In certain situations, the use of sod or planting seeds directly may be challenging. When trying to grow a large area or a slope, conditions may require you to adopt a different planting method to combat the apparent challenges you’ll face.
Imagine the time and effort it’ll take you to seed a large lawn or park or the cost of laying sod over such a wide area.
There’s a better way for these peculiar situations. This method is highly efficient that even small lawn owners use it to redo or oversee their lawns.
In this article, I’ll show you all about this not so new planting method, so follow me on this planting ride.
What is Hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding is a planting technique that uses a slurry of seeds, fertilizer, essential soil nutrients, mulch, and water mixed in the right proportion and out through a nozzle in high pressure.
This method is efficient and inexpensive when compared to some other lawn growing techniques.
This high-pressure slurry planting method increases the germination speed. The slurry proportions are kept constant by the hydroseeding tank, which continuously mixes and pumps the slurry through a specialized nozzle.
Hydroseeding is similar to a broadcast seeder as they both spread the seeds. Still, hydroseeding spreads more than just seeds and at high pressure.
Types of Hydroseeding
Different types of overseeding are often separated by the kind of seeds and mulch used. Here we’ll be talking about the difference in mulch type.
- Paper Mulch: this is the least expensive mulch option. It should not be used in bare areas with no existing lawn; it is more effective when overseeding a patchy lawn.
- Wood Fiber Mulch: erosion-prone areas could do with wood fiber mulch in its slurry. This high-quality mulch option can also come with a tackifier to help the slurry stick to the slope.
- Bonded Fiber Matrix Mulch: much of this design is to prevent water from breaking it apart. Sometimes rainwater breaks the slurry and seeps into the ground, thereby creating patches in the ground. This biodegradable mulch type will prevent that. It is perfect for areas with a lot of rainfall.
- Blended Mulch: blended mulch is a blend of wood and paper mulch, which helps stabilize the slurry in heavy traffic areas. The blended mulch can help with erosion and also stick it to the ground better.
Pros of Hydroseeding
What exactly makes hydroseeding a viable option for growing lawns? See some answers to your question below.
- Variety: hydroseeding provides you with different seed options to choose from. Unlike when using sod where you’re limited on the type of sod to use, here, you can select whichever seed type best suits your need.
- Less Expensive than Sod: even though it is more expensive than planting seeds directly, you’ll find it more cost-effective than using sod.
- Perfect for large areas: using hydroseeding for large spaces will save you a lot of money and time while giving you a lush green lawn. Planting directly in the ground would be a back-breaking process while using sod will cost so much.
- Effective Against Dust Pollution
- Helps Prevent Erosion
Cons of Hydroseeding
Every good thing has its disadvantages, and hydroseeding is no different.
- Difficult for DIYers: hydroseeding is a specialized technique requiring specialized equipment that is difficult to come by and expensive. This makes it challenging for a DIY lover to replicate.
- Results Take Time: unlike with sod, where you see an immediate impact, for hydroseeding, you may have to wait for up to 4 weeks before you start seeing the result, depending on the grass type.
- Requires lots of Water: not only will you need lots of water to mix in the slurry, but it is also advisable to water at least twice a day after hydroseeding. This is a lot of water and might be a challenge in states with watering limitations.
How to Hydroseed Your Lawn?
I know I said this is a specialized technique, that doesn’t mean you cannot try it yourself. With some guidance and the right equipment, you can hydroseed your lawn.
Employing the help of a professional will save you time and mean you’re not bothered about getting the materials needed as these companies usually have large hydroseeding equipment.
If you decide to do-it-yourself, you’ll need to get hydroseeding equipment from hardware stores near you.
You don’t need to get large hydroseeding trailers. A simple hydroseeding holding tank and a pump would do.
Run Soil Tests
After getting your equipment ready, the first thing you should do is to run soil tests on the land to ascertain the type of nutrients and soil amendments needed in the slurry.
Grade the Soil
It is necessary to grade the soil surrounding the lawn area to avoid a run-off of slurry, contaminating soil moisture in other areas.
Mix the seeds, fertilizer and other soil amendments, mulch, dye, and water in the right proportions. You may need the help of an expert to guide you here. Pour into the holding tank.
After pouring the mixture into the holding tank, it is time to spray it. Start from a corner and move out, making sure not to step on already sprayed areas. The green dye will help you see the places you’ve sprayed.
How to Care for an Overseeded Lawn?
After you must have hydro seeded your lawn, whether you used the help of professionals or not, you need to maintain the yard to get a lush green lawn.
How to maintain the type of lawn is what I’ll be showing you in this section.
A crucial aspect of hydroseeding is watering. A lot of water is used in the slurry, and a lot of water is needed to maintain it.
Allow the area to dry for a day before you start watering.
You need to water consistently at least twice daily for the first two weeks. Too much water, however, can cause run-off into other areas. Watch out for run-offs and stop watering when that occurs.
Do not water if the temperature is above 85 degrees as this can burn the grass. Reduce the watering frequency once germination begins; instead, water more deeply.
After about five weeks, and when your grass is up to 3 inches high, you need to start mowing. Mowing encourages root growth while suppressing the growth of weed.
Clip the top of the grass, making sure you are cutting not more than 1/3 of the grass. You may need to make use of a mower with a bagger to bag the grass clippings if they’re impeding growth.
A starter fertilizer has already been applied with the slurry, so after the second mowing, you need to use a balanced 16-16-16 fertilizer to obey the manufacturer’s rates.
Make sure to apply the fertilizer only when the lawn is dry. You can then water deeply after applying the fertilizer. Fertilize 4-5 times yearly for optimum results.
Keep traffic to the barest minimum in the first ten weeks. This is because the grass is still tender and may crumble under humans’ weight and even pets.
The best time to hydroseed your lawn is when the weather is cold and wet, ideally during the spring.
This will give your grass the best chance of growing into a beautiful green lawn.
Hydroseeding should be your go-to method when covering a large area or slope.