TOP 5 Tips to Succeed at Hydroseeding

Hydroseeding can be a complex process of planting and there are many factors that can affect the outcome. It may sound straightforward: you just need to mix the seed, tackifier, mulch, fertilizer and you are ready. However, there are many occasions where things may go wrong. Here we discuss 5 top tips that can help your hydroseeding project succeed!

The process involves the preparation of a liquid medium that uses a slurry of mulch and seed. This carrier is usually wood or paper fibre products with water. This is then mixed in a hydroseeding machine with mechanical agitation and recirculation and applied in liquid form to the seeding area. This means that there are a number of moving parts that affect the outcome of your hydroseeding project. Here are some of the lesser known issues that can cause problems, and how you can prevent them:


  1. Not properly preparing the seedbed. This is often done incorrectly and will slow or hinder the development of your hydroseeding project. The seedbed needs to have proper soil loosening and a good amount of nutrients. You should also ensure the seed can get plenty of oxygen. Most contractors will aerate the soil and turn it using a machine like a Rockhound or a Harley Rake. This will help newly sprayed seed develop more quickly. Adding some topsoil can also really help, but good results can be found on even older beds when the other conditions are met.


  1. Not having the correct seed. Most of the time, contractors use seeds that are dependent on fertilizer and, often, that is not available once the seed has been planted. Using native seeds without a nurse crop can result in lots of weed growth, and that will prevent the amount of growth it will get afterwards. A nurse crop takes a year to grow in order to prevent the weeds from taking over when the native seeds are being established.


  1. Not understanding the uses of biostimulants. Biostimulants are not fertilizers; instead of providing nutrients they complement the cultivation of organisms in the surrounding soils. By incorporating them into the hydroseeding mixture, fertiliser use can be reduced greatly thanks to the positive affects biostimulants have on the soil environment around the seed.Crop biostimulation should be complementary to crop nutrition and crop protection. Biostimulants are a good way to maintain high levels of soil microorganisms and have a proven record for keeping your turf healthy, hardy and thriving during periods of intense stress.


  1. Seed-to-soil contact. You should not apply the seed the way that it is suspended in the mulch as it may burn up, dry out and not vegetate. You could spray the seed using a hydromulcher, but the mulch must be used in a separate process.


  1. Contact an expert. If you lack experience, or you are unsure, you can always contact a hydroseeding contractor  in your area for help.

Hydromulching ensures the seed is locked into close contact with the soil, making it less likely to be washed away by heavy rainfall or affected by changes in the climate. This technique is also very versatile. Seed mixtures can include most species, including tree and shrub seeds.  That being said, a variety of seeds can be sown with this method, from wildflower and pasture seeding to sports grounds and erosion control mixtures.

When hydroseeding, you need to first work the soil, test out the nutrients, apply the right kind of feed, and make sure the seed touches the soil. Following this advice and being aware of some of the problems mentioned above will ensure your hydroseeding project is a success.

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