What Is Hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding is a planting process that uses a slurry of water, seed, soil amendments, fertilizer, and sometimes mulch to quickly and efficiently grow grass. It’s often used on slopes and other difficult-to-plant areas. It has several advantages over traditional methods like broadcasting or laying sod, although all types of grass benefit from a well-designed irrigation installation.
You have probably seen crews out on a slope near your home or office, spraying what looks like green paint onto the ground. That green slurry is the hydroseed mixture, and it’s an efficient way to seed large areas with grass.
In this post, we’ll explain how this seeding method works and some of its advantages over traditional grass-seeding methods.
Keep reading to learn more about hydroseed and to determine if it’s the right choice for your next landscaping project.
What Is Hydroseeding Best Used For?
One of the main benefits of this seeding method is that it is relatively quick and easy. It can be done in large or small areas, making it a versatile option for various projects. That being said, hydroseed is especially advantageous for some specific seeding environments.
Here are four situations which hydroseeding is best used:
Hillsides And Slopes
Hydroseeding is best used for creating a uniform lawn on sloped or hilly terrain. As noted above, the process involves combining water, grass seed, soil amendments, and fertilizer in a tank and spraying the mixture onto the desired area. The hydroseeding mixture may also contain a specialized mulch that helps the grass seed to adhere to the soil.
The mulch helps to hold the grass seed in place and protect it from wind and erosion until it has a chance to germinate. This quality makes hydroseed ideal for hillsides and slopes.
In fact, hydroseeding is often used on slopes or other areas where erosion is a concern. Hydroseeding is used for erosion control because the process creates a protective layer that helps to hold the seed in place and prevent wash-away.
Establishing New Lawns
Hydroseed is also commonly used to establish new lawns, as it provides an efficient way to evenly distribute grass seed over an unseeded area. The hydroseed mix will bind together and create a temporary soil-like substance that will hold the ground in place until grass can grow.
Hydroseeding can also help to improve germination rates for new lawns by keeping the seeds hydrated and protecting them from birds and other animals. Once established, hydroseed lawns are typically hardy and require minimal maintenance. As a result, hydroseed is an increasingly popular choice for home and commercial landscaping projects.
Seeding Large Areas
Hydroseeding is often used as an alternative to traditional sod because it is less expensive and labor-intensive. After all, it’s simply pointing the spray nozzle where you want the grass to grow!
Spraying allows you to precisely control the amount of seed applied to your lawn. For this reason, hydroseeding provides an efficient way to evenly distribute seeds over a large area.
Filling In Bald Spots
Hydroseeding is also effective for repairing damaged grass or filling in bald spots.
Since this method uses a spray nozzle to apply a mixture of water, fertilizer, and grass seed to a selected area, it can easily be used to fill in bald spots on your lawn.
How Does Hydroseeding Work?
Hydroseeding is a grass-planting process that uses water, seed, mulch, soil amendments, and fertilizer to grow grass. There’s a lot of misinformation about how it works, so let’s set the record straight.
Typically, there are four steps in how the process works:
The hydroseeding process begins with preparing the site where the grass will be grown. The area is cleared of debris, graded, and compacted if necessary.
Next, the soil should be loosened to quickly absorb the hydroseed mixture. This can be done with a rototiller or by hand.
Once the soil is loosened, it should be raked so that it is level unless you apply it to a hillside or slope. In that case, simply remove any rocks, sticks, and leaves to ensure the hydroseed mixture reaches the soil on the hillside.
By preparing the site before hydroseeding, you can ensure that your hydroseed will have the best chance of success. Now it’s time to prepare your hydroseed mix!
The advantage of the hydroseed mixture is that the seed is evenly distributed and has access to the nutrients it needs to germinate and proliferate. So it’s essential to ensure that you prepare your hydroseed mixture by following the manufacturer’s instructions correctly.
As previously noted, the typical hydroseed mixture contains water, seed, soil amendments, and fertilizer. Depending on your specific needs, the hydroseed mixture may also include a specialized type of mulch.
Hydroseed mixtures will vary based on manufacturers. Some mixes use different fertilizers, color dyes, mulches, and grass seeds. If you’re not sure what hydroseed mixture to use, you should consult with a professional landscape company.
Now that you’ve prepared your hydroseed mixture, it’s time to apply it to your growing area. The hydroseed mixture is typically sprayed using a hose and a special hydroseeder machine with a tank that holds the mixture.
Hydroseeders are available for rent at most large hardware stores, or you can hire a professional landscaping company that will use their own equipment.
The mixture is then sprayed onto the ground using a hydroseeder, which is a special type of pump designed for this purpose. As the slurry hits the ground, it forms a temporary covering that helps protect the seeds from birds, wind, and other elements that could damage or dislodge them.
While hydroseed is a low-maintenance method for applying seed, it will still require some TLC to ensure your lawn gets established. After applying the hydroseed slurry, the site should be lightly watered to help settle the seeds into the ground.
Hydroseeded areas will need to be kept moist–but not soggy–until the grass has germinated and begun to grow. Be patient! Hydroseeded lawns typically take 1-3 weeks to germinate, depending on environmental conditions.
Once the hydroseeded lawn has germinated, reduce watering to once or twice weekly. Mowing can begin when the grass is 3-4 inches tall. Use sharp mower blades to avoid damaging the new grass plants.
Once the grass is established, it can be treated like any other lawn. If you’re not sure that your yard is getting enough moisture, check out our guide to the best way to water grass.
With proper care, a hydroseeded lawn will be thick and green.
Now that we’ve covered how it works, let’s look at the different types of hydroseeding available.
What Are The Types Of Hydroseeding?
