View Full Version : Hydroseeding

11-01-2005, 09:15 AM
How much do you guys charge to hydroseed and how do you charge....ie...by the square yard, foot, ect. I am thinking of getting into this but just trying to figure out if it is worth it finacially

11-01-2005, 06:44 PM
I have several different pricing schedules for hydroseeding, depending on what they want done. A basic lawn starts around .06 a sqft but can go up to .10 or .12. Size also effects my pricing, as does the availability of water, distance I have to drag hose, or if I am using the tower. Large development roads I can get down to .04 sqft, less seed is used and less hose work, not to mention less windsheld time and its just plain easier to do.

11-01-2005, 10:29 PM
This is my observation, I maybe wrong. An acre is about 62500 sq ft and at .08 a sq ft to hydroseed thats 5,000 dollars, is that just applying or prep included. I don't see people around here paying that much for seeding. There aren't any around here doing it, all straw cover. You can do an acre say 4-5 hundred pounds of seed, say 3 hundred pounds of fert., lime if needed, and about 100 bales of straw. Your cost would be about $400 for seed, $ 70 for fert., $250 for straw; say safely $800 in materials. And say what 1500 for labor start to finish, thats leveling, preping a seed bed, seeding, and strawing. So thats what about a $2500-$2800 job using straw; compared to $5000 for hydroseeding. Im probably off a few hundred dollars, but thats the picture I see.

11-01-2005, 10:35 PM
1 acre is 44000 square feet were charging 3500 for complete reseed,strawed an rolled.

11-01-2005, 10:36 PM
This may not be a popular stance but in our area I've seen little advantage to hydroseeding over broadcast seeding. They both seem to germinate about the same time with comparable germination rates. Hydroseeding, of course, is much more expensive.

11-02-2005, 06:34 PM
This is my observation, I maybe wrong. An acre is about 62500 sq ft and at .08 a sq ft to hydroseed thats 5,000 dollars, is that just applying or prep included. I don't see people around here paying that much for seeding. There aren't any around here doing it, all straw cover. You can do an acre say 4-5 hundred pounds of seed, say 3 hundred pounds of fert., lime if needed, and about 100 bales of straw. Your cost would be about $400 for seed, $ 70 for fert., $250 for straw; say safely $800 in materials. And say what 1500 for labor start to finish, thats leveling, preping a seed bed, seeding, and strawing. So thats what about a $2500-$2800 job using straw; compared to $5000 for hydroseeding. Im probably off a few hundred dollars, but thats the picture I see.

Off more than a couple of hundred, more like a couple of thousand. Who in their right mind would use 4-500 lbs of seed to seed an acre, which is 43560 sqft by the way. Labor to level and prep would be the same whether hydroseeding or broadcasting seed. So dont even try to compare cost by throwing in hypothetical labor costs. In fact labor cost would rise if you are using straw simply because it takes longer to apply if by done by hand. Renting a strawblower, then add that to your cost. Own a straw blower, then add that to your cost. Truck and trailer for hualing the straw, and the blower. Durn, even more cost.

Hydroseeding cost per acre.
150 lb seed if a field, K31 fescue@$45 per bag----$135
and 300lbs TTTF if a lawn @$65 per bag------$390
350lbs of starter fert @9.35 a bag------$65.45
600lbs pulverized lime @$2 per bag-------$24
1500lb hydromulch @ $11 per bale-------$330
Tackifier to hold it all in place-----$18
Time depends on equipment, but for me 2 hrs, two people $40
Total not counting equipment cost, insurance, fuel, ect----
Field $612.45 or $0.0140 sqft lawn $867.45 or $0.0199 per sqft

Cost broadcasting and blowing straw
all materials cost the same, difference in hydromulch and straw. 100 bales of straw cost me $400 or $70 more than the hydromulch. Pus time going and getting it, trailer to hual it own, probably means more than one trip to a site or two seperate trucks. One to hual the blower and one to hual the prep equipment. Extra trailer for the straw. Takes three people to be productive blowing thru a tower on a blower. All this adds to the cost of a seeding job. For me its faster and cheaper to hydroseed using hydromulch. I will hydroseed without hydromulch and blow straw but dont expect a cheaper price.

