As the lawn plays such an important role in the look of our homes, it’s easy to see why many of us spend so much time trying to achieve a green, lush lawn.
The first step is planting and growing grass. In this guide, we’ll explore spray on grass seed, or hydroseeding, as an option for growing a perfect lawn. You’ll learn how spray on grass seed works and what hydroseeding products are on the market for residential use, such as Hydro Mousse. We’ll help you determine whether hydroseeding, sod, or grass seed is the best fit for your home.
No matter what method you use to grow your lawn, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to maintain a beautiful yard. We know that not everyone has the time to mow, water, and fertilize their lawns on the recommended schedule. If you don’t have time for proper lawn maintenance, we recommend TruGreen for your lawn care needs. You can get a free quote from TruGreen by calling 888.535.3193 or filling out the online form.
Spray on grass seed, known as hydroseeding, is a method of applying grass seed to soil using a mixture of grass seed, water, fiber mulch, and other additives such as fertilizers. Often a tackifier or bonding agent is also used to better hold the mixture together. This slurry mixture can also be applied to existing lawns without the grass seed, known as hydromulching.
Hydromulching is usually used to help combat erosion. The two terms, however, are often used interchangeably, as a spray on grass seed can also help with erosion control.
Hydroseeding is usually used for areas with exposed, steep slopes or large areas of soil with little to no vegetation. For the right application, hydroseeding can be very beneficial to the successful growth of a lawn, as well as a useful tool in soil management. Some of the most important benefits of spray on grass seed include the following:
The steps in hydroseeding aren’t any different from planting grass seed the traditional way, except for the spraying. Whether you are hydroseeding, using traditional seeding, or laying sod, you want the seed or grass to go on welcoming soil, so you have to prepare the ground.
Granted, the highway crew isn’t raking through the median to pull out rocks before hydroseeding, so it is possible to skimp on these steps and still get grass. However, if it’s your lawn, prepping the ground properly before hydroseeding is important to getting the thick grass you want.
Once the seeds are on the ground, you need to follow the same sort of watering regimen you’d follow for traditional methods of seeding grass. You may need to water the area two or three times a day, but water lightly and don’t let puddles form. The goal is to keep the area consistently moist to promote seed germination.
Spray on grass seed has been an effective method for growing commercial lawns or reseeding large areas since the 1970s. Many government agencies, like the US Forest Service, have used hydroseeding to reseed large areas of national lands that have been damaged by mudslides, wildfires, and other disasters. Hydroseeding can be particularly effective for these areas because of the unique application process.
A large burnt-out hillside close to important bridges or residential areas can have grass seed reintroduced using hydroseed applied from a helicopter. This method is much easier than planting grass seed on the ground using tractors or other heavy equipment. However, using helicopters to apply the hydroseed is expensive, so most of these applications are only done near cities, towns, or highways that could be damaged by mudslides, floods, or winds.
Commercial buildings or industrial parks, on the other hand, may use hydroseeding as an alternative to expensive sod. While spray on lawn seed doesn’t provide an instant result like sod, it usually germinates faster than regular dry grass seed.
Many homeowners with large lawns choose to spray grass seed on their properties. Hydroseeding is not usually recommended for areas under 0.5 acres due to the cost of setting up the hydroseeding machine. The initial cost of hiring and setting up the hydroseeding equipment is fairly expensive, so small lawns may not see any cost benefit over other seeding methods. However, once the machine is set up, there is little extra investment needed for a larger area, making hydroseeding more cost-effective for large areas.
In the past, one of the main drawbacks to spray on grass seed for residential lawns was the cost to hire a professional. Hydroseeding was once only able to be completed by a professional service with large hydroseeding trucks containing the grass seed slurry. The professional team then used a high-powered motor and hose to spray the mixture across your soil.
Hiring a professional is still the most common practice for hydroseeding. However, several products have been introduced that allow you to apply a small amount of spray on grass seed to your lawn. These may be a good choice for homeowners looking to fill in patchy spots on their lawns.
Several companies make a liquid grass seed spray for residential lawns. These hydroseeding sprays are usually marketed to fill in patches of dried or dead grass or remedy areas that get too much shade for normal grass growth. We’ve taken a look at some of the pros and cons of popular spray on grass seeds.
