Hydroseeding is a method that can be used for planting grass for purposes of erosion control, or to grow new lawns entirely; it has been around since the 1950s. It is also an efficient, inexpensive alternative to laying sod in an area where grass or a lawn is desired. Hydroseeding can also be referred to as hydraulic mulch seeding, hydromulching, or hydroseeding.
How does it work?
The machine that actually does all the work for you is called a hydroseeder. Machines come in two main types: jet agitated and mechanical agitated. We offer mechanical agitated machines because they are able to handle a wider range of materials including thicker mixtures that will usually stick better and yield enhanced results.
Our machines use paddles to mix the material, and a gear pump to pump out the slurry, or liquid mixture, onto the prepared soil. The mixture is then sprayed out through either a collapsible hose which is lighter weight and easier to handle, or a hard hose, which can begin pumping mulch while still wrapped on the reel. We offer both options with our machines depending on preference.
What is the Application Process Like When Planting New Lawns?
The slurry being pumped out is a mixture comprised of grass seed, fertilizer, wood fiber mulch, and water, that is then sprayed on to either prepared existing soil or a new layer of top soil. Once the mixture has been applied, all that is needed is regular watering 2-3 times a day for at least 10 minutes each time. Simple as that!
How Does it All Come Together to Make Grass?
Wood fiber mulch in the mixture accelerates the growing process by maintaining moisture around the seeds and in turn increasing the rate of germination. The typical germination period takes anywhere from 7-14 days during the growing season, so you should have your first mow in 3-4 weeks’ time.
What Are Some Advantages to Choosing Hydroseeding Over Laying Sod?
If you’re looking to plant grass over a relatively large area, this method is faster and less expensive than laying sod. It is also effective for growing grass on hillsides or sloping lawns.
Another benefit to hydroseeding is that in some parts of the country, you can choose whatever seed blend you’d like to use and customize the look of your lawn. This also means that if you have patches of difficult soil, shade, or other challenging conditions, you can tailor the varieties of lawn to best suit your landscaping needs.
Are There Any Other Machines or Techniques Used for Establishing Grass Similar to Hydroseeding?
Yes, there are!
Seed and fertilizer can be applied dry onto the bare ground with various means. When the seed and fertilizer are spread like this, the area is subject to washing away during rain and there is no mechanism for retaining moisture in the soil. Straw or hay can be spread over the planted area to provide erosion protection and moisture retention.
Spreading straw or hay over the planted area is hard work and is time consuming. Turf Maker manufactures a machine called the TGMI Straw Blower that is the leading compact straw blower in the landscape industry, and widely used for industrial rentals.
Using a straw blower is more efficient than hand spreading; two people can spread up to 120 bails per hour. Going this route will also reduce the amount of straw required by up to 20%. There is no waste, and the costs of the machine will be recovered quickly with labor and material waste savings.
Whether you use the hydromulching process, or use straw or hay as the protective mulch cover, TurfMaker offers machinery to best suit your grass planting needs. Please feel free to reach out to one of our team members with any questions about mulches and/or slurry mixture choices, applications, and machinery options.