11-02-2005, 11:32 PM
I never claim to know anything. I was thinking a true acre was 250x250 wrong, thats were i got the 60xxx sq. ft. What is the approximate dimensions of an acre? I was thinking the rule of thumb was 400 lbs of seed for a bare acre, yall say 300 lbs will be thick? What is the best lawn fescue to use? Ive seen KY 31 seeded thick, but that was the 400lbs an acre come out really thick and nice. What is the right amount of fertilizer to apply on an acre?

11-03-2005, 08:04 AM
What is the approximate dimensions of an acre?

About 207' squared. However, acres come in all shapes but the square footage stays the same.

11-04-2005, 09:02 AM
thanks, i was meaning ideally perfect

Old Red
11-05-2005, 02:37 AM
Acre , an Old English word meaning a field, derived from the Latin word 'ager and the Greek word 'agros', also meaning a field. In time an acre was defined as the area that could be plowed in a day by a yoke of oxen. It was in use in England at least as early as the eighth century, and by the end of the ninth century was generally understood to be the area of a field one furlong (40 rods or 10 chains) long by 4 rods (or 1 chain) wide. Thus an acre is 10 sq. chains, 160 sq. rods or 43,560 square feet.

11-06-2005, 08:54 AM
I never claim to know anything. I was thinking a true acre was 250x250 wrong, thats were i got the 60xxx sq. ft. What is the approximate dimensions of an acre? I was thinking the rule of thumb was 400 lbs of seed for a bare acre, yall say 300 lbs will be thick? What is the best lawn fescue to use? Ive seen KY 31 seeded thick, but that was the 400lbs an acre come out really thick and nice. What is the right amount of fertilizer to apply on an acre?

Didnt mean to criticize so hard, sorry. Misinformation on the internet is often taken as the truth if read by someone that doesnt know any better. One reason a person should seek more than one source of information to be sure the information they have found is acurate.

Seed rate for fescue, as well as other grass types, are usually increased to make up for seed kill created from artificial means. This is usually in the form of to much of the wrong blend of fertilizer. High seed rates also cause competition between the grass plants for available moisture as well as nutrients. In drought conditions, lower seed rates and low amounts of low salt content fertilizer can/will actually result in a thicker better looking stand of grass than high seed rates and massive amounts of starter ferts on non-irrigated turf. While heavy seed rates might create the appearance of a thick healthy turf, the turf can only be maintained by increaseing irrigation as well as fertilizers for nutrients. The increase of fertilizers and irrigation on cool season turfs during drought conditions also increases the opportunity for increased fungal activity which can destroy a new lawn. The cause and effect of lower seed rates is less moisture and fertilizer needed and the less chance of fungus and the better looking lawn in the long term.

11-08-2005, 10:02 PM
I am just trying to gaher some infromation and apperciate your help. 300 pounds of seed to an acre is a good rate? What is a good starter fertilzer, something like triple 19? Am sure i'll have more questions later.

11-09-2005, 08:33 PM
A lot of people use tripple 19 as a starter fertilizer, and maybe in some areas it is, but in most areas of the country, triple 19 is not a good choice as a starter fertilizer. Tripple 29 is a high salt content fertilizer. Choose a fertilizer that is made using ammonium nitrogen instead of Urea and one that contains Sulfate of Potash as a potassium choice.

11-09-2005, 08:45 PM

Planet Landscaping
11-09-2005, 09:39 PM
Customers I like to deal with ( Million dollor homes) Expect Hydroseeding. Some even pay 3x that for sod. Our Hydroseeding price starts @ .06 a sq. for large commercial,Just spray to .16 a sq for full Machine,hand rake and spray.

11-10-2005, 09:24 PM
im curious to know if how many hydroseeding contractors out there also do the dirt work or just come in and shoot.i have a few landscapers who want to concentrate on landscaping and not really wanting to do seeding jobs.anyone else work with lanscape contractors or home builders.

