How To Tell If Hydroseeding Is The Best Option For Your Lawn

When you want to create a new lawn on your property, you probably know you have the option of planting grass seed or installing rolls of sod. However, there is one more option — hydroseeding — that has significant benefits in certain situations. When creating your new lawn, deciding which is the better option can be a challenge. One of the best reasons to use hydroseeding is when you have a hilly lawn with slopes. Planting grass on a slope can be extremely challenging because the seed may wash away — but not while using the hydroseeding technique.

If you're still unsure what hydroseeding is and the benefits it can provide to your lawn, it is the process of creating and applying a slurry mixture of grass seed, mulch, fertilizer, water, and other additives to the dirt in the area where you want to establish the lawn. One of the best things about this mixture is that the slurry can have a concentration of the perfect ingredients that fit your particular soil type and climate. You can even add herbicides to the mix to help with controlling weed growth.

By applying all of these items together, you can encourage the grass to grow faster than it would by planting grass seed alone, establishing the lawn before it can erode. This process ensures a quicker root development, too, giving the yard the boost it needs to become viable in a shorter period of time.

When hydroseeding is a better choice than sod or regular grass seed

Having a severely sloped lawn is not the only reason to deploy hydroseeding on your yard. This technique has a few other benefits versus using traditional grass seed or sod. 

When compared to sod, hydroseeding is a less expensive option, allowing you to cover a larger space for the same cost. Additionally, creating a slurry and adding it to the space allows you to dial in a specific mix of grass varieties, creating a healthier space that looks great with different shades of green. With sod, you cannot customize the mixture to specifically meet your needs. Sod gives you an established lawn faster, though, which may be important if you're preparing to hold a gathering. It only takes about a week for the hydroseeding project to start sprouting, but it can take a few weeks before it's strong enough for activities. Sod can be ready within two weeks.

When compared to planting regular grass seed, hydroseeding should allow for sprouts to appear faster. Regular grass seeds can take one to two weeks to sprout. Not only does the hydroseeding process create sprouts faster —  up to one week — but it also immediately gives them the fertilizer and water content that helps them grow stronger. Because you can add herbicides to the slurry, weed control is far easier, too, giving the yard a better chance at a healthier start. However, it is more expensive than planting grass seeds the traditional way. 

Can you perform a hydroseeding application yourself or do you have to hire a pro?

If you decide that hydroseeding is the best choice for your particular space, you may wonder whether you can save some money by doing the application on your own rather than hiring a professional. It is possible to apply the slurry as a do-it-yourself project, although it is far easier for a professional lawn care company to conduct the application, as the company has the equipment and know-how to make the process go fast.

If you want to do the hydroseeding yourself, you would need to rent the spraying equipment, consisting of a tank and a pump sprayer. The slurry is thick, so you can't just use a hand pump. You also need an agitator as part of the equipment, as the thick slurry needs to be mixed constantly to ensure you are applying the proper concentration of each ingredient. You may be able to purchase a hydroseeding kit made for DIY applications. Some people try to build their own machine to apply the slurry, but this can be challenging.

When doing the hydroseeding job as a DIY process, you can typically find the ingredients you need at your local hardware store. The mulch in the slurry typically consists of wood fiber and paper. You then want to add grass seed that grows well in your area. You can also add fertilizer and herbicide, if desired, to aid in faster growth with fewer weeds.