HYDROSEEDING FAQ'S

WHAT IS HYDROSEEDING?

Hydroseeding is an application of a water-based slurry mixture of seed, mulch, fertilizer, and other additives applied simultaneously under pressure over PREPARED SOIL for a quick and effective way to get a lush, green, and healthy lawn, or re-establish vegetation in an area that’s been disrupted by construction activities or natural disasters. However, hydroseeding is much more than just slopping some seed and mulch on the ground and hoping it will grow!

Just about any place where the ground has been disturbed from construction activities or natural disasters you will find hydroseeders being used to keep the soil from eroding away due to wind and rain, to establish or re-establish vegetation. (lawns, ground covers, wildflowers) Hydroseeding is practical for residential lawns large-scale projects and virtually anything in between. Hydroseeding applications can be customized to meet the individual needs of practically any project.

HOW MUCH DOES HYDROSEEDING COST?

Regrettably, there is “NO” set square foot or square meter price for hydroseeding because each job’s individual requirements and variables determines the cost . The primary methods establishing or re-establishing vegetation in areas that have been disrupted by construction activities or natural disasters are:

  • Dry Seeding (Broadcast Seeding) is the least costly and least effective method

  • Slit Seeding about 3 times the cost of dry seeding

  • Hydroseeding about 2 times the cost of slit seeding

  • Terraseeding about 3 times the cost of hydroseeding, and;

  • Sodding between 3 and 5 times the cost of hydroseeding making it most expensive of the options

Keep in mind these costs are very general and depending on your area could fluctuate wildly

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HYDROSEED?

When to hydroseed depends on your climate. The ideal time in Southern Ontario for most grasses is during those seasonal periods when daytime air temperatures range between 15 - 24 degrees Celsius (59 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit), and ground temperatures are at least 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) and regular rainfall is anticipated, e.g., May, June, September and Early October.

 

Spring and fall are considered the best times of the year to hydroseed to ensure a good result from your efforts. These times of year generally provide the milder, wetter environments that are beneficial for hydroseed to establish and grow well. The anticipated rainfall will help defray the costs of watering.

  • Spring hydroseeding takes advantage of spring rains and cooler temperatures which makes for particularly good growing conditions. However, frost can be hard on seed, slowing down and sometimes even killing seeds, so make sure you’re planning to hydroseed late enough in the spring so frost isn’t likely. The disadvantage of spring seeding is if followed by a hot summer, it may take more watering for the first year to keep it alive and thriving in the summer.

  • Summer hydroseeding is popular, but it is often more expensive because it requires more maintenance and water than other seasons. This is because summers tend to be hotter and drier, so hydroseeding in the summer can be more challenging during these months. You will need to make sure recently hydroseeded areas have plenty of water and appropriate drainage to manage any runoff and avoid pooling. Finally, unless you have an abundant and cheap source of water its best not to plant in the summer. There is not much point in fighting off high temperatures if it is possible to avoid it.

  • Fall hydroseeding takes advantage of the warm days/cool nights and gives the seed time to establish before winter sets in. However, frost can be hard on seed, slowing down and sometimes even killing seeds, so make sure you’re planning to hydroseed at least 45 days or so before the first expected frost. If done in the late fall the seed will be dormant throughout the winter and then when the rains and warmer temperatures of spring to give it a good start before a hot summer.

 

WHAT PREPARATION IS REQUIRED?

Preparing the ground for hydroseeding is an important step in ensuring a beautiful bed of grass. This phase is sometimes overlooked or rushed, but not preparing the soil (Seedbed) correctly is one of the most common and major mistakes made. It is essential and critical to ensure that the seedbed is optimized for the hydroseeding slurry, grass seed or sod. Regardless of the seeding method chosen hydroseeding, broadcast seeding or sodding there is not much difference. Loose, level, debris-free soil creates a foundation for good germination, establishment and sustainability.

 

The extent of the soil (seedbed) preparation depends upon your soil test results. Most seeds require a fine textured, loose soil surface for the small roots of the seed embryo to penetrate and take hold. You can have the finest seed and best fertilizer, but poor soil (Seedbed) preparation can lead to inadequate results.

