- Hydroseeding is a traditional agricultural technique that serves to grow a new lawn. This method gives proven results from the first time it is implemented: the seeds are more resistant to external issues because they are grown from your soil and not a sod farm. Hydroseeding soils also hold moisture better, enhancing the seeds’ faster germination.
- Hydroseeding may sound like a high-tech operation, but it’s possible to do and can even be performed DIY-style. In addition, it’s not challenging or costly to grow a hydroseeded lawn.
- What are its pros and cons, and how long does it take for grass to grow after hydroseed? First, let’s look at the most common concerns regarding the hydroseeding process.
What is hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding is a technique used to seed and grow a healthy lawn. Hydroseeding is an alternative to the traditional process of broadcasting or sowing dry seed.
It originated in the United States in the forties of the 20th century.
Other ways to call hydroseeding are
- hydraulic mulch seeding,
- hydraseeding, and
Hydroseeding combines seed and water. This grass seed method can be applied to various surfaces, from yard to roadside, leading to your new lawn’s fast and healthy growth.
A hydroseed mixture is called a “slurry,” and it comprises
- mulch fertilizer,
- grass seed fertilizer,
- soil amendments, and
The slurry can also have a few other ingredients, such as:
- tackifying agents,
- green dye;
Preparing a hydroseed mixture by combining elements takes place in a Hydroseeder large tank. It can be truck-mounted or trailer-mounted.
When the hydroseed mixture is ready to use, all you need to do is spread and spray it at high pressure over prepared soil.
The next step? Wait for your breathtaking hydroseeded lawns to appear!
Growing grass with a hydroseeding process is the most efficient method for creating a healthy lawn these days.
Hydroseeding―pros and cons
Is hydroseeding worth the chase? First, let’s learn how to grow grass quickly and efficiently with this technique.
Let’s look at hydroseeded lawn pros and cons in the paragraphs below, starting with the advantages of the hydroseed grass growing process.
One of the most significant powers of hydroseeding lies in the stability that water gives to grass seeds.
Thanks to this process, the seeds stay in the soil and aren’t blown away by the wind.
Water helps new seeds fertilize.
It may sound obvious but think about it. Water in hydroseeding not only helps to spread mechanically large quantities of seed. It also responds to a biological necessity for seeds of hydroseed to grow.
Hydroseeding is cost-effective.
If you grass seed with the hydroseeding technique, you can ensure healthy growth of your lawn hydroseeded and save on:
- time consumption,
- material costs,
- installation demands of sodding or traditional hand planting methods;
Hydroseeding costs about 50-80% less than sod. Sod coupled with labor is much more costly.
With hydroseeding, you get:
- green grass,
- healthy lawn, and
- grass that lasts longer than sodding or hand applications;
There are several reasons for that.
For example, soil that you take for hydroseed and use in the process hold soil moist better than other sod or hand seeded types; therefore, the seeds can germinate quicker.
The deeper roots get more profoundly into the soil, creating a deep root system.
Moreover, hydroseeding includes fewer weed seeds for the same as regular lawn results. This feature gives a greater possibility and more room for planting trees and shrubs. It also incorporates a tackifier coagulant that won’t experience washout.
Finally, hydroseeding seeds are more resistant to external issues.
Hydroseeding creates an evenly covered lawn area.
Lawns are thicker and more uniform than in a traditionally seeded area.
Important: Hydroseed grass consists of a mat of interlocking fibers, so we don’t have to worry about sparse, patchy areas of grass that occur with hand seeding.
Soil erosion control
The mat of interlocking fibers is pleasurable to look at; it resembles a full, lush lawn.
This structure forms a barrier to:
- keep seed stabilized,
- retain moisture, fertilizer, and other healthy growth-enhancing nutrients, working as a bonding agent;
Tip: Hydroseeding can cover large, challenging, and inaccessible areas, such as slopes, that are too steep for sod applications, golf courses, or roadside.
You can use services with a helicopter performed by a professional contractor to cover large areas. Aircraft application is common in burned wilderness areas. It contains only a soil stabilizer to avoid introducing non-native plants. Another use is restoring riparian vegetation.
Hydroseeding helps to
- prevent erosion caused by wind, rain, sun, and pests, and
- hold moisture;
Hydroseeding overshadows hand seeding and sod benefits. This technique became so popular because of its wide array of professional applications, such as:
- residential lawns,
- soil renovation,
- erosion control,
- hillside stabilization,
- vegetation restoration,
- wildfire repair,
- airport dust control,
- national parks,
- city parks, and so on!
On the other hand, According to Garden Guides, the water hydroseed process has several disadvantages. Let’s browse them below.
Unlike sod laying, hydroseeding isn’t designed to conjure you a lawn overnight. Most grass types won’t begin to fill in for 3-4 weeks. It can take even up to 8 weeks to see the growth of your new grass more evidently.
