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Hydroseeding process

Hydroseeding for quickly reseeding a new lawn

Sodding is an expensive and labor-intensive way of establishing a new lawn, but it is quick. Seeding is less expensive, but susceptible to rainfall washout and sometimes spotty growth. Another new lawn installation option is hydroseeding.

Not intended as a do-it-yourself option, hydroseeding makes quick work of sowing large areas with grass seed.

Hydroseeding is less expensive because it requires a smaller crew size, but does require specialized equipment. In recent years, the hydroseeding industry has been growing at about 10% a year as more and more people realize the value of the hydroseeding process. The seed, fertilizer, hydro mulch, tackifier and water are all applied in one fast easy step from a large tank through a hose and nozzle.

Hydroseeding process

Hydroseeding is a process of mixing grass seed, fertilizer, and mulch then applying that mixture under pressure with a hose. You'll notice a hydro seeded lawn by it's distinctive dark green appearance.

The mulch used in hydroseeding depends on the machine a contractor is using, climate conditions and personal preference. The basic mulches available are 100% paper comprised of chopped-up newspaper, green dye and a foaming agent. Other mulches include 100% wood by-products, and mixes of the two.

Hydroseed typically germinates faster than normally broadcast seeding because broadcast seeding requires several days of watering to reach the same level of moisture saturation the grass needs to grow as that used in the hydroseeding process. Not all types of grass can be grown with hydroseeding. Most common varieties, including Bermuda grass, Buffalo grass, Zoysia grass, Fescues, can be hydroseeded.

Hydroseeding can be done in the spring, fall and early summer. Soil preparation is the same for all types of grass: remove debris, till the soil, add necessary fertilizers for the site's condition, grade and level for smooth surface and then lightly pack and moisten the yard prior to using the hydroseeding process.

After a lawn has been hydroseeded, water it lightly for three to four weeks, keeping the surface evenly moist. In addition to preserving moisture, the hydroseeded mulch will help in preventing erosion and runoff. Heavy rain or sloped areas can cause the seed, fertilizers and silt to wash onto sidewalks and into sewer systems.

Usually the grass will be ready to mow in three to four weeks. Keep traffic low for two to four months after the lawn is established, and avoid normal to high use until the lawn has had a year to take root.