OVERSEEDING HYDROSEEDING APPLICATION:     Overseeding is a method of seeding over the top of an existing lawn. As your lawn continues to age the production rate of new grass blades begins to slow down, and in this weakened state, weeds can start to take over. The main reasons for overseeding lawns are:  The lawn has become thin, brown, patch and/or weed infested. It is essential that the area you plan to overseed is properly prepped & ready before seeding. The basic guidelines for preparation are:

  • Cutting down all existing grass, vegetation as short as possible

  • Removal of all rocks, debris and loosening of the compacted soil so the seed’s embryo can germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil. For large areas a quad or lawn tracker with a set of harrows can be used to loosen up the soil. After you harrow you can use a piece of chain link fence or turn the harrows upside down to remove the grooves and make it smooth and manicured. You need to ensure that the topsoil is not crusted or hard packed. Be sure the surface is free of any debris, large rocks, leaves and sticks. This allows the seed’s embryo to germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil.

NEW HYDROSEEDING APPLICATION:        Is a method of seeding over 2-4 inches of bare loose quality topsoil. it is essential that the area you plan to seed is properly prepped & ready before seeding. The basic guidelines for preparation are:

  • Remove any existing grass or weeds. This can be done by using a machine or by hand.

  • Break up the top 10-15cm (4 – 6 inches) of soil using a tiller. If topsoil is brought in, use a minimum of 2-4 inches

  • Remove any debris such as larger stones or clumps of clay.

  • Final grade & drainage must be completed before spreading new top soil or seeding. Then level, roll and rake the area so the first inch is loose and fluffy. For large areas a quad or lawn tracker with a set of harrows can be used to loosen up the soil. After you harrow you can use a piece of chain link fence or turn the harrows upside down to remove the grooves and make it smooth and manicured. You need to ensure that the topsoil is not crusted or hard packed. Be sure the surface is free of any debris, large rocks, leaves and sticks. This allows the seed’s embryo to germinate and have the small roots take hold and grow deep. In order for the seed to germinate it must be in direct contact with the loosened soil.

  • Another item to consider is underground sprinklers or irrigation systems.

WILL HYDROSEED WASH AWAY?

In general, if the soil has been properly prepared loose and fluffy and not compact, hydroseed will not wash away after application. If, on the other hand, soil has not been de-compacted or prepared properly, there is a potential for heavy rains to partially wash away seeds if the rain occurs directly after hydroseeding has been completed. Tackifiers can help reduce the chances of seed washing away.

IS HYDROSEEDING SAFE?

Yes. Hydroseeding is a safe, non-toxic, and effective method to plant and establish new grass. Because no harsh chemicals are used in the process, hydroseeding is safe to use around children and animals.

 

HOW LONG AFTER HYDROSEEDING CAN YOU WALK ON IT?

It’s good to stay off a newly hydroseeded lawn until the grass is established — this should take about 5 weeks. As much as you can, keep pets and wildlife off the area as well, a mesh fencing or other barrier can help prevent any unwanted foot traffic in the area at least until the seeds can establish.

HOW LONG CAN HYDROSEED GO WITHOUT WATER?

Plan to water new hydroseed about 2-3 times a day for roughly 10-20 minutes each time. While this schedule again depends on the weather, you want to make sure the new seeds are consistently moist is crucial to helping seeds germinate and establish, and ultimately giving you a lush, green lawn. If the weather is cool and damp, like in the spring, you might not need to water it all, or be able to go a day or two without watering, however you’ll still need to check the area to make sure it’s sufficiently moist every day. If the weather is hotter and dryer, you may need to water up to four or five times per day. Keep an eye on the temperatures and regularly check the area for both dry areas and any areas where water may be pooling or collecting. If you have standing water, that’s an indication you may be over watering, or you have a drainage issues. New hydroseed should not go without water for no more than a day, though this is highly weather dependent.

HOW LONG DOES HYDROSEED TAKE TO GROW?

Depending upon seed choice, watering and/or rainfall amounts, on average hydroseed germination takes between 7 and 14 days and should be ready for the first mowing in 4 to 6 weeks. Germination time depends on the seed type and climate, so if the weather is mild and wet, germination may take less time. On the other hand, if the weather is dry and cool, germination will take longer than the average. This is only a guideline and soil moisture and environmental conditions will dictate the actual length of grass establishment.