11-10-2005, 10:46 PM
Yea, how many do the prep and seeding, if so what is your running rate? What are some good lawn grasses for kentucky, like fescues?

11-11-2005, 05:35 PM
When I started doing hydroseeding, I was already doing the prepwork and sort of got into hydroseeding because of the shoddy work that the local hydroseeder's where doing. I figured that if they could make a living hydroseeding with their quality then I could get rich. As my company has grown, I have found that I have less and less time to do prep work simply because I am hydroseeding more and more. I still do some prep but I concentrate on the easier more profitable jobs. I base my prep pricing on a perhour basis for equipment + labor and materials. I tried giving set pricing but found that there was always some hidden something that the building contractors had buried, and it always ended up taking longer than I figured because, I ended up cleaning up someone elses mess. Now if I run into a bunch of buried trash, I just keep the clock running. I have ran into a few people that want a set price up front and wont go with my service simply because I wont give a set price, I give estimates. This doesnt hurt my feelings any because I make more hydroseeding anyways.

11-11-2005, 09:25 PM
I never fert the new site until the grass shows. One reason any and all seeds have all they need for two weeks to grow. Second the fert you do app. on a new lawn will have some fast release in it for at less aweek then the slow release will kick in about 2 weeks after it is broken down to a usable level that plants, lawns and trees can use. Just my opinion

11-12-2005, 09:51 PM
T-Trim brings up a good point, seed already contains everything it needs to germinate, fertilizer actually slows down germination. The use of fertilizeers is one reason that seed rates are increased, to makeup for the seed we kill by artificial means. Still, on most of the sites I seed, I almost have to use fertilizer at the time of seeding. Reason being that nobody is going to be doing any followup ferts. I have proved this to myself several times on lawns that I am responsible for followup fertilizations. I can use the same amounts of fertilizer split in two applications as I would for one single application at time of planting, and I always have better results. The lawns that are fertilized at planting are always thinner but they grow faster at first, then they seem to stop growing, the lawns with the split applications will comein thicker, grow slower and stay green longer and continue at a steady growth rate.

Mr. Sparrow
11-13-2005, 10:02 PM
i get $500 for 1/2 acre. just for spraying an already prepped area.
i just did an 18000 sqft area, topsoil, grade, and spray for $4500, easy site, open and flat

Planet Landscaping
11-14-2005, 05:33 AM
Welcome to our site Sparrow.:waving: @ .045 per sq, Your WAAAAAY under the going rate.

11-14-2005, 05:53 PM
I agree with Planet. I can get by seeding acres for .045 a sqft but that is only because i am using two machines and working on volume. 18000 sqft lawns are another matter. Turf seed cost more and rates are increased, all this adds to cost. At .045 you might be making a false profit. Consider other costs, your truck, taxes, maintenance on your machine, fuel, etc, it all adds up. $500 might look like a big return on just material cost but in the long term you might actually be losing money.

Mr. Sparrow
11-14-2005, 07:01 PM
oh well, i guess the next job, the rates are going up
what is the average cost?

Mr. Sparrow
11-14-2005, 08:41 PM
huh, where did you guys come up with .045? its $4 per square (18000/4500 = 4 per square) 500 for a half acre is about 45 cents a square foot, yes?
the going rate for hydro seeding is about 10 cents a square

11-14-2005, 10:05 PM
i get $500 for 1/2 acre. just for spraying an already prepped area.
i just did an 18000 sqft area, topsoil, grade, and spray for $4500, easy site, open and flat

Am I missing something here? I can see the $4500.00 for prep , soil, and hydro on 18Kft2. That's around .25 ft2 for everything...But $500.00 for a half acre? That's less than .045 cents a square foot. More like . 023 cents per ft2. I'm sure your materials cost was more than 2.3 cents per foot.

Planet Landscaping
11-15-2005, 05:41 AM
Impact is correct, Sparrow check your math. 1/2 acre = 21250 sq. for $500 = leaving lots of money @ the table. My price is $1500. We are the Largest hydroseeder in the area (as you know I'm sure).

