Hydroseeding is a modern and faster way to plant. With the right hydroseed slurry and equipment, you can have a picture-perfect lawn in your yard in less than a month.
While hydroseeding might seem like a simple job, there is a lot that goes into it hence why you should spend some extra money and hire a professional. Otherwise, you may spend a lot of time preparing your yard, mixing the hydroseed slurry, and learning how to use the hydroseeder safely only to find you messed it all up. Professionals have the expertise to do the job in less time and will come with the required equipment so you don’t have to rent.
That being said, people do hydroseed themselves and it can turn out just fine. So here are a few things you need to know before you dive in head first.
Several factors might come into play if you choose the DIY hydroseeding route as far as costs are concerned. In most cases, you will discover that DIY hydroseeding is more expensive than outsourcing it to a company especially if you add the number of hours you spend doing it. While you will be forced to lease or hire equipment, a company that does hydroseeding will come with its equipment and may not charge for it.
While deciding whether to hydroseed yourself or hire a professional, you should consider the following factors:
Size of Your Lawn/Yard
How big is the lawn you want to hydroseed? Is it above 2,000 square feet in surface area? If so, you will save money by getting a professional to hydroseed for you. For reference, the standard residential lawn or yard in the United States ranges between 5,000 square feet to 10,500 square feet in surface area. Lawns above 2,000 square feet require commercial hydroseeding equipment and more than one person to properly hydroseed for the best results.
At the same time, you wouldn’t want to rent heavy hydroseeding and mixing equipment if your lawn is small in size- below 1000 square feet in surface area.
For small-sized lawns, hiring a professional is usually the best choice as they usually charge by the hour as opposed to full-day equipment use.
You can also consider DIY hydroseeding if you are doing it to fill up empty patches or small sections of dead grass on your lawn. This does not require special skills or heavy equipment and will be cheaper if you can do it on your own.
Equipment Availability and Cost
Sometimes it might make more sense to DIY hydroseed if you can access for-rent hydroseeding equipment at a cheaper rate. This depends on your location and demand for such equipment when you need them. Having to buy new equipment or a hydroseeding starter kit does not make sense since you only need to hydroseed once.
Your Skill Level and Schedule
If you are the type of person who likes to do their landscaping, then you can consider DIY hydroseeding. You need to know how to prepare the hydroseed slurry as recommended by the manufacturer and spray it evenly for the best results. You can hire an unskilled handyman to help you with the job if you have a big yard.
Those who are not skilled in lawn care or wouldn’t want to spend hours mixing and spraying grass seed and fertilizer should consider hiring external help. Hydroseeding is a backbreaking job that also requires some level of skill and patience to get right. Most hydroseed kits are not cheap so you might want it done right the first time so you don’t spend more money to correct mistakes later.
Time of Year or Season
The peak season for jobs like hydroseeding and hydro mulching in the United States means that there is a high demand for such services. If rates are too high in peak season, then you might consider DIY hydroseeding as it will be cheaper provided you can get your hands on the equipment.
Do I Need Any Special Skills to Hydroseed?
Anyone can hydroseed their lawn without the help provided they know the basics and have the required equipment. You do, however, need to know what kind of hydroseed slurry you need for your soil and how to prepare it. This IS usually in the user manual on most products so you will need to take time to read through them before you start mixing.
That said, spraying the hydroseed slurry on your tilled yard requires some skill to get right. You need to know the quantities needed to spray depending on the type of soil and other factors to get even growth across the lawn. Professionals who have experience preparing and spraying hydroseed will spend most of their time trying to achieve an even spray across the yard for a perfect lawn.
Some of the basics you need to know before you attempt to hydroseed include the following:
Soil preparation– This will depend on the condition and type of soil in your yard. You need to spray the hydroseed on freshly tilled and loosened soil for the best results. You may also want to have it checked for moisture and PH levels so you can choose the right fertilizer and water amounts while mixing.
Mixing– You need to know how to prepare your hydroseed slurry and the quantities required of each component (seed, fertilizer, water, mulch, and other components). Getting the right mix is paramount to achieving the desired growth. While this information might be available from the manufacturer, professionals will have an easier time preparing the slurry depending on the condition and size of your yard.