$24.99 per 100 sq. ft.
$13.35 per 600 sq. ft. with 3 applications (1800 sq. ft. total)
Every lawn requires individual attention to know which seeding method will work best. Before you choose between hydroseeding, regular dry seeding, or installing sod, it is a good idea to perform a soil test. Soil tests will help you understand what nutrients are naturally in your soil. You can use this information to determine what type of fertilizer and grass seed are best for your lawn.
Once you know more about the base of your lawn—the soil—you can decide if hydroseeding, grass seeding, or sodding is right for your lawn. We’ve put together an easy chart that helps break down the advantages and disadvantages of the different seeding methods.
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Even with their various advantages and disadvantages, each seeding method helps protect the soil from erosion. In fact, having a beautiful and healthy lawn not only looks great, but it can also be helpful to the environment, as well. If you’re unsure which method you should use, consider these scenarios:
The price for hydroseeding your yard depends on a variety of factors, including:
Hydroseeding costs generally range from six cents a square foot to 15 cents a square foot across the US, according to the International Association of Hydroseeding Professionals. For a 10,000-square-foot lawn, that comes out to somewhere between $600 and $1,500.
DIY options for hydroseeding rentals appear limited. Big-box home and garden stores don’t seem to rent out hydroseeding equipment. The rental companies that target contractors rather than homeowners do rent the pumper equipment, but it’s pricey—it comes out to about $250 a day once you figure in fees like sales tax. A 600-gallon pumper unit for hydroseeding also weighs well over a ton before you add hundreds of gallons of slurry, so it’s really not anything the average homeowner could handle.
You can find home hydroseeding kits at home improvement stores and online. With these kits, you hook the container up to a hose and spray where you want to plant grass. For instance, a product called Hydro Mousse covers up to 500 square feet and is suggested for small areas such as bare patches your dog wears in the lawn. The bad news is that the product has received mostly negative reviews from consumers, with a 1.6-star rating (out of 5 stars) with more than 1,400 reviews at Amazon.com.
If your grass isn’t the thick, green carpet you crave, you might wonder if you should try hydroseeding.
Hydroseeding is typically used when you are trying to establish a new lawn. Homebuilders use it around new homes, for instance. But if you have an established yard, there may be better solutions than starting from scratch, especially since it would entail pulling out the old grass or tilling it into the ground, prepping the soil, and waiting for a full crop of grass to mature.
Here are some common lawn problems and solutions:
Thin, patchy grass, with bare spots all over the lawn. Overseeding your lawn can result in thicker, better looking grass that’s better prepared to fight off disease and pests.
Based on the information we found in our research, we recommend only using store-bought spray on grass seeds for small patch applications. For larger applications, like an entire lawn or new grass growth, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional service for seeding, sodding, or hydroseeding.
Seeding your lawn is only the beginning of enjoying a lush, beautiful backyard. Once your grass has grown to maturity, you’ll have to maintain it properly to continue enjoying it. Proper lawn maintenance involves watering, mowing, fertilizing, and even aerating or dethatching. You can save yourself a lot of time by hiring a professional lawn service to take care of these chores for you.
At House Method, we recommend TruGreen as our provider of choice for lawn treatments. Take a look at some of the lawn care packages to see how much time they could save you on lawn maintenance:
|TruHealthSM Lawn Plan||TruCompleteSM Lawn Plan||TruSignatureSM Lawn Plan|
While TruGreen doesn’t offer hydroseeding or sod installation services, they do offer full-service seeding or overseeding and year-round maintenance to give you lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood.
The TruGreen team starts by performing soil tests and other analysis in their Healthy Lawn Analysis✦ to determine exactly what your lawn needs to reach its peak. Their team of licensed, bonded technicians provide expert lawn care service across the country, with localized teams providing care specialized to your region.
Whether you decide to use spray on grass seed, dry seed, or install sod, we recommend maintaining your lawn with a TruGreen lawn service. Get a free quote today by giving them a call at 888.535.3193 or filling out this online form.
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