11-15-2005, 09:00 AM
Planet I just checked out your web site very nice. In looking at your section on watering I noticed that you offer it as a follow up service. What do you charge for this and what do you use (temporary irrigation system, your hydroseeder, customers hose)?

craig clark
clark construction

Planet Landscaping
11-15-2005, 12:20 PM
We use a variety of methods from Temp irrigation to Hauling in a 5500 gallon tanker truck. Price ranges from $550 to several thousand payup for larger Projects. No set rate, Every job is unique. Thanks for the kind words.:waving:

11-28-2005, 05:04 PM
What would be a good seed choice in Kentucky's climate? After reading, what is turf type tall fescue, is that its self name? Would that or 31, and a mix with bluegrass and rye make a nice lawn? Also what is a good starter fertilizer? Thanks

11-29-2005, 07:38 PM
there is probably several thousand different varities of turf type tall fescue. Generally, it is a shorter growing, finer bladed than the regular K31 tall fescue. For a lawn you might try one of the TTTF blends which is usually three different varities of fescue in the same bag. You can add one of the improved varities of Kentucky bluegrass as well as one of the turf rye's. You can visit www.ntep.org to get a better recommendation as to which type of grass is better suited to your area.

Starter fertilizer is usually a high Phosphorous fertilizer blend, 18/24/12 seems to be one of the more popular off the self ones. I have mine special blended based on soil samples from my area. A soil test is the only way to get an accurate blend for you soil since all soils are different, even you neighbors soil is probably a little different than yours.

11-29-2005, 09:33 PM
You can visit www.ntep.org to get a better recommendation as to which type of grass is better suited to your area.

Love their disclaimer... "Your mileage may vary." :p

12-01-2005, 10:02 AM
Is it creeping fescue or red fescue that grows well in shady areas (maybe neither)? Thanks for the help

12-01-2005, 11:37 AM
creeping red fescue for shade, and in your area a little chewings fescue with it would be OK.

12-07-2005, 07:42 AM
Anybody run lime through their hydroseeder? Or is the best way to dry spread it?

12-07-2005, 06:15 PM
I use lime in every tank load. I buy the pulverized lime not the pelletized. I also dont, and wont, use liquid lime products. If you are having your soil tested and it calls for large amounts of lime, dont try using the recommended amounts in your hydroseeder. Soil test recommendations are mean for 6 to 8 inches of incorporation into the soil. With a hydroseeder you are only applying to the top layer of the soil. Reduce lime rates to 15%-30% of recommended rates. If you are worried about wear and tear on the pumps, it will happen, but the mulch acts like a lubricant since the lime will be suspended in the slurry. The amount of actual wear in probably very little more than normal wear and tear if you didnt add lime and no more than if you are using granular fertilizers.

12-08-2005, 07:30 AM
Muddstoper...What machine do you use? How much lime can you run through per tank? How much do you apply per tank on average? I have a turfmaker and don't currently use lime but am considering starting after reading posts. Sorry for so many questions.

12-08-2005, 09:07 PM
In my 600 gal finn, I use 100lbs of dolomitic pulverized lime per tank as well as 50lbs of granular fertilizer, with 7000 sqft of coverage.

12-09-2005, 07:56 AM
I use homogenized fert in mine. looks like it will break down better and be easier on the pump.

12-09-2005, 10:15 AM
Unfortunatly, what ever kind of fertilizer you use, it is still going to be hard on the pumps. The granular fert's will dissolve in the slurry but the corrosion factor is still there. Centrifical pumps will handle the corrosion and grit better than the bowie gear pump that is on your TurfMaker. The biggest help to combat the corrosion is making sure you flush the pump with clean water before parking it at the end of the workday. With the gear pump, never run it dry. Running dry with a centrifical only hurts the seals but with a gear pump, you actually have gear to gear contact and the water or slurry is the only lubrication they get.

Fertilizer in the slurry also has a harmful effect on the seed, basicly you are soaking the seed in a salt solution which slows germination and can actually kill the seed. The best way to apply the fert and lime is to broadcast and incorporate into the soil before seeding, whether hydroseeding, slit, or broadcasting. In critical area seeding, where hydroseeders where originally intended to be used, broadcasting and incorporating fertilizer and lime is usually not possible. In this type seeding applying the materials with a hydroseeder is often the only option. With most lawns, better results are usually obtained if the materials are appled to the soil before the actuall seeding process takes place.

