Everyone loves a golf course-quality lawn, but few people are willing to go through the process of establishing it. This is because the process is usually labor-intensive and time-consuming, no matter the method you select.
When comparing hydroseeding and regular seed, hydroseeding is a better option and easier alternative compared to regular grass seed. Although hydroseeding is a little more expensive than regular grass seed, grows faster and thinker.
Hydroseeding is up to 4 x cheaper than sod but gives just as good a coverage in the long term.
Both hydroseeding and regular grass seed have their own pros and cons, but hydroseeding has many benefits over regular seeding. These include:
Procedure and time
Typically, hydroseeding involves spraying water-based semi-liquid slurry that contains grass seed, fertilizer, mulch, and binding agents onto the soil. The mixture is sprayed onto the lawn using a hydraulic sprayer, making the process easier than regular seeding.
Hydroseeding is time-efficient because all the essential components are applied at the same time. Regular seeding involves multiple steps of applying seed, mulch, and fertilizer by hand, which may be time-consuming.
Since the hydroseed mixture contains absorbent fiber mulch, fertilizer, and binding agents that are applied simultaneously, it will germinate within five to seven days. This is because the grass seeds are in constant contact with moisture, and mulch helps reduce moisture loss. This helps the seeds to germinate faster, and you can mow the lawn for the first time after one month.
Regular grass seed takes longer to germinate because it involves multiple steps for applying the mulch and fertilizer that are effective in accelerating growth.
When installed, hydroseed requires less maintenance compared to hand seeding due to the fiber mulch present from the start. Hand seeding will need regular maintenance to prevent the seed from drying because mulch is applied later in the process.
However, as the hydroseed grass continues to grow, the mulch will break down, and you will have to water the grass and maintain it regularly for better results.
Hydroseeding includes binders that create a strong bond with the soil. Once the mixture dries, it forms a strong carpet-like surface that prevents the seed from being blown away by strong wind or washed away by water. This limits erosion and helps the seed to adhere better to the soil.
However, with regular seeding, no binding mixture is added, which means the seeds remain bare in the soil. The seeds may, thus, be washed or blown away in case of heavy rain and wind.
Nutrients and fertilizer
Fertilizer is one of the ingredients in a hydroseed mixture, which provides the seed with essential nutrients to accelerate its growth. Also, when the fiber mulch mixture decomposes, it adds more nutrients to the soil.
Fertilizer and mulch are applied later for regular hand seeding. Therefore, if you are not careful with the timing, the seed may die due to a lack of enough nutrients and moisture.
Is hydroseeding worth the cost?
The average cost of seed is about $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot while the hydroseeding cost ranges between $0.06 and $0.20. You are likely to spend approximately $3,500 on the seed and $3,000 for the hydroseeding process for one acre.
This cost is relatively cheap compared to sodding, and if you decide to DIY the process, it will be much cheaper.
To answer the question, hydroseeding is worth the cost because the cost of materials is cheap. The type of equipment you use plus labor costs may hike the total cost, but the fast results will be worth the investment.
Cost difference between hydroseeding and regular grass seed.
|Overall cost for hydroseeding a lawn|
|Overall cost for regular grass seeding|
|Cost for hydroseeding per square foot|
|Cost for grass seeding per square foot|
The overall cost for both hydroseeding and regular seeding will depend on the yard’s size, quality, and type of grass and the location. To get the right estimates, it is advisable to compare several contractors’ rates before hiring a particular one.
How effective is hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding is very effective, and it is fast becoming popular among many homeowners and professional landscapers. It is a very cost-effective option for lawns, and the quality of the seed is also very good. More so, you will attain a healthier, greener, and long-lasting lawn than regular seeding and sod.
The trick is to perform proper and regular care and maintenance to the lawn, and you will get the best quality results that other lawn establishment processes.
Pros and cons of hydroseeding
Hydroseeding is a very efficient method of applying grass on bare soil as it binds better than regular seed. However, like all other lawn establishment processes, it has its pros and cons as highlighted below.
Cheaper than sod
Although you will not have an instant lawn with hydroseeding, it is way cheaper than sod and faster than regular seeding. Labor costs and equipment may be costly, but the overall cost is still cheaper than sodding.
Healthier and better quality grass
Hydroseeding offers you a combination of grass types that will suit your needs. The grass seeds will also work well in all the areas of your lawn. Therefore, the lawn will be healthier and will attain golf course quality in the long-term when well maintained.
