Hydroseeding, Turf or Dry Seeding: What’s the difference?

More often than not, projects that require large-scale landscaping will be in need of quick and efficient grass seeding. The need for quick results is also shared among customers with smaller projects. At the root of all these projects is the need for growth to appear quickly, efficiently, and in the most cost-effective way.

We are often asked about the differences between hydroseeding, turf, and traditional grass seeding. More specifically, we are asked what the advantages of hydroseeding are over these methods, and what hydroseeding technology can be used to help with their project.


The first question you need to ask is what will your budget allow. This will depend greatly on the size of your project and the specifics of the site, however, having a benchmark figure in mind will make the process a lot easier.

Turf is typically the most expensive to buy and install. It can also be the most time consuming. You can lay turf yourself, or you can hire a contractor.

Hydroseed is the second most expensive. Hydroseeding needs to be done by a specialist contractor. This is because it requires specialist equipment and mixtures to spray on your prepared area. It might come as a surprise that this is not the most expensive solution. Hydroseeding is a premium service that customers will typically expect to pay more for, yet it can cost you less than laying turf.

Grass Seed is the cheapest to buy and plant.  Grass seed can be planted without hiring a contractor and this will keep the costs down.


It is worth taking the time of year into account when planning your project. The time of year will affect how much you will need to water it and how much sunlight you can expect it to get.

Grass seed is best planted in Autumn.  Following that, the Spring or Summer months will also be suitable. You should make sure you have a watering source and a deterrent like a scarecrow to keep the birds from eating your seed.

In some instances, hydroseeding has a warranty window of installation from March to October.  That is the optimal time to install and so you can take advantage of the warranty if the seed doesn’t take. Hydroseed needs to have a regular watering schedule or, preferably, an irrigation system that can water more frequently.

Turf can be installed year-round, but also needs to be watered frequently. This is even more important in the summer months to avoid shrinking at the seams.


Ensuring your project is running on time and will meet deadlines is critical to its success. This means taking into account how long it will take for landscaping projects to be fully matured.

Grass Seed will take several months and requires patience and attention. You will need to take great care by making sure it is watered properly, as well as going back over areas where the wind or birds may have displaced your seeds.

Hydroseed will take less time than grass seed because of its fertilizer mix that holds the seed in place. Like grass seed, hydroseed requires a lot of water. You should typically be able to mow the grass 4-6 weeks after seeding.

Unsurprisingly, Turf is the quickest way to receive instantly plush grass. All it requires is proper watering and your landscaping project is complete.

Overall, there are many arguments to be had for each solution. Ultimately, the decision rests on the needs of your project. Price and the time of year are key to take into consideration in the early stages, however, each project has different requirements and these should be focused on.

For example, are you working on hillsides, banks and other areas that can be a problem to access? Laying turf will be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous, while grass seeds will be exposed and may grow unevenly. Such a project is easy for a specialist hydroseed contractor. Mulch, seed and fertilizer are evenly distributed in the sprayed material.  It is fast, simple and getting excellent results on treacherous areas is easy.


While this is only one example, all relevant factors and potential difficulties should be taken into consideration. This will ensure you have the best preparation to complete your project on time, on budget, and in the most efficient way possible.

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