Fresh green hydroseeding in front of a home to establish a new lawn

Why Hydroseed Your New Lawn: Hydroseeding Vs Sod

To get that lush green lawn that you want, you'll want to consider one of two following new lawn establishment options. New lawn establishment involves seeding or sodding your lawn. Our infographic will explain the difference between hydroseeding and sodding.

What is Hydroseeding

If you are tired of your dark, dull lawn, consider having a hydroseed lawn professional or hydroseeding company spruce things up for you.

Hydroseeding, or hydraulic mulch seeding, is a planting process that uses a mixture of seed, mulch, and other ingredients to quickly and efficiently establish and grow a grass lawn.

Some of the other ingredients included in the mix are fertilizer, fiber mulch, and green dye. Some of the most complex but essential components are tackifierslimepolymers, and biostimulants. These combine to make up a slurry: the secret recipe for a perfect new lawn.

The hydroseeding slurry is contained and transported to the site in a tank mounted on a truck or trailer. Even during transport, the slurry must be continuously mixed, like concrete, lest it dries out and becomes unusable.

For more extensive coverage areas such as those in response to wildfires’ aftermath, helicopters are used to spread the slurry mixture over the designated ground. This hydroseeding method is often utilized for larger areas like golf courses, large bare spots, and government building projects.

Hydroseeding has been a part of the agricultural industry since the early 1950s. The United States government was among the first to use hydroseeding for planting large areas in short amounts of time.

Hydroseeding made the tedious task of manually planting lawns and fields much easier and less time-consuming than physically planting grass seed.

Hydroseeding is an excellent option for hillsides or steep slopes prone to soil erosion since you can spray it on rather than planting row by row.

One mans experience with hydroseeding vs sod for your new lawn

Pro hydroseeding begins to show fast and will typically cost less than sod, which is why it has become one of the most-used methods for new lawn growth.

It is not unusual for customers to report grass growth in only a week and mowing maintenance about a month after application. This is usually due to fiber mulch, which uses fiber to moisten the seeds and quicken the seed germination.

The other lawn establishment system that we mentioned above is sod. A sodded lawn has been created from a transplanted bed of grass rather than from planting new seeds.

In order to harvest sod, a specialty grass is maintained off-site to prevent damage from the environment. When it’s time to harvest the sod, it is cut from the ground with the roots still attached so they can transfer to the yard within 24 hours.

These roots will end up creating a new root system in your yard. Typically, sod is cut and rolled into manageable pieces, and you must prepare your lawn in advance for this treatment.

The sod pieces are measured and cut to form the shape of your lawn. The majority of sodded lawns are not ready for foot traffic until 2 to 3 weeks after installation.

The Hydroseeding Process

Any knowledgeable and professional technician will test the area before beginning any seeding or planting process. Professionals hydroseeding companies will tape off a designated area to test the method being used.

Your technicians will bring the hydroseeding truck, slurry, and all other materials at a pre-scheduled time. They will leave signs and barriers marking the area off for observation.

If hydroseeding next to a building or sloped area, the soil needs to be graded for proper application. The rule of thumb is at least two inches for every 100 feet. This slope away from the house prevents the slurry from bringing excess moisture to the building, causing water damage and other issues to the home’s foundation.

The ideal time of the year to hydroseed would be at the beginning of Spring. The soil can keep moisture levels during this cool and wet season, which, then, after Spring comes Summer and Fall; perfect seasons to encourage healthy plant growth.

The magic of hydroseeding comes from the mulch and seed mixture. Mulch is a heavier ingredient than seed and water and allows the spray to go farther and be applied in a more concentrated manner.

Besides the physical appeal, mulch aids in the actual growing process in many ways. It forms a protective blanket over the seeds and holds them in their place. This protective blanket layer protects the seed against harsh elements and encourages germination.

Wood fiber mulch is known to be pricier than other types of mulch but comes with additional benefits. It is more effective at preventing soil erosion and assisting the germination of seeds.

Benefits of Hydroseeding

One advantage to hydroseeding is you can choose the variety of seeds (depending on the climate). There are a variety of slurries to choose from, and you can even mix and match areas.

For example, if you want a bright-green lawn, you could use one type of seed slurry for that area. Then, in the shaded areas or sides of the home, you could choose a different mix. This one could be darker and lusher, giving it an even more luxurious feel.

You could even use wildflower seeds in the areas that you don’t want to have to mow. A good tip is always to take your climate into account because not all seeds will be successful in every environment.

One significant benefit to hydroseeding is the fast growth of the seeds, sprouting in a few weeks.

A more significant benefit that hydroseeding provides is erosion control. Sloped areas of a lawn are in great danger of eroding over time. Hydroseeding causes the seeds to take root quickly, significantly decreasing or eliminating the potential for landslides and other problems created by loose ground.

Another environmental benefit is that hydroseeding helps cut dust pollution caused by traditional seeding.

Why Hydroseed Your New Lawn: Hydroseeding Vs Sod -

The last benefit is how much value hydroseeding provides for your money. Although it is more expensive than planting a dry seed, the labor is cheaper than that of sod.

Sod is expensive to buy and install, but hydroseeding is easy and well-priced. On top of the cost, the sod has a chance of “rejecting” your lawn.

Similar to an organ transplant, the sod must be compatible with the area you are placing it. If the roots “reject” rather than cling on, the sod sits there as a grass mat and slowly dies.

Hydroseeding from A to Z: A DIY Guide to Hydroseeding

Cost of Hydroseeding

One of the most significant benefits of hydroseeding is getting the bang for your buck. The average cost per square foot is $0.18. This means that for a 5,000 square foot yard, the total price would be around $900.

The prices reflect the soil stabilizer, extra materials, and installation. Prices can vary from state to state, so it’s best to get a free estimate before signing any contracts.

Installation of sod costs about $1 to $2 per square foot for labor and materials. For a 2,000 square foot lawn, one can expect to pay between $2,000 and $4,000. This is a much more expensive option than hydroseeding.

Some people attempt to hydroseed on their own, but they don’t realize the amount of work it is. Although it seems more cost-effective, the cheaper equipment and DIY slurry won’t produce the same results. It is also hard to spread the mixture correctly, and many do not realize you have to spray continuously.

For large yards, you are looking at a four or 5-hour spraying commitment. Because of the physical requirements, many people would be better off going with a professional.

When you want to revamp your lawn, hydroseeding is the best choice. There are many options relating to hydroseeding out there, so don’t be afraid to do your proper due diligence reading and researching before committing.

There could be deals and events in your area or professionals that charge a decent fee. Whether professional or DIY, hydroseeding is the way to go for a healthy, beautiful lawn.

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  1. I love how you said that hydroseeding helps to decrease the potential of landslides because the seeds quickly take root. My parents are moving into a new house that doesn’t have a lawn yet, and they are considering their options. I will certainly recommend that they hire a professional hydroseeding service for their yard so it will be protected.

    • Hi Charlotte! Thanks so much for commenting on our article. I’m glad the information was able to assist you in making a decision for your parents’ new home! if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and we are always willing to help when and where we can!

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