View Full Version : Attention Hydroseeders

03-15-2001, 01:13 PM
Hey Guys
Want to know if anybody is using 100% wood mulch with tackifier when seeding Kentucky Bluegrass & Fescues and would like to know how many Lbs. of mulch & grass seed you are using per/1000 s/f. I am using a Finn T-30 hydroseeder with 1000 gal nurse tank for water mounted on a 20 ft low profile gooseneck trailer. Thanks Guys
Dave Einck
Pro-Cut Lawn & Hydroseeding Service

03-15-2001, 02:56 PM
Last year I was using a Finn T-60. I used 180 lbs of wood fiber mulch with 45-50 lbs of fescue for approx. 6000 sq ft.

Depends on what your seeding. If your doing a bank on the roadside you can lighter on coverage to get more out of a tank. If a lawn you need to go heavier to give good results.

03-16-2001, 05:50 PM
Go with what Indiana says, I'm basically the same rate....

Sean Gassman
03-17-2001, 08:31 PM
Research performed by machine manufacturers, colleges, and Department of transportation of several States have proven wood mulch at greater rates yield the best results. Spraying 2000lbs per acer (46 lbs per 1000) of wood yields a quicker and thicker stand of grass with less water. At thicker rates you will not have to respray any area due to rain wash. With tac., wood at these rates have excellent holding abilities. Spray thick, make customers happy with quickwer results, cut call backs to 1% or less, charge more, and get more referals. Do the job right the first time. While a thinner application will work sometimes, thicker works 98% of the time. While your compatition is doing warrantee resprays, you can be doing new jobs. You labor and overhead cost more than the mulch!

Sean Gassman
Fairway Greens

Hydro Turf Planters Association
POB 702048
Dallas, Texas 75370-2048

03-19-2001, 11:14 AM

I know what you are saying, but if I go at a much higher rate, my machine will plug up. That is a messy job and it takes time to clean out the machine. Plus, it will make me late for all the other appointments during the day. I spray every day and have very low call back rates.

I am aware of the University research and was previously an agricultural researcher for a large ag coop. What research tells us and what happens in the field are two different things - due to economics, practicality, and local conditions. What I am trying to say is that I feel that I do the job correctly and provide value for my customers.

Sean Gassman
03-19-2001, 11:04 PM
I am not saying you are doing your job incorrectly, but you maybe could improve. I don't know, I do not know you are your company. Your location may also let you get away with less, but here in Texas with the rain in the Spring and the heat in the Summer I can't afford the reprays some guys do. I have found that most of the research has merit. I also avoided using wood at these rates ...making the famous claim by all contractors.... I cant charge more and get jobs. I was wrong. Even at 2000lbs per acer the savings over sod is enormous. You do have to sell your job and explain why this is important. You also have to explain that not all hydroseeding is created equal. I am able to charge more with happier customers. I do not get every job nor do I want to. I now work less and make more money with happier custmers than before. I do lose some jobs to the cheaper guys. If there are problems, guess who is called. I have found out for my self that more mulch is better. I have also found that the seed, although a important ingredient, is not the most important componant in the slurry. Mulch is! I have been as high as $0.02 - $0.03 higher and still get the job. This past year, for example, I sprayed a house on one acer,on the same day as two other companies were in the same subdivison spraying and charging less. After just a few weeks I had the rest of the street to spray and the other guys have never been back. That was seven more houses. I didn't have to sell anything, the new customers didn't even ask for a estimate, this was due to the results that everyone could see.

What type of machine do you have? Do you use tactifier? I have found that since I started using tac. that I no longer have any clogs. I put tac. in every tank and the last clog I had was six years ago. I checked out your web site....good site. I also use the 70/30 blend. Not a bad mulch.

I am not trying to say what your are doing is wrong, just trying to let you know what has worked for me and many other contractors across the country. I am also the president of the Hydro Turf Planters Association (HTPA) so I heard alot of concerns with this issue. I will be the first to say I don't know everything!!


03-20-2001, 10:23 AM

I use an AquaMulcher 400 gallon machine. The unit is paddle agitated but it was myself that got agitated when I tried to put in 3 (150 lbs) bales of 70/30 mix (as the mfr. suggested). Even with tack, this didn't work for me, so now I go with 2 bales and spray less area than the manufacturer claims the machine can cover. I tried paper mulch because you can cram a lot more in, but that stuff just washes away in a slight rain.