If soil admendments are being added to the hydroseeding slurry care should be taken in types chosen and amounts used. Especially since with a hydroseeder you are only applying those materials to the top layer of the soil. For this reason, even soil test recommendations should be considered to large an amount to use for seed establishment, this is because the test recommendation are meant to be incorporated into the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches and you are only treating the top layer of the soil. Chooseing fertilizers with lower salt content will also improve the germination factor of the seed. Nitrogen in Nitrate form has a much higher salt index than ammonical forms, muriate of potash contains twice as much salt as sulfate of potash.

Over application and wrong choice of fertilizers is probably responsible for more seeding failures than improper watering techniques, this is true whether hydroseeding or using a more conventional form of seeding. Unwatered seed will lay dormant for a long time before seed kill happens, and will germinate whenever enough water is available for it to do so. Not so with fertilizer coated seed. The salt content of the fertilizers will compete with the seed for avilable moisture, as well as convert to nitrogen gas, and can kill the seed off before germination in as little as 24 hrs after application.:)

12-09-2005, 07:14 PM
I use triple 13 when seeding usually about 50lbs per 700 gal. I always recomend customer follows up w/ another fert app in 30 days and offer the service if they prefer. Seems when we follow up w/ second app lawn does much better. I am considering pricing in second app automatically this year. What is your most common seed? We do primarily bermuda here.

12-09-2005, 08:16 PM
I have read a lot of your posts both on Lawnsite and the Hydroseeding Forum and I know you are very knowledgeable with fertilizers. I have posted a link to the fertilizer I have been using in my slurry for the past year with great results. I just want your opinion on my choice and how much seed damage would occur with this fertilizer if any. Thanks


12-09-2005, 10:59 PM
Without looking at the product my first response is that the fertilizer is good only if it contains the nutrients your soil needs first. Only way to find out what your soil needs is by doing a soil test and then developing a blend suitable for your seeding conditions.

After looking at the label a couple of things stand out. One, The K source is muriate of potash, a better choice could be a fertilizer containing sulfate of potash as the k source. Sop contain about half the salt of Mop. This doesn't mean your fertilizer isn't any good, just maybe not as good as it could be. Food for thought, most soils, but not all, in the USA already contain sufficient K in the soil for good plant growth. This K is derived from weathered mica and feldspar. It isn't always readily available to the plants because it is held tightly in acidic and low organic, heavy clay, content soil. Because the K is held so tightly in the soil, the additional K can be beneficial at planting but the additional K can also become bound-up in the soil and not readily available. In sandy soil the K has a tendency to leach from the soil.

Second, the nitrogen is derived from 9.4% Ammoniacal and 5.6 percent Urea. The Urea contains more salt than the Ammonical, again not bad but maybe not as good as it could be. Another point about Urea, as little as 5 lbs Urea per ACRE placed in direct contact with the seed, (cant get much more contact that soaking the seed in a solution of the stuff), has been proven to reduce grain crop yields by as much as 50%. Grass is a grain. The loss occurs because under the right conditions, dry, hot weather, the urea will gas off and actually kill the seed and even newly germinated seed or new shoots of grass. Coated urea, (such as SCU) isn't much better if used in a hydroseeder. The agitation and mixing in water has a tendency to crack or dissolve the coating leaving the seed in direct contact with the urea fertilizer. The gassing off isn't as big a problem on properly irrigated areas since the water helps carry the nitrogen down into the soil. Another point is that with the gassing off, you lose your nitrogen to the air. It is safer to use Urea if you are incorporating it into the soil. The soil will act as a buffer between the urea and seed. Gassing off can still occur but it is usually slower and less harmful to the seed.

