost-effective choice.

Quality

As mentioned before, the quality of the lawn would be so much better. You will get a longer-lasting and healthier lawn. It is something you cannot get with sodding and hand-seeding. 

The grass has a deeper root system that maintains the beautiful results.

Faster and Safer

Hydroseeding becomes a more famous option due to its ease and speed. For installation, this method is faster and easier than the sod.

The development of turf would be faster than other ways. Besides, this seeding method is a non-toxic process. So, it is going to be safe for everyone including your kids and pets.

The Cons

Besides its advantages, Hydroseeding has also some disadvantages that you need to consider. Here are some of the drawbacks:

  • This method of seeding is a great option only for larger areas. It can be very cost-effective. However, we do not recommend Hydroseeding for small places. It is a waste of money.
  • You cannot have your lawn Hydro seeded in dry periods. It becomes an inappropriate option. The solution is to have supplemental irrigation or do it at other times.
  • Hydroseeding is probably not able to access remote areas. So, make sure about your location.
  • Use this method when there is enough time during the season to make sure sufficient vegetation set-up and the control of erosion. The solution is by using the mulching and soil binder.
  • Despite its cost-effective feature, hydroseeding can be very expensive to own and operate. This high-tech technique is not a DIY thing, so you need to hire professionals.
  • When it says water-saving, the process occurs after sprouting. However, this method will need an excessive amount of water before that.
  • Lastly, precision is very important in hydroseeding. You will face a lot of picky details. Prepare the soil in the lawn ahead of time. 

If it is not done according to the technician’s instructions, you will not get what you expect.

How does Hydroseeding work?

This method is about applying seeds onto the soil with a high-pressure hose. The machine or truck has a tank that contains a mixture of seed and water called slurry. 

Besides, it also contains fertilizer, mulch, lime, and other materials to make your lawn healthier.

The machine will spray the slurry onto the tilled soil. It is recommended for larger areas like a golf course. For homeowners, they can also use a pressure sprayer on small scale.

The Process Hydroseeding

The process begins with the soil preparation. First of all, it gets tested to measure its lack of nutrients. Then, remove the debris and vegetation that already exist. After that, fertilize the surface.

After that, till the soil at least 2 inches down. Then, add the topsoil. Use a lawn roller in order to level and compact the surface. 

Next, you can begin the spraying process. It would completely cover the area with a green coating that is in the slurry.

The moisture and mulch material in the mixture will assist the seed’s germination. It also helps the seeds grow healthy. 

Then, the grass will come out about 7 to 10 days after that. You can get your thick and rich green grass in about a month. Do the regular mowing, fertilizing, and enough watering.

Equipment Needed for Hydroseeding

As said before, it is better to hire professionals or a company to do hydroseeding. However, there is also an option for DIY. There will be some equipment you should prepare.

  • Seeds. Of course, it is the first thing to have. Make sure the seed for the lawn is suitable for the area.
  • Fertilizer. It will support the seed growth at different stages.
  • Mulches. For the hydroseeding method, dyed green mulch is recommended. Fiber, paper, or wood mulches are also an option.
  • Spray Container / Hose and Bucket. It is the equipment to spray the slurry of seeds. The truck’s back part is a great option for larger areas.
  • Agitator. It is not a crucial one to have. It will keep everything mixed together.
  • Enough Water. You have to be ready for a great amount of it.

Hydroseeding Cost

If you prefer DIY hydroseeding, there are some kits to buy which have all things in one package. 

There is also an option to rent it. As said before, it would be quite costly to get the equipment. It is due to the expensive machine.

Well, you need to prepare at least $300 a day to rent the machine from a company. If you want to own it, it is recommended to take a look at some used ones that would only cost about $1,000.

Moreover, you can make a DIY machine and purchase the components individually. It may only cost about $700. The price can be less than that if you already have some parts at home.

What about professionals? Well, the price would be according to the yard size, $200 for a thousand square feet.

Hydroseeding Comparison

This article also compares sod to hydroseeding. Both methods offer a different prices, steps, amount of water, and area. 

Sod

Sod is an instant grass. It needs bare soil. Remove all the existing debris or weeds before applying the sod. It requires a lot of water to care for. 

Do it two to four times a day in the first days and weeks for established roots.

It will cost about 40 cents per square foot. That includes the delivery and labor expenses. Spring season is the best time for sod. Homeowners love this instant grass when they can create a green lawn instantly.

Hydroseeding

It is a good option for larger areas especially new construction. Obviously, it costs less than the sod. The price is 9 to 15 cents afoot. That also depends on the type of grass seed you want. 

It needs fewer people to apply. However, it needs more water for the seed to sprout. You cannot walk on it until about a month or more. 

Conclusion

Hydroseeding is a great option to consider to get a healthy lawn with rich green and thick grass. You can choose to have it DIY for your small lawn area. Otherwise, the large place will need professional help.

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