Hydroseeding or hydraulic mulch seeding is the process of planting using a slurry of water, mulch, fertilizer, and grass seed. It is also used as a technique for erosion control on construction sites or as an alternative to sowing seed.
This process is one of the most efficient ways of adding grass to any landscape, usually over very large areas or on slopes where planting is difficult.
Instead of simply scattering grass seeds over the planting area or laying down sod, in hydroseeding you simply spray the slurry all over the planting area.
So, if you are considering starting a lawn you should probably read this article. Here we will discuss the various pros and cons of hydroseeding and compare it with the other options available to provide you with a thorough understanding of the concept.
Let us jump into the Pros first,
If you are starting a new lawn, hydroseeding is a popular and very effective way to go for it. There are several pros if are going with hydroseeding. Some of them are discussed below.
Effective for large lawns
Larger the space you have, more amount of money you can save if you are choosing hydroseeding for your yard.
In general, hydroseeding is an effective option for hills or sloping lawns, or larger spaces as the seeds stay input.
This makes more sense when we consider the amount of labor it will be required for installing sod and rolling it out on a large and expanded space. Plus, you will also need to take care of keeping the yard wet and when you are spreading the grass seeds by yourself, which trust me is a big challenge!
If you are choosing hydroseeding for seeding a large lawn, it can be done in a very short amount of time.
Cost-Effective (better than Sod)
Hydroseeding typically costs less than laying sod and kind of falls in between basic grass seed and sod.
Of course, when you go with laying sod, you get instant lawn, which you do not get if you go with hydroseeding. But hydroseeding has its own perks. A hydro seeded lawn takes very little time in getting established, especially when compared with the traditional grass seeding way.
Also, Sod is the most expensive option as it requires manual labor, equipment, and efforts for which you essentially must pay someone to do that. Hydroseeding from that point of view is again a better option as it is not that expensive.
Choosing Sod has another limitation that you are forced to choose only a specific, one species of grass for the lawn. Well, this is something not true for hydro seeded lawns.
You can choose a unique combination of grass types for your lawn. You can consider what suits you well and meets the requirement and works well in your property.
You will have better luck with a long-term beautiful lawn if you go with hydroseeding than with sod. Also, having different types of grass on your lawn has its own merits. A monoculture lawn is more susceptible to diseases than a lawn with more variety.
Also, if you see in a hydro seeded lawn, the results are very quick plus the germination rates are also high. You can observe the grasses growing in about a week itself.
Create your own mixture of Seed.
With hydroseeding, you also get to select a mixture of grass species that will suit your needs and will be perfect for your lawn.
This freedom of choice for plants makes your lawn look more beautiful and attractive. You will have a unique attachment with your lawn as it will have exactly what species you want, with your favorite colors and texture, which is exactly what we want with our landscape.
Among many pros of using hydroseeding, there are few cons that you should be knowing before you consider opting for it.
So, here we are providing a list of possible cons to give you balanced information about hydroseeding.
Tests your Patience.
If you are someone who enjoys immediate effects and is not very fond of patience, hydroseeding may put a tough time on you.
Hydroseeding does not show immediate effects, so unlike when you buy sod, you will not get to enjoy the experience of the finished lawn the very next day in hydroseeding.
Regardless of what seed type you are using, it takes at least 3-4 weeks for your lawn to establish enough for you to mow it.
Also, since hydroseeding requires so much machinery, delays can be a common problem.
Requires Lot of Water
As the name suggests, the process entirely depends on water and requires it in huge quantities.
For a lawn to establish and thrive properly, water anyways is required in an enormous quantity. According to experts, a hydro seeded lawn requires watering twice or thrice a day for a period.
In hydroseeding water is required at both times, at the time of seeding and after the seed is spread. A sod lawn requires less amount as compared to a hydro seeded lawn.
Not Really A DIY Type
If you find any advertisement or site selling a DIY hydroseeding sprayer, it is probably a scam, and you should not waste your money on anything like that.
It is practically not possible for a homeowner to operate and own hydroseeding machinery. It must be get done by any local company that specializes in hydroseeding. This again adds up to the overall cost.
Requires High Degree of Precision
Hydroseeding also requires to be done very precisely. So, you need to make sure that you are very precise in your work.
It is commonly heard that hydroseeding takes less time as you necessarily do not need to prepare the turf for the seeds like you do in traditional grass seed. But the fact is that the soil preparation needs to do very strictly, following a set of instructions generally given by the hired technician.