Also, the hydroseeding equipment tends to be susceptible to mechanical problems—and this can cause additional delays.
According to experts, although it is possible to perform hydroseeding on your own, a hydroseeding sprayer is actually costly and challenging to own and operate.
You’ll probably need to hire a hydroseeding company to do it for you.
Regarding the cost and equipment, the type of seed that’s excellent for hydroseed isn’t expensive. It costs from $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot of grass seeds.
Yet, other expenses associated with hydroseed, like the necessary equipment or contractor’s service, can be costly. So, it depends on whether we go deeper into this practice—buy a machine or use services provided by contractors.
The necessary equipment is a hydroseeding machine, a truck, or a trailer to put on it.
The cost of such a machine varies, but you can find a decent one for 3,000-$5,000.
Tip: Contractors usually own smaller ones (you can rent them cheaply from them).
Hydroseeding requires a lot of water—first, at the stage of seed application, then, when it’s time to water the new lawn, you’ll need to abide by a watering schedule of two to three times per day.
Or better: pray for rainy seasons with heavy rains!
A successful hydroseeding of new seedlings depends on many details, such as site preparation and soil preparation.
Tip: Reach out to the hydroseeding technician for instructions.
You need to apply your hydroseed just before the prime growing season for the particular grass seed used.
Also, the seed shouldn’t stay in the hydroseeder for more than an hour as it could cause it to absorb too much water or get damaged by the fertilizer in the mix.
The hydroseed mixture has to be just right to avoid fertilizer burn or inhibiting grass growth with too much wood mulch.
As you see, many challenging variables influence the results, and they seem pretty tough to follow.
The hydroseeding mixture incorporates a unique dye—it is supposed to help the technician spot which lawn areas have received treatment and which are only about to be treated.
It’s great that this seed’s bright, unnatural green color is easy to spot from far away. It was initially designed to help pilots find out where to spray next.
This practical advantage becomes a disadvantage because your new grass has a very tacky look.
Luckily, your new lawn color will fade on its own in about two days.
Hydroseeding is often used around erosion and landslides.
In Laguna Beach, Calif., where a fire burned away thousands of acres of sage scrub and grassland in October 1993, large-scale hydroseeding was applied to re-vegetate the steep slopes in the burned area.
Unfortunately, this seemingly beneficial process had a terrible effect on local plant life.
The hydroseeding mixture crusted over and smothered the flora still existing on the cliffs, including the state-protected endangered species Dudleya stolonifera.
How long does it take for hydroseed to grow?
Should you expect an instant lawn with hydroseeding?
- how often you water hydroseed,
- if there are any heavy rain circumstances to help your seeds grow, and
- what is the temperature (extreme heat can change the situation dramatically),
a hydroseeded lawn should start to grow in approximately 7 to 10 days.
Your beautiful lawn should be ready for the first mowing in about 3 to 4 weeks during the growing season.
The hydroseeding timeline depends on the weather, but as a rule of thumb, hydroseeded lawns will begin to sprout in about 5-7 days—notices Superior Ground Cover.
All in all, the speed of growth of the new hydroseed lawn depends on several factors:
- seed mixture;
After ten days up to two weeks, thanks to mulch and fertilizer included in the seed mixture, you will notice a full-grown lawn on your soil, given that the weather is optimal.
What size will a hydroseeded lawn reach within a month after grass seed?
After the first few weeks, when your hydroseeded lawns are grown, keep taking good care of them to ensure proper germination.
Providing your lawn with proper maintenance means following the watering schedule and applying a starter fertilizer solution three times every three weeks.
Within this initial phase, a lawn will grow on an average of eight centimeters (about 3,14 inches).
The surface will sprout green and vigorous as expected with good maintenance and if there are no unexpected issues, such as extreme weather conditions, etc.
Important: For the several weeks after hydroseed, your lawn will need attentive care.
When is the best time to hydroseed?
To let your grass grow in the best possible condition, choose a moderate temperature typical for spring; heat isn’t the best option.
After hydroseed, which of the different seasons is optimal for the new lawn to give roots fast? Both moderately warm seasons, Spring and Fall, allow for faster germination than extremely cold or hot periods of the year.
After being hydroseed in Spring or Fall, the new lawn doesn’t need as much extra water as it would in the drier summer season, so you also save on water.
Remember to add also mulch and fertilizer to the process.
In 10 days, your yard sprayed with hydroseed will show a vividly green surface and deep roots.
Late Summer and early Fall are also optimal. Not only are temperatures ideal, but the precipitation increases.
Tip: The ideal temperature for the first six weeks after the hydroseed is between 18 and 23 degrees C. Temperatures that fall too far outside this window can become an issue for the new grass.
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