 

WHAT MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED?

A post-seeding maintenance program is essential, and you must stick to it. If not everything done was a waste of time and money. The program (12 Month) should consist of proper watering, mowing, fertilizer and weed control.

  • The most important requirement for a newly hydroseeded areas is watering . We cannot over emphasize the importance of proper watering during the germination and establishment period. You do not want puddling and/or runoff, just enough to thoroughly moisten the seed bed. This period of watering should be no longer then 7-14 days. Allow 24 hours after the application for the slurry to cure (dry) before watering.

  • When the new seed has grown to an average of 3” it is time to perform the first cutting. Prior to mowing for the first time, allow the area to dry out just so the mower will not leave ruts. This drying period should be no more than 48 hours. Set the mower between 3” to 3 1/2”. Do not cut more than ¾” off at any one time. Allow the clippings to drop down, so they can decompose to provided food help and to keep the soil from drying out

  • Regular mowing can begin once the new lawn is 3" tall in most areas. Mowing stimulates growth and increases thickness. Set the mower high at first, then gradually lower. Try to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass at a time. One general rule for mowing is that the shorter you want to mow the more often you need to mow to maintain healthy grass.

  • Weeds are in the soil and germinate faster than most grasses; however, over time with proper maintenance most weeds will be eventually choked out and controllable as competition from the maturing plants increases. To ensure satisfaction and pleasing results. Do not apply any type of weed control product for at least 8 (Eight) to 12 (Twelve) weeks after seeding. The product will have adverse affects on the new seedlings.

  • About one month after hydroseeding, fertilize your new lawn using a 8-32-16, fertilizer. Once established, follow a fertilizer maintenance program of 4-6 times per year, should be sufficient.​

WHAT IS THE BEST SEED?

The purpose for hydroseeding, of course, is to grow vegetation, so select a seed blend that both grows well in your area and has the texture and color you want. Be sure to do your research on what grass appeals to you and what grows well in your area before you plant.

  • Seed Blend because often a blend of perennial and annual seed is best because the annual grass comes up quickly to protect the perennial seed while it germinates. Grass seed manufacturers produce seed designed specifically for your area. There is seed for shade or sun, sand or clay, dry or wet and probably many more. Choose what is right for your lawn and don’t skimp in the application. Always apply it at the recommend level. You will find a label on the seed with instructions so be sure to read that and know what you are getting and how much to install.

 

WHICH MULCH IS BEST?

Hydromulch is the “GREEN STUFF” you see is generally comprised of paper, wood, paper/wood blend, paper/wood/synthetic fiber blend matrix (BFM), and/or flexible growth medium (FGM). Mulch must be kept wet or it will “Paper Mache’” and become difficult if for seedling to pass through as it grows.

  • Paper – Typically made from recycled newspaper and is less expensive than the other mulches. It is vulnerable to erosion.

  • Wood – Better moisture retention and less vulnerable to erosion than paper when mixed with tackifier. 

  • BFM/FGM – High performance products that are essentially spray on erosion control blankets that form a tight matrix. They are thicker than paper, wood, paper/wood blends. These are used for erosion control on hillsides and slopes.

WHAT ABOUT A GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY?

Hydroseeding is a process for planting virtually any plant that can be grown from seed for establishing or re-establishing vegetation. Soil type, quality, and condition have the greatest influence on the germination, establishment, and sustainability of the hydroseeding with proper watering.

  1. NO Guarantee or warranty will be provided without a INDPENDANT THIRD-PARTY soil test prior to the hydroseeding and proof of proper maintenance.

  2. Workmanship is warrantied for one (1) season against defects from the time of completion. This warranty is limited to a one-time, free of charge, repair and/or replacement, within the given time only. If the vegetation or ground cover does not germinate during the current growing season, because of product or workmanship, those portions of the vegetation or ground cover will be re-seeded, "FREE OF CHARGE" provided the the hydroseeded area was watered and maintained as directed. If the hydroseeded area is not properly maintained and watered as directed, the warranty is void.