Vibrant spring grass background.

Hydroseeding: Spray on Grass Seed for Your Lawn

By: Tara Sebolt

The House Method team researches, reviews, and recommends a number of services, including lawn care providers. Affiliate disclosure.

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.

What is spray on grass seed?

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.

Man watering flowers with a hose outside

Benefits of hydroseeding

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:

  • It protects soil against surface erosion from sudden heavy rains.
  • The mulch in the hydroseed promotes natural retention of soil moisture.
  • Depending on the size of the application, hydroseeding can be more cost-effective than other methods.
  • It produces highly uniform grass growth.

Commercial applications

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.

Residential applications

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.

Popular spray on grass seed products

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.

Hydro Mousse

$24.99 per 100 sq. ft.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Results are seen within 2 weeks
  • Good for filling in bare patches from dog potty spots

Cons:

  • Takes a lot of soil prep
  • Leaves green stains on exposed clothing and skin
  • Must follow extensive instructions precisely to see any results
  • More expensive than other options
hydro mousse

Grass Shot

$11.49 per 350 sq. ft.

Pros:

  • Less expensive than other brands
  • Easy to apply
  • Grass grows quickly

Cons:

  • Handle prone to clumping
  • Seed may spray out in one clump
  • Does not apply in foam mixture
  • Many people reported zero new grass
Grass Shot

Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass

$13.35 per 600 sq. ft. with 3 applications (1800 sq. ft. total)

Pros:

  • Hooks up easily and sprays evenly
  • Not messy
  • Treated grass grows vibrant green
  • Lots of product for an inexpensive price

Cons:

  • Grass seed not mixed in
  • Takes several applications over a few weeks for results
  • Uses a lot of water
Scotts Turf Builder Starter

Gavin Hydroseeder

$8.99 per 1,000 sq. ft.

Pros:

  • Choose your own grass seed or seed mixture
  • Choose any additives, like fertilizer, you want
  • Can be cleaned and reused for other lawn applications

Cons:

  • Does not include grass seed or fertilizer
  • Difficult to hold
Gavin Hydroseeder

Should I use hydroseeding, grass seed, or sod for my lawn?

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.

Seeding method Advantages Disadvantages
Spray on grass seed
  • Faster germination than regular seeding
  • Grows on your soil, unlike sod which grows on transplanted soil
  • Better overall moisture retention
  • Costs less than sod
  • Requires a lot of water
  • Must stay off grass for at least 2–3 months while roots establish
  • Does not improve underlying soil
  • Not cost effective for small lawns
  • Usually requires a contractor
Dry seeding
  • Least expensive method
  • Easy to install
  • Tilled soil can be treated several layers deep
  • Seed may be lost to wind, birds, or water
  • Slowest growth time
  • Must stay off grass for several months
Sod
  • Can be installed by yourself or using a contractor
  • Plant at anytime
  • No wait time for growth
  • Lawn can be enjoyed right away
  • Most expensive method
  • Needs lots of water
  • Sod may not take to your soil
  • Grass is grown on different soil and may not appear as vibrant as seed grown in your soil

When to choose each method

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:

  • Hydroseeding—Professional spray on grass seed is great for growing a lawn quickly, but you may not be able to enjoy it completely for a few months. You might choose hydroseeding if you’re looking to fill in large patches of bare dirt. For smaller patches, you may have success using store-bought spray on lawn seed.
  • Grass seed—The most economical choice, dry seeding grass or overseeding an existing lawn are inexpensive, proven methods to develop a vibrant lawn. Choose dry seeding or an overseeding service if you’re looking to save on landscaping and have the time for your grass to grow.
  • Sod—Sod gives you an instant lawn that can be used almost right away. Sod may be a great choice if you’re hosting a backyard wedding or planning to sell your house, so you want the lawn looking perfect quickly.
 
Macro detail of grass seed background

DIY or hire?

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.

DIY

  • Using a store-bought hydroseeder will be much less expensive than hiring a contractor. However, most of the store-bought sprays do not cover large areas and may not work properly.
  • You only need spot applications. If you have a few bare patches in your lawn, you may be able to fill them in with a spray on lawn seed or by dry seeding yourself.

Hire

  • A professional lawn care service gives you access to knowledgeable technicians who can perform soil tests and recommend services that fit the needs of your lawn.
  • If you hire a professional to continually take care of your lawn’s seeding and maintenance, your lawn will be healthy and look great year-round.
  • Hydroseeding or dry seeding yourself may be less expensive up front, but a professional lawn care company will have the expensive equipment you need to grow and maintain your lawn for years to come.

Get the most out of your lawn with professional lawn care

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.

Professional lawn services from TruGreen

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
  • Lime
  • Pre-emergent & targeted weed control
  • Fertilization
  • Healthy Lawn Analysis®✦
  • Healthy Lawn Guarantee®◆
  • Aeration
  • Pre-emergent & targeted weed control
  • Lime
  • Fertilization
  • Healthy Lawn Analysis
  • Healthy Lawn Guarantee
  • Tree & Shrub Plan
  • Aeration
  • Pre-emergent & targeted weed control
  • Lime
  • Fertilization
  • Healthy Lawn Analysis
  • Healthy Lawn Guarantee

Why choose TruGreen for lawn services?

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.

Have a Healthy Lawn

Top-rated provider TruGreen can take care of your lawn.

Call for a Quote
✦Purchase of full lawn plan required for Healthy Lawn Analysis, which is performed at the first visit. ◆Guarantee applies to full plan customers only.

More Like This

Grass seeds in the hand
Lawn & Garden

How to Choose and Plant the Right Grass Seed for Your Lawn

Find the right grass seed for your climate & get the lawn of your dreams with our guide. Discover how you can have a lush, green lawn with the help of TruGreen.

Read More
Lawn & Garden

Is Hydroseeding the Answer to Your Lawn Problems?

Hydroseeding, which is sometimes called hydromulching, involves spraying a soupy mixture onto the ground to seed an area with grass or other vegetation.

Read More
Dark green grass
Lawn & Garden

How Long Does It Take for Grass to Grow?

A lush, green, established lawn takes patience and attention to achieve. More than that, it takes experience and expertise from someone who has been planting and growing grass for a long time.

Read More
rolling out sod
Lawn & Garden

Sod Installation: How to Find Sod Near Me and Grow Grass

Our guide to finding sod near you will help you determine if sod is the right choice for your lawn.

Read More
Lawn & Garden

What TruGreen Reviews Say About Their Lawn Care Services

We’ve looked at TruGreen reviews to provide you a sense of what lawn care services the company offers and how customers like the service they receive.

Read More
scotts mower (1)
Lawn & Garden

Scotts Lawn Care Products and TruGreen Services

Scotts Lawn Care is one of the best-known brands for products like fertilizer, weed control, and grass seeds.

Read More
Lawn

What You Need to Know About Lawn Aerators

When watering, mowing, and edging are not enough to keep your lawn healthy, using a lawn aerator can inject new life into tired and worn grass.

Read More
Aerial view of a Housing Estate
Lawn & Garden

Let a Lawn Service Near You Maintain Your Property

Having a well-maintained yard pays off now and in the future. A healthy lawn requires a lot of work, however, and you may be thinking about hiring a lawn service near you.

Read More
Blue fertilizer in brown bag on green grass
Lawn & Garden

The Complete Guide to Using Lawn Fertilizer

Our guide to lawn fertilizer explains how to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn, read the label, and safely apply the fertilizer to your lawn.

Read More

What Did You Think?

Join the Conversation

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.

OK