So my main objective these days is to avoid clogs, because they really slow me down. Once I went back to 2 bales per tank, I haven't had any clogging. I know that more wood mulch is a great way to improve your germination, but it just isn't feasible for me. So I compensate by putting more seed (double the rate) in the tank and by spraying less area. The customer is happy with their grass and I am happy because no clog. And don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the AquaMulcher is a bad machine - I have been very happy with it, but it has its limitations and perhaps they are a bit overstated by the manufacturer (and all of them do this, I know that).

So my question to you is do you know of a machine that can handle that volume of mulch and still cover about 1200 sq ft per 100 gallons of water (as most mfrs. seem to be claiming their machines can cover). That would be nice because like you I could provide more mulch and less seed, which of course is the most expensive part of the mix.

Sean Gassman
03-21-2001, 12:17 AM
No, I don't. Most mfrs. make claims that are not true. I have a bowie 500 and can get three bales of wood mulch, 50# each, but thats all. I have seen statements that say you should put 50# per 100 gal. of water, but do not know of anyone who can do this with wood, maybe paper. The only machines that can do this are the larger ones spraying from the tower gun. No, machine I know of can put that quantity through a hose. I usually spray between 3000sf and 3500sf per tank load to get the results discrib earlier. I am not familier with the Aquamulcher but it sounds like it is a comparable machine.

03-21-2001, 12:04 PM
I have had the same experience as you. They make claims that are basically untrue. My AquaMulcher is comparable to your Bowie in terms of the primary mechanics and performance it seems. Do you have another machine that is larger than the bowie 500? If so, I would like to know how that works for you in terms of coverage. I would imagine that it is pretty much the same ratio of coverage as the smaller units, unless you use the tower and blast more mulch per gallon like you said.

Sean Gassman
03-22-2001, 12:54 AM
The 500 is the only machine I have. I have had it for ten years now, not bad since I bought it used. I am looking at buying a 1100 Finn or Bowie this year or maybe next. My work is about 75% residential and sometimes I have to jump a curb and offroad it across the property. Having a smaller machine allows me to do this without tearing up the lawn or sprinkler. I have about 400 ft of hose and can spray another 70 ft or so, but on some of the lots with acerage it is not enough. I am looking at doing more commercial work. To compete in that market you need at least a 1100 gal machine.

03-22-2001, 10:03 AM
I'm in the same boat, and was considering a 1000 gal or larger bowie/finn for this fall/next spring to do more commercial work. I'd like to put it on a gooseneck trailer and pull it so I don't need a new truck. In the meantime, I am going to try a nurse tank and see how that goes. Have you tried that?

Sean Gassman
03-22-2001, 08:17 PM
No, but James Lincoln Corp. is just a few blocks from my house. They make the Turfmaker machine. It was disigned to work with a nurse tank and 90% of the machines sold they also sold a poly nurse tank.

03-27-2001, 04:55 PM
I have a TurfMaker 425. I like it, but still miss my Finn T-50.

I haven't got used to the differences between the two. My finn was more convenient but real heavy. I got this TurfMaker because it was still paddle agitated but much lighter.

Sean, said that he lives not to far from James Lincoln. I was wondering about the company as a whole. Are they pretty good about support. I have some questions and don't know if I should call the guy I bought it from or the manufacturer.

Sean Gassman
03-27-2001, 06:23 PM
I dont know who you bought it from. Call them first or you can call Dave or Mr. Lincoln at James Lincoln Corp. If you can catch them there they will usually will help you anyway they can. He used to also be the Bowie Dist. for this part of the country. He was also instrumental in the beginning of the creation of the Hydro Turf Planters Association. He is still a member, and also sits on the specification committee.

06-26-2002, 03:19 PM
Hi, this is my first post here. Bowie claims our Victor 110O can mix up 550 pounds of wood mulch but we could never get it to do better than 500...we usually just used 450 to make sure we didn't clog. BUt, Lincoln says our TurfMaker 425 can mix up 150 pounds of wood mulch and we have put in 180 - 190 pounds without trouble. Lincoln didn't overstate the machine. The 425 is sure a nice, easy machine to use. I drove down to Rowlette and picked up the machine and Dave was VERY helpfull. Oh ya, I usually use Ecofibre plus - a Canadian wood mulch with tackifier in it. I know of one exception to the rule of "more mulch is better" that is when you are mulching over ground that has permafrost under it, it insulates the ground and makes it too cold for the seed to germinate...but I guess most of you don't have that problem:

PrimeGreen Lawn
06-27-2002, 07:05 AM
What about us guys with the jet agitation? How many pounds SHOULD I be using for a 750 gallon tank?