Spraying – Hydroseeding is not just about pushing a button and pumping slurry over a surface. You need to determine how to use the machine and what rate you need to spray to get the best results. You may also need to stabilize the soil after spraying the slurry depending on the laws in your location.
DIY Hydroseeding Vs Professional Pros and Cons
There is a lot to be gained if you have the budget and can afford to hire a professional to hydroseed for you. However, there is also no harm in going the DIY hydroseeding route if you have the skills and have access to the required equipment. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches from a neutral perspective:
Advantages of Hiring A Professional to Hydroseed
Professional Results (Guaranteed)
When you decide to hire a professional, you have every right to expect the best results at the end of the day as opposed to if you were doing it on your own as you learn the process. Professional lawn care companies have experienced and trained experts who have probably done similar work in the past. They have the skills and expertise to prepare your lawn, mix the slurry, and spray it as required for optimal grass growth and health.
On the other hand, going the DIY route may mean that you have to learn in the process and may make a few mistakes that need to be corrected later. For instance, you may end up with uneven grass growth or dead patches that can only be corrected after a month or so.
Professionals Work Faster
Professionals will finish the job faster since they use commercial hydroseeding, mixing and spraying equipment. They can also use multiple crew members and machines to ensure that the job is completed within schedule If you have an oversized lawn so that the grass can grow evenly across the lawn.
Get Access to Expert Advice
Starting and maintaining a healthy lawn is not easy, especially If you live in a hot and dry location like Nevada where you have to rely on artificial irrigation to keep the grass healthy all year round. By working with a professional lawn care service from the start, you will get access to expert advice on how best to maintain the freshly hydroseeded lawn. At the same time, the professionals will also help you with the best seed for your soil if you are not sure.
Warranty and After Sales Services
You won’t have to deal with bad results on your own when you hire a hydroseeding service. It’s normal not to get the desired grass growth after hydroseeding. The contractor should be able to offer at least a month’s service warranty within which they can come back and correct any flaws such as dead patches and poor grass health.
At the same time, some can offer after-sales services such as setting up your irrigation system and helping you measure the right fertilizer and mulch quantities. Most hydroseeding companies are also able to offer full landscaping services too so you can choose to retain their services until your lawn is mature and healthy.
For Your Safety
You may not have the proper training, expertise, and personal protective equipment to operate or repair a lawn hydroseeder. This exposes you to dangers associated with operating heavy equipment that may not be covered under your current health insurance. Lawn care companies have trained and experienced staff who can operate hydroseeding equipment and also handle materials safely.
It Is Cheaper
As mentioned in the beginning, it is cheaper with all factors considered to hire a hydroseeding service as opposed to doing it on your own. For instance, you won’t have to rent the hydroseeding machine for longer than you need it if you have a small yard.
Disadvantages of Hiring A Professional – Why DIY Hydroseed?
There are circumstances where going the DIY route may make sense. Here are some of the disadvantages of hiring a professional hydroseeding service and why you should choose the DIY route.
You Own a Hydroseeder
There is no reason to pay for a commercial hydroseeding service if you already own a hydroseeder or any machine that is capable of performing the same function. It will be cheaper to buy the hydroseed, mix it yourself, and spray it if you know what you are doing.
You Are Skilled at Hydroseeding
You may have acquired hydroseeding skills from a past job or through a course and are comfortable about doing the job yourself. In this case, you might find it cheaper to hire someone to help you at a lower hourly rate as opposed to a professional.
When You Are Hydroseeding For Maintenance
If all you want is to spray hydroseed on empty patches or small sections of your lawn, then DIY hydroseeding is the best and more sensible option.
Can I Hydroseed Over an Existing Lawn?
You can hydroseed over an existing lawn to increase the amount of grass (density) and to get rid of empty patches. However, hydroseeding over an existing law requires that you use a less dense slurry so as not to cover the existing healthy grass.
Why Is Hydroseeding Better Than Regular Seeding?
Hydroseeding is a modern way to plant grass over a large area and comes with many advantages. It is easier and faster to plant a lot of seeds with a hydroseeder. Mixing all the components into a slurry also allows you to complete the job in one pass. Finally, hydroseeding generally leads to even germination and a visually pleasing lawn.