There are three main types of hydroseeding: spray hydroseeding, hydraulic hydroseeding, and jet hydroseeding. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is crucial to choose the suitable method for the job.
Spray hydroseeding is the most common type of hydroseeding. It involves mixing the seed, water, and mulch in a tank, then spraying the mixture onto the desired area.
The advantage of this method is that it can cover a large area quickly and evenly. However, it can be challenging to control the application rate, and the seed may not have enough contact with the soil to germinate effectively.
Hydraulic hydroseeding, or hydraulic mulch seeding, uses a pump to force the mixture through a nozzle at high pressure. This method is often used on steep slopes or other difficult-to-reach areas, as it allows for greater control over the seed placement.
However, it can be more expensive and time-consuming and damage delicate plant life if not used carefully.
Jet hydroseeding is similar to hydraulic hydroseeding but uses pressurized air instead of water to force the mixture through the nozzle. This method is fast and efficient but can be messy and dangerous if not done correctly.
What Type Of Mulch Should Be Used?
As previously noted, hydroseeding mixtures often contain mulch that helps the seed adhere to the soil.
Hydroseed mixtures that contain mulch are ideal for slope stabilization, erosion control, and revegetation of disturbed areas. However, several different types of mulch are used in hydroseeding, each with its own benefits.
Here are the three main types of mulch you will find in different hydroseed mixtures:
Wood Chip Mulch
Wood chips are the most common type of hydroseeding mulch. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find and help hold moisture in the soil. Wood chip mulch can also be used as part of a composting system to improve the quality of the soil.
Paper products, such as recycled newspaper or cardboard, are another option for mulch. Paper products help to retain moisture and prevent evaporation, making them ideal for hot, dry climates. Recycled paper products also break down quickly and can add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
Synthetic materials, such as polypropylene, are often used for hydroseed mixtures in areas that are difficult to access or where there is a high risk of erosion. Synthetic materials do not break down in the environment and can last many years. However, they are more expensive than other types of hydroseeding mulch.
The type of hydroseeding mulch you choose will depend on your specific project requirements. Talk to a local hydroseeding contractor to learn more about which type of mulch is right for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding is an excellent alternative to traditional grass-seeding methods. It offers many other benefits that can make your lawn look fantastic.
Here are six benefits of hydroseeding:
Hydroseeding is more efficient than traditional broadcasting methods because it uses less seed. Broadcast seeding can also take several hours of work or even a full day, depending on the exact size of your lawn. In contrast, hydroseeding typically takes an hour or two for an average size lawn.
Hydroseeding is more effective at preventing soil erosion. The hydroseed slurry forms a protective barrier over the soil, which helps to hold it in place and to avoid wind and water erosion. It also helps to establish vegetation quickly, which provides another layer of protection against erosion.
Hydroseeded lawns establish quicker than traditionally seeded lawns. Seeding a lawn the traditional way can be a time-consuming and challenging process. Hydroseeded lawns typically take root in 2-3 weeks and will be fully matured in 4-6 weeks. So if you’re looking for a fast and easy way to establish a new lawn, hydroseeding is the way to go.
One of the challenges of seeding a lawn is ensuring that the seed is evenly distributed. If the seed is not spread evenly, then you will end up with patches of grass that are thin or nonexistent. Hydroseeding provides an even distribution of seed and fertilizer, resulting in a beautiful and healthy lawn.
Easy To Apply To Hard-To-Reach Areas
As you can imagine, broadcasting seeds on a steep hill makes it impossible to get a uniform distribution of seeds. Hydroseeding is perfect for those hard-to-reach areas where traditional broadcasting methods would be difficult or impossible to use. Since hydroseed is pre-mixed with water and fertilizer, it will adhere to a hill or slope and keep seeds in place so they can take root and grow.
Hydroseeding is cost-effective by saving you time. Although hydroseeding initially costs more than other methods of seed germination, it is worth the investment because it is faster and provides a healthy lawn that will last for years.
Let’s take a closer look at the cost of hydroseeding.
What Are The Costs Of Hydroseeding?
The cost of hydroseeding will vary depending on the size of your lawn, the slope of your land, the type of seed used, and the hydroseeding company you choose.
The climate in your area can also affect the price. Harsh environments or extreme temperature swings can make a hydroseeding job more expensive.
Hydroseeding is typically priced per square foot of the area to be seeded. According to the International Association of HydroSeeding Professionals (IAHP), hydroseeding costs usually range from 6 cents per square foot to 15 cents per square foot.
However, when it comes to hydroseeding, the cheapest option may not necessarily be the best! The best strategy is to hire a reputable landscaping company in your area that can break down the cost of their hydroseeding service and explain the value they provide.
When Is The Best Time To Hydroseed Your Lawn In Northwest Ohio And Southeast Michigan?
Early fall is the best time to hydroseed your lawn in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The weather is cool, and there is plenty of rainfall, which helps the hydroseed to germinate. The grass will have a chance to establish itself before the cold winter months set in.
Spring is also an excellent time to hydroseed, but you will need to ensure that the ground is not too wet, or the hydroseed will not be able to take root.
Summer is generally not a good time to hydroseed because the hot, dry weather can stress the grass and cause it to go into dormancy. If you hydroseed in summer, water regularly and keep the seedlings shaded from the direct sun.
Simmons Landscape And Irrigation Can Hydroseed Your Lawn
So there you have it—everything you need to know about hydroseeding! Hydroseeding may be the right choice if you’re looking for a fast, efficient way to seed your lawn with excellent results.
If you’re interested in hydroseeding, fill out our contact form today. We would be happy to discuss pricing and the best time for you to hydroseed your lawn.
Thanks for reading!