A lot of homeowners have turned to modern methods like hydroseeding to help them grow magazine cover-worthy lush green lawns without spending a lot of money. With the right hydroseed mixture, skills, and good timing, you can grow a healthy lawn through hydroseeding anywhere in the world.
The best time to hydroseed is in the spring according to all the experts. This is when conditions are ideal for growth. Spring or early fall is a great period for grass growth because there will be enough rainwater and ground temperatures are perfect for sprouting and growth.
Hydroseeding may seem convenient and less engaging than regular seeding but it does need a bit of skill and planning to get right. Let’s explore what else you need to know about getting hydroseeding to work for you.
You can hydroseed during fall because there is enough rain and good soil temperature to aid growth. However, it’s not recommended to hydroseed too late in fall as the harsh winter conditions might prevent the seed from germinating and generally make it harder for you to maintain the lawn or monitor progress.
How Long Does Hydroseed Take to Sprout?
Sprayed hydroseed takes between five to seven days or even less to sprout depending on the condition of the soil, type of grass in the hydroseed mixture, and fertilizer. You should be able to see tiny sprouts lifting off the soil in a matter of days if all goes well. This is why it is important to hydroseed in the right season (spring) when conditions are just right for seed germination and growth.
When Can I Mow Hydroseed Grass for The First Time?
While it might come down to the type of grass and other factors such as the amount of water and maintenance, hydroseeded lawns can be mowed at least a month or a month and a half after spraying the hydroseed. However, this also depends on your preferences on how tall you want your grass to grow and what you want the lawn to be used for.
If it’s a completely new lawn that has never had grass on it before, then it would make sense to leave the new grass until it is mature and grown blades above 3-inches tall before you mow. You also don’t want to rush mowing grass that has not developed a strong root system. Mowing too early might lead to the mower uprooting instead of shortening the grass in areas with non-compacted soil thus creating ugly patches.
Is Hydroseeding Better Than Regular Seeding?
Hydroseeding is a better method to start a lawn than regular seeding for many reasons despite its slightly higher cost. Here are some of them:
Hydroseeding Is Faster Than Regular Seeding
You will have to do a lot more work to plant an entire lawn with regular seeding compared to if you were hydroseeding. This is because the hydroseed mixture is easier to spray and can seep into freshly tilled or aerated soil much more easily.
Hydroseeding Is Less Tedious- Less Work
You don’t have to worry about mixing fertilizers, adding water, and getting the ratios right when hydroseeding. The hydroseed slurry comes ready with fertilizer, seed, and other minerals mixed and all that is needed is to add water and spray it with a machine. If not, then the company you choose will mix the slurry for you and spray it.
Faster and More Uniform Growth
Hydroseeded grass generally grows faster and more uniformly than regularly seeded grass. You will be able to tell by looking at a freshly hydroseeded lawn if there are any missed patches as opposed to regular seeding where the seeds disappear into the soil.
Is Hydroseeding Worth the Extra Cost?
You will spend a little more to hydroseed as compared to regular seeding. The extra costs are mainly because of the spraying machine needed and probably the labor costs if you choose to work with a professional landscaper. However, hydroseeding is worth the extra cost because you won’t have to spend extra on fertilizer and labor costs to apply the seed, water, and fertilizer separately.
At the same time, hydroseeding lawns generally require less maintenance in the first few months. After hydroseeding, you only need to make sure that the grounds are properly watered and wait for the grass to grow. You also won’t need to do extra seeding to cover areas missed as it’s easier to spray every inch while spraying with a machine.
Can You Hydroseed Over an Existing Lawn?
Yes, you can hydroseed over an existing lawn provided the existing grass and lawn are properly prepared before spraying the fresh hydroseed. The process of hydroseeding over an existing lawn is sometimes referred to as overseeding and it’s useful if the grass has thinned out, has large gaps, or if you want to increase the amount of grass on your lawn for comfort.
To prepare an existing lawn for hydroseeding, you will need to first mow, then aerate using an aerating machine or power rake. This will ensure that the soil is loose enough for the fresh hydroseed mix to seep into the soil and germinate. That said, it’s recommended to spray hydroseed on freshly tilled soil as opposed to hydroseeding over existing grass for the best results.
Should You Water Hydroseed Right Away?
The hydroseed mixture already contains a substantial amount of water so it might not make sense to water the lawn right away. Give it a day to seep into the soil before you turn on the sprinklers or start watering. However, you will need to make sure that the lawn is properly watered throughout if there are no rains to help the seed to germinate.
Hydro seeded lawns require constant watering to prevent the mixture from drying and forming thick lumps that cannot germinate. This is also why it could be more convenient to hydroseed in spring when there are rainwater and a bit of sun to aid germination and growth.
How Often Should I Water Hydroseed?
Hydroseed should remain moist for at least a month to allow the sprouts to grow so you should water it at least three times per day at regular intervals. You can create a daily watering schedule that includes early morning watering, noon and later afternoon watering (approximately 10 minutes for each session).
If possible, install an automated irrigation system so that you don’t have to walk on the hydroseed and possibly trample over young sprouts or interfere with the hydroseed. Set the system to water as regularly as possible depending on the daytime temperatures and weather conditions. If you are having above-average temperatures in spring (above 70), you can increase the frequency to four or five times per day but not at night.
Will Rain Wash Away Hydroseed?
Good quality hydroseed also includes a tackifier or some kind of bonding material that ensures that the sprayed mixture sticks to the soil and does not get washed away in the rain. However, you should ensure that your soil on your lawn is properly prepared before spraying hydroseed to allow the mixture to seep into the soil. This may involve tilling or aerating to loosen the topsoil as you would normally do when doing regular seeding.
The time you choose to hydroseed also matters in protecting your seed and making sure that it has time to germinate and grow without being disturbed. If there are torrential rains or a storm in the forecast, then you should probably wait until there is fairer weather to hydroseed.