More so, with a variety of grass seeds, the lawn will be better able to fight diseases, unlike sod that involves monoculture.
Due to the many available grass seeds for hydroseeding, you have the freedom to select the type of grass you would love for your lawn. So, you will have the color and texture that suits your preferences, unlike sod which has limited seed options.
Ideal for large yards
Hydroseeding is the best option for large spaces as it becomes very cost-effective in terms of seed and labor costs. Since you only need the sprayer and the seed mixture, it will be faster than regular seeding and cheaper than sodding.
Large quantities of water
Hydroseeding requires a large amount of water both during and after spreading the seed. Although every new and established lawn requires water, hydroseeding will take more water than the other processes. You may need to water the lawn two to three times every day for a certain time for the lawn to establish fully.
Hydroseeding will not give you an instant lawn like sod, as it takes about a week to sprout, a month to establish and almost one year to be ready for heavy traffic. If you are not patient, this is not the option for you.
You cannot install hydroseed at any time of the year because it may fail. The best seasons for the installation are spring and fall because the moderate rain and warm temperature will help the seed grow deeper. Any other time of the year may cause the seed to fail.
Since the growing environment for hydroseeding is not controlled like that of sod, so many weeds will develop once the seed sprouts. This will call for high maintenance to get rid of the weeds, and you will incur additional labor costs for the weed removal process.
Usually, commercial hydroseed application may lead to a negative environmental impact as it can adversely affect existing vegetation. Besides, there can be run-offs that may pollute nearby water sources.
What companies do hydroseeding?
There are several companies that offer excellent hydroseeding services. Some of them include:
- Reyes Gardening Services has a 4.7-star rating and has worked with over 60 clients.
- Coastscapes with a 5.0-star rating.
- Backyard Gold Company is very efficient and has a star rating of 5.0.
- Hydrograss Technologies, one of the best hydroseeding companies.
Finding a hydroseeding company near me
You can find so many hydroseeding companies on the internet, but you need to do your homework to find the best.
The following steps will be handy during your search.
Internet- the simplest and fastest way to find a hydroseeding company near you is by conducting a Google search. By typing ‘hydroseeding company near me + your town” you will find several contractors ready for hire near your location.
Asking around- if you know people that have hired a hydroseeding contractor recently, you can ask them for recommendations. However, due to different personal preferences, ensure you determine whether the contractor will suit your needs before hiring him/her.
Online services- several online platforms can help you to find affordable hydroseeding contractors near you. You only need to provide your contact details and the kind of work you have. The platform will then forward those details to all the contractors that suit your needs.
Request IAHP- another excellent way you can use to find qualified contractors near you is by contacting the International Association of Hydroseeding Professionals and ask for their assistance. This body governs all the hydroseeding contractors, and it may help you find reliable contractors near you.
How does hydroseeding work?
Typically, hydroseeding involves using a high-pressure hose pipe to apply grass seeds into the soil that has already been tilled. These seeds may be in a mixture containing water, fertilizer, mulch, and other binding nutrients to give your lawn a healthy kickoff.
Cost of hydroseeding per sq ft
On average, it costs homeowners about $0.13 per square foot to hydroseed a lawn. This cost can range from $0.06 to 0.20 per square foot depending on several factors such as the type of seed, location, and lawn size. For one acre lawn, the cost lies between $2000 and $4000.
Can I hydroseed over an existing lawn?
Yes, it is possible to hydroseed over an existing lawn. You, however, need to be very careful not to smother the already existing grass or vegetation. Usually, the hydroseed mulch mixture is very thick to protect the seeds throughout the germination process. So, if you spray it onto existing grass, it may cover it completely and kill it.
Therefore, you should use a thinner mulch mixture to protect the available grass and to allow the new mixture to grow well.
How long does hydroseeding last?
Hydroseeding is a slower process than sodding, and it needs proper care and maintenance to get high-quality results. In about two weeks, the grass may look lush and green, but it is not yet ready for use. It will need about six months to one year to fill in and thicken up to attain sod-quality. No one should walk on the lawn until it is fully established as this may delay its growth.
How fast does hydroseeding grass grow?
Usually, it takes about five to seven days for hydroseeding grass to grow depending on the watering, climate and seed mixture. If you provide proper care and maintenance and do not experience extreme weather, the grass can reach about three inches within the first month.