Hydro-seeding is really a pretty simple process. Water, seed, fertilizer and a protective mulch is mixed in a tank and sprayed onto the ground.
The first known hydro-seeding unit was built by the state of Connecticut long ago. It was a jet type system and used peat moss as the mulch agent.
When the Interstate Highway System was started during the Eisenhower administration there was a change in how roads were built. All of a sudden roads went through the hills instead of over them or around them.
Conventional seeding techniques could not seed the steep hillsides created by highway construction and hydro-seeding was the answer. Something else happened too! People noticed the grass that was planted with hydro-seeding grew faster and better.
The early machines worked well, but were expensive enough that only big seeding jobs could be economically justified.
In the last decade much more affordable machines have come on the market, and the advantages of hydro-seeding are affordable to most any seeding professional.
Hydro-Seeding The Planting Process.
The process is fast, efficient, and economical. This grass planting process is usually more effective than conventional seeding and certainly more economical than conventional sodding.
The process begins by mixing mulch, seed, fertilizer, and water in the tank of a hydro-mulching machine. The mixed material is then pumped from the tank and sprayed onto the ground. The material is often referred to as a slurry, much like a soupy batch of green papier-mâché. Once applied to the soil, the material enhances initial growth by providing a micro-environment beneficial to seed germination.
Hydro seeding is a fast, cost effective way to have a new lawn that will turn your neighbors green with envy.
Hydro seeding costs only a little more than old fashioned methods using dry seeding techniques combined with a messy straw mulch.
Your new lawn will be sprayed on. The protective mulch covering has an attractive green appearance. A special blend of seeds will be used that will be chosen for the conditions and requirements you have. The factors that may go into the choice may be the amount of sun, shade, the terrain, the type of soil and if you have children or pets.
Your lawn will be hydro seeded with a tested, high quality, certified turf mix. Germination time will depend on the weather, the time of year, the amount of water, the area you live in and other factors. Usually grass will be visible in 5-7 days, a few days slower in cold weather or the hottest part of summer.
You will be surprised how inexpensive it is to have a truly outstanding lawn.
Advantges of Hydro-Seeding Over Dry Seeding
Hydro-seeded lawns come up faster. The contact of the seed with water will trigger the germination cycle. We often hear of grass up in 3 to 5 days.
Hydro-seeding has an attractive green appearance that looks far better than lawns dry seeded and covered with straw mulch.
Unlike straw that is often used as a protective cover for a newly seeded area, hydro-seeding mulch has NO weed seed. Straw is loaded with weed seed.
Hydro seeding allows the custom tailoring of the proper seed for your job. It is not uncommon to use two or even three seeds custom spraying the right seed for different areas on the lawn or job.
Many custom hydro-seeding contractors will use one seed for shady areas, one for high traffic areas, one to make the front lawn a showpiece.
Hydro-Seeding mulch adds to the humus content of a lawn as it decomposes. The bacterial action of straw will leach nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes.
Advantages of Hydro-Seeding Over Sod
Sod is a good solution to the need for a new lawn. It is expensive. Sod generally costs 3 to 5 times more than hydro-seeding. Hydro-seeding will often produce turf as nice looking as sod within a very short time at a significant cost savings.
With hydro-seeding the new seedlings are grown on your soil. Sod can have a problem with the type of soil it was grown on, not having sufficient compatibility with the soil it is planted on. This is called "not taking". If you have ever seen sod that looks like it could be rolled right back up even years after it was planted. That is sod that did not take.
Sod requires a lot of care. It can produce a beautiful lawn. Should you decide to use sod, or as some people do, decide to sod the front lawn, and hydro-seed the back lawn.
What exactly is in the mix.
Water in the mix acts as a carrier, and the contact of the seed and the water will jump start the growth process. When extra fast germination is desired, it is also possible to pre-germinate seed for even faster growth.
Seed used in a hydro-seeder doesn't need to be anything special. Nearly any seed can be used and at the same application rate as other seeding methods. These can include grass or lawn seeds, wildflowers, pasture seed, seed for athletic fields and seeds for erosion control such as crown vetch.
Fertilizer is usually used in the mix. A high phosphorus "starter" fertilizer that will stimulate root growth is the most commonly used
Hydro-seeding mulch is what gives it the green color. It does more than just make it pretty, it helps protect the seed, and to seal in moisture. It may be made from a paper or wood product or a mix. If any accidentally gets on your walkways, driveways or house, it will not stain and can be washed off, or will just disappear on it's own.