What is hydroseeding?
In this article, we explain what you need to know about hydroseeding, a planting technique that is becoming increasingly popular in Quebec and around the world.
What is hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding or hydraulic seeding is a process of planting seeds using a pump to spray a mixture of seed, fertilizer, mulch, water and colorants.
This type of seeding guarantees a uniform and fast application from large tanks. The hydraulic seeding technique is simple and effective. It allows the prevention of soil erosion as well as the growth of grass and other crops while changing the terrain sustainably.
The different types of hydroseeding
There are different types of hydroseeding materials that can be used depending on the project.
Straw, paper and wood fibre mulch
It is the most commonly used type of hydroseeding because of its high seed growth potential and soil erosion control. Mixtures differ in mulch and seed content and may also contain some sticky chemicals as additives.
Paper mulch is the cheapest, as it is made from recycled newspapers. In addition, it is easy to spray with various hydroseeders, including jet agitation machines. The important thing is to keep it moist so that it penetrates the grass well. Straw or wood fiber mulches are more resistant to erosion, as paper mulch is much lighter.
Erosion control mulch
Erosion control mulches are high performance products that are used in areas with high erosion potential:
- Steeply sloping areas
- Stream beds
This type of hydroseeding uses a binding agent that has high water resistance. This process is useful in spraying covers with a tight matrix to control erosion and allow seed establishment. This type of hydroseeding tends to be one of the most expensive on the market.
Alternatives to topsoil
For land that is devoid of any nutrients due to construction or other human activities, we use alternatives to topsoil. This type of hydroseeding can be very advantageous, as supplying large areas with topsoil to ensure the growth of new grass seeds can be very costly.
Why choose hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding is a planting technique that guarantees many advantages.
Saves money and time
Hydroseeding is much less expensive than sod because it does not require as much work to roll out and install. Sod has a higher price tag and requires a specialized crew and equipment to install. Hydroseeding requires a small handful of workers and guarantees time and money savings.
Erosion control for a healthy lawn
Hydroseeding has become the method of choice for erosion control and soil stabilization due to its sticky texture and resistance to external stressors. Unlike other planting techniques, the stabilizing quality of hydroseeding remains in place despite heavy rain, wind or steep slopes.
This technique can be used for erosion control in :
- Slopes that are too steep
- Restoration of riverbanks
- Stormwater retention facilities
The variety of seeds and seeding projects
Companies and industries can use hydroseeding for a variety of projects:
- Construction companies
- Erosion control companies
- Real estate developers
- And so on.
Depending on the area and the project, hydroseeding can serve several purposes. Most often, of course, it is to establish a large area of grass, lawn, meadow or wildflowers. Other times, hydroseeding is used to stabilize a slope, revive vegetation or help restore land after a fire.
The right nutrition for a quality result
The results of hydroseeding are superior to other similar methods. It allows the grassroots to penetrate the soil in a deeper and more durable way. The fibers intertwine to create a stable, solid mat that provides a healthy, green lawn. The result is a new lawn that is both uniform and aesthetically pleasing.
With hydroseeding, the application is done at an optimal pressure to guarantee an excellent hold and a homogeneous distribution of seeds, water and fertilizer. In addition, the mixture contains adhesives that allow the seed to stay in place and accelerate growth. Hydroseeded areas have better disease resistance and fewer weeds.
Moisture retention ensures a green lawn
One of the particularities of hydroseeding is its mulch content, which allows it to retain more moisture than most planting techniques. Hydroseeding can retain up to 10 times its weight in water, which reduces the need for watering and speeds germination. The mulch protects the seeds from erosion, wind and sun and then disintegrates into nutrients that promote germination.
How much does hydroseeding cost?
Hydroseeding generally costs between $0.05 and $0.2 per square foot, which equates to a price of between $2,000 and $4,000 per acre. However, this price varies according to several factors and parameters depending on the type of project:
- Size and area to be seeded
- Mulch and application rate
- The capacity of the truck and the tank
- Mixing ratio
- The area covered by each tank
- The equipment used
When is the best time to hydroseed?
The best time for hydroseeding depends entirely on the climatic conditions in your area. It is important to know that autumn and spring are the preferred seasons because of the cooler weather and adequate rainfall:
- In early fall, the lawn takes time to settle in before winter. Then there is some hibernation during the winter before cooling off during the spring, preparing the lawn for the summer drought.
- In early spring, the weather conditions are also favorable for lawn growth. However, if the following summer has severe droughts, the lawn must be well maintained and watered to ensure that it thrives.
How to choose the right seeds for your land?
The choice of seed for any project depends entirely on the climatic conditions, the type of land, the project in progress and the desired result. For example, for a golf course or sports field where the goal is to create a bright, green lawn, the choice will be completely different from the seeds used for crops that require erosion control.
Hydroseeding uses a variety of seeds such as fescues, rye, bahia, bermuda and bluegrass. You can even use wildflowers, ground covers or shrubs. The most important thing is to adapt the seeding to the environment to get the best results:
- Seeds with ground cover or clover can be used for various projects.
- Perennial flowers offer a more aesthetically pleasing result.
- Suitable, well-rooted seed for erosion control when protecting crops or steep slopes.
- Tread resistant seeds for frequent use areas to ensure a long-lasting lawn.
- And so on.
How do I hydroseed?
Hydroseeding requires careful work, certain knowledge and the right equipment, which you can rent if you want to do it yourself. Here are some tips on how to do it:
- Start by testing the soil and analyzing its pH by taking samples to detect the type of soil and the right season for seeding.
- Measure the square footage of your yard to purchase the right amount of seed for your lawn.
- Choose the type of seed according to the desired result and buy all the products necessary for your project.
- Smooth the soil and prepare the ground for seeding.
- Hire professional seeding equipment to ensure quality results.
- Prepare the mixtures to obtain the optimum consistency for the products chosen.
- Proceed with the spraying, being as precise as possible.
Once the work is done, it is important to properly maintain your lawn to ensure its durability. Depending on the type of seed and the season, maintenance and watering needs will vary. You can ask a seeding expert for personalized recommendations.
Lawn care services
Lawn care is an ongoing job that requires a lot of time, which is why it is important to call on a company that specializes in lawn care. Vertdure is the leader in Quebec for lawn care, with over 30 years of experience in the field. We offer different packages that guarantee the durability and well-being of your lawn.
From pest control to weed control to aeration, our experts will be happy to analyze your needs and provide you with the right services. We have expanded our field of expertise to include hydroseeding and topdressing services to meet all your needs and guarantee a quality lawn.