Another thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the hydroseed application should be done prior to growing season for specific grass types. Also, you need to ensure that you do not leave the seeds inside the machinery for more than an hour as they may get damaged by the water or fertilizers which are used to make slurry.
So, in all we should understand that there are things that can go wrong if you are going with hydroseeding and there can be risks associated if you are considering investing in this.
This basically applies when you are using this technique for a larger landscape. Large areas demand more amount of water and fertilizers, which in turn can affect the environment in a negative way.
Using fertilizers on large fields increases the risk of run-off of these chemicals into natural vegetation or soil which can destroy the quality of the vegetation.
Hydroseeding involves the use of slurry, made of a mixture of seed, water, mulch, and fertilizer, polymers for water retention, lime, and biostimulants. A green dye is also a part of slurry sometimes.
Dye basically helps to prevent over spraying of slurry at one place. It makes it easy to see as it is being laid down and helps to see areas where it is already applied.
The slurry is continuously mixed and transported using a tank that is mounted onto either a trailer or a truck. It is a concrete mixer, which constantly mixes the slurry to keep all the materials evenly combined.
Before spraying the hydroseed slurry, the soil needs to be prepared to make sure it is ready to take seeds and allow healthy germination.
Once done, the slurry is sprayed using a hose with a specialized nozzle. It can also be sprayed using other means like via aircraft, utilized for resowing the areas of the wilderness after a wildfire. However, in such conditions, only soil stabilizers are spread to avoid the accidental introduction of non-native plants.
Best Time for Hydroseeding
Now, that we know most things about hydroseeding, it is very important to know when the best time for it is.
For the initial 5-6 weeks, the appropriate temperature for hydroseeding is 75-80 degrees.
Every season has its own benefit. If you do this in spring or fall, you will probably require less water than you do in summers. Although in summers, the grass will germinate and grow faster.
But you should avoid hydroseeding during the winters. Winter is the time when the seeds enter dormancy and remain in there until the season warms up. So, it is better to do it in spring or in summer.
Precautions to take after Hydroseeding.
After hydroseeding, you should keep the bed moist for an extended time. This can be both challenging and expensive. So, if this is something you are not up for you can take options other than hydroseeding to go for it.
A hydro seeded land requires watering at least three to four times a day for a minimum of 15 minutes for the initial two weeks. For the next two weeks, reduce the number of times you water the lawn. But you should probably increase the duration of watering.
Also, if you are doing this for the first time, it can be challenging for you to do all this on your own. So, it is better to take professional help to ensure everything goes well.
Hydroseeding Erosion Control
Erosion control is the most common commercial reason for hydroseeding. It holds the moisture and protects against soil loss from wind, rain, sun, and pests through the binding of mulch, seed, tackifiers, and other soil conditioners that encompasses the slurry which binds the surface soil.
It provides a thicker, more uniform lawn consisting of interlocking fibers creating the ideal growing environment.
Decide for Yourself- Is Hydroseeding Right Choice for You?
By now you are aware of all the pros and cons that the hydroseeding technique has to offer. You can decide for yourself, what meets the needs and demands of your lawn and choose the one that works for you.
To achieve the same goal that is having a lush green lawn, there are several ofays you can use to do it. Laying sod can help you get instant lawn, and you can do it as a DIY project.
But, if have time and you are low on budget, hydroseeding or germinating seeds on yourself is probably the best way to for it. Also, though it takes a longer time, it gives a good start to your lawn. Moreover, it provides the benefit of choosing a blend of flowers or seeds to grow in your lawn, something that is not really offered by sods.
Regardless of which method you choose, there are few things that you should keep in mind to get a lush green beautiful lawn.
Firstly, avoid over-seeding. Especially if the soil condition is not very great. It may deteriorate your lawn, or you may end up getting thick patches of grass.
Secondly, fertilize the soil only as much as required. Too many fertilizers can mess up the pH of the soil and can imbalance it. It may increase the alkalinity of soil making it difficult for micronutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which are crucial elements for the health of plants, to properly dissolve in the soil.
And lastly, take all necessary measures to keep your plants healthy and green.
As we come to the end, we understand that hydroseeding can be challenging but it is a wonderful technique. it can also be heavy on your pocket if you are considering investing in it.
Now, with all the information about hydroseeding, its process, pros, and cons, we believe most of your questions must have been cleared by now. So, are you deciding to go with hydroseeding? If you do, let us know!