How hydro seeding works -
Hydro seeding is really a pretty simple process. Water, seed, fertilizer and a protective mulch is mixed in a tank and sprayed onto the ground.
The first known hydro seeding unit was built by the state of Connecticut long ago. It was a jet type system and used peat moss as the mulch agent. When the Interstate Highway System was started during the Eisenhour administration there was a change in how roads were built. All of a sudden roads went through the hills instead of over them or around them. Conventional seeding techniques could not seed the steep hillsides created by highway construction and hydro seeding was the answer. Something else happened too! People noticed the grass that was planted with hydro seeding grew faster and better.
The early machines worked well, but were expensive enough that only big seeding jobs could be economically justified. In the last decade much more affordable machines have come on the market, and the advantages of hydro seeding are affordable to most any seeding professional.
Well, let's look at what exactly is in the mix that is sprayed onto a hydro seeding job.
Water in the mix acts as a carrier, and the contact of the seed and the water will jump start the growth process. When extra fast germination is desired, it is also possible to pre-germinate seed for even faster growth.
The seed we use is a blend of disease resistant rye ensuring a healthy fully problem free lawn. Nearly any seed can be used and at the same application rate as other seeding methods. These can include grass or lawn seeds, wildflowers, pasture seed, seed for athletic fields and seeds for erosion control.
Fertilizer and Soil Stimulants
Fertilizer is usually used in the mix. A high phosphorus “starter” fertilizer that will stimulate root growth is the most commonly used. We also use an organic soil stimulant to boost microbial activity in the soil. This also stimulates earlier germination, and helps to hold nutrients in the soil longer so they have a greater chance of being utilized by the seedlings.
Hydro seeding mulch is what gives it the green color. It does more than just make it pretty, it helps protect the seed, and to seal in moisture. It may be made from a paper or wood product or a mix. If any accidentally gets on your walkways, driveways or house, it will not stain and can be washed off, or will just disappear on it’s own.
Other products that may be added to a hydro seeding mix are products called tackifers that help hold the materials on a hillside in rainy conditions.
Care of a Newly Hydro Seeded Lawn!
Care and watering
However your new lawn is installed care is very important, particularly for the first month.
Successful seed germination depends on a few days of special care. To assure proper germination water regularly.
We suggest two times a day in warm weather. Keeping the yard moist will maximize seed germination.
Y ou may walk on the hydro seeded surface when watering. Try to walk only on areas that are dry, and try to not disturb the mulch mat.
By watering regularly and keeping your new seedlings from drying out you insure the beginnings of a lawn that will make your neighbors green with envy.
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, and 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.
About a month after the seed germinates is a good time to put down your first application of fertilizer. Remember that this is still a young lawn and too much, or the wrong fertilizer can cause burn patches in your new lawn. To ensure the proper fertilizer is applied talk to our REAL GREEN LLC professional for any further help.
Talk to your REAL GREEN LLC professional to see what program for continued care of your lawn with regular treatments of fertilizer and treatments for weed and insect problems as required.
Advantages of Hydro Seeding
Hydro seeding is a fast, cost effective way to have a new lawn that will turn your neighbors green with envy.
Hydro seeding costs only a little more than old fashioned methods using dry seeding techniques combined with a messy straw mulch.
The cost to have your new lawn hydro seeded is less cost than using sod, and in a few weeks you will have a better appearing lawn with no need to worry if the sod will take.
Your new lawn will be sprayed on. The protective mulch covering has an attractive green appearance. A special blend of seeds will be used that will be chosen for the conditions and requirements you have. The factors that may go into the choice may be the amount of sun, shade, the terrain, the type of soil and if you have children or pets.
Your lawn will be hydro seeded with a tested, high quality, certified turf mix. Germination time will depend on the weather, the time of year, the amount of water, the area you live in and other factors. Usually grass will be visible in 5-7 days, a few days slower in cold weather or the hottest part of summer.
You will be surprised how inexpensive it is to have a truly outstanding lawn.
Hydro seeding can be used for many applications. On of the most popular is residential hydro seeding. A contractor seeding a new lawn will mix a load of material and spray it out over the lawn. In the load of material will be grass seed, a starter fertilizer and hydro seeding mulch. There may be other products in the mix designed to hold the material in place if it rains, to supercharge the growth ability, or to aid in holding moisture in the soil.
When your lawn is hydro seeded it will have a bright colorful look at first, but as this dries some of the color will leave. The mulch usually will stay in place until the grass begins growing. A good hydro seeding contractor can seed a lawn without making much of a mess. If he does happen to get a little material on your house, walk or driveway, it will wash right of. It won’t stain. It will even disappear on it’s own within a few weeks. In most areas of the country lawns will often start growing within 5 to 7 days. Sometimes slow germinating grasses may be the only ones available in an area, or suitable for a job, so this may vary.
Hydro seeding is also popular for golf course construction, roadside work,
commercial and industrial jobs, retention ponds, mine reclamation, re-vegetation
projects and more. Often a larger machine is used for this type work and the
seed may be sprayed from a platform mounted gun. When hydro seeding with either
a gun or a hose, any seed can be used.
Some of the seeds that can be hydro seeded are turf grasses such as bluegrass, rye grass, fescue, centipede, Bermuda, bahia, pasture mixes, timothy, millet, clover, crown vetch, native grasses, and wildflower mixes. Most any turf type seed can be hydro seeded.
Preparations for Hydro Seeding
If you are preparing a new site for hydro seeding the preparation is the same as for seeding any other way. Hydro seeding can be a little more forgiving than other methods. If the seeding project is a lawn or turf type application the preparation should result in a smooth, rock free, slightly loose soil condition that is at the desired final grade and contour. Tools such as a rock hound or rock rake work excellently. Other land working tools can also be used.
Re-doing an Established Lawn
If you are planning to re-do your lawn completely it is necessary to completely remove the existing turf before hydro seeding the new lawn. The best way to do this is to skin off the existing turf. If you are doing a small area a shovel or spade can be used. The best way to do a larger area is to rent a sod cutter. It is best do this when the soil is dry. Moist soil is heavier and harder to handle. If you have a garden you can compost the old sod that you have removed and turn it into rich humus to build your garden.
Don’t use a rotary tiller to clear a sodded area. Rotary tillers cause weed problems by chopping up plants and weed roots and spreading them through the lawn. You could end up with more weeds in your new lawn than you had in your old one.
You can also have the old lawn sprayed with a herbicide to kill all existing
vegetation, then level and loosen the soil and have the lawn hydro seeded. You
should wait about 3 weeks from the time the herbicide is applied before seeding.
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