As a side note, I have my fertilizer blended according to an average of soil samples taken around my area. My blend is not perfect for every site I seed but it is generally closer than anything I can buy off the shelf. The blend is made using 18/46/0 and 0/0/50 SOP and contain no Urea. the blend is 15/39/7 applied at the rate of 350lbs per acre. I get good germination using this blend and amounts and as Earthworker stated, the new grass responds well to followup fertilizations 3 to 4 weeks after seeding. I mostly seed fescue and other cool season grasses.

12-13-2005, 08:52 PM
Hi, I'm just getting into the lawn/landscaping business and I have a couple questions about hydroseeding. How many gallons of hydroseed mixture do you need per 1000 sq ft? Where do you by your bales of hydroseed mulch,
and how much do you need per gallon of water? Also, how much seed do you mix per gallon? Thanks for your input.:)

12-14-2005, 12:11 AM
Good questions, but not easy to answer. Different areas of the contry require a different approach to get maximum results. Generally, the more materials you can mix in a load the larger the area you can cover. This varies from machine to machine and pump type to pump type. You can pump a heavier slurry with a machine that uses a positive displacement pump such as the Bowie gear pump or Finns progressive cavity pump,(PC pumps adds mega $$$ to cost of machine). Most Finns and a lot of Bowie machines use centrifical pumps. You can mix a heavier slurry with a mechanical agitated machine than you can with a jet agitated one. Mulch rates needed also determine the amount of seed, fert, and other materials you need to add to your hydroseeder. A good starting point for your mulch rate would be to try for around 1500lbs of mulch per acre. One 50lb bale will cover 1452 sqft at the 1500lb per acre rate. Northern folks might use a little less mulch and Southern folks a little more, but 1500lbs per acre sort of puts you in the middle ground for a starting point.
I use 200lbs in my 600gal capacity machine. Because of the mulch and other material I add, I can only get 500gal of water in the machine. This means I am mixing about 40lbs of mulch per 100 gal of water. The machine will handle a thicker slurry but I have less problems with these ratios so I stick to them. You can apply any mulch rate with any type of machine, it depends on your application technique. I can mix 50lb of mulch in 1000 gals of water and still apply a 3000lb per acre rate, might be a little muddy when I get done and is certainly more time consuming, but the point is dont get hung up on the mixing capacity of the machine as much as the efficiency and cost effectivness.
200lbs is 4 bales of mulch, 4 x 1452 = 5808 sqft total coverage area at the 1500lb per acre rate. At this rate it would take about 7 1/2 loads to do an acre. Figure the correct amount of fertilizer, seed and lime to do that acre and divide that by 7.5 and thats how much you should add to your tankloads.
You can visit the mulch manufacturers websites and find dealers close to you. Lesco and Ewing Irrigation are a couple of distributors with a lot of stores nationwide. You can also find suppliers by simply asking whoever you purchase a machine from. More info can be found at http://www.hydroseeding.org/. You will also find a very active forum, (well its a little slow now because of the time of year), there that is dedicated to hydroseeding.

Administrators, if you feel you must edit out the link please leave the rest of the post

12-15-2005, 04:24 PM
Thanks for your info, Muddstopper. I appreciate your time to answer my question. This might be a dumb question, but is it possible to build your own hydroseeder. I would assume that you need a pump, tank, hose, and fittings. I would like to do new lawn installs without subbing out the hydroseeding, but I don't want to spend a ton of money on a hydroseeder because I'm just getting into the business. I could probably find a tank pretty easily; what size pump would I need? Any opinions or advice appreciated.

12-15-2005, 10:21 PM
Buy one...there is too much learning curve to just throwing one together. The correct pump type, GPM, PSI, fitting placement is too much headache to deal with...unless you have a degree in engineering, lol.. It's a lot simpler to purchase one, even if it's used, than to try the monumental task of building and constantly tweaking and changing something. I have seen 300 gallon jet units sell locally and on the net for as little as 1500.00. Once you make some $$ with a used machine,(and some experience with seeding) buy new.That's my .02:waving:

12-15-2005, 11:05 PM
Where do hydroseed operators refill the tank. Let's say you have a job that requires 800 gallons of liquid, and your machine only has a 300 gallon capacity. Where do you get a quick refill during the job, a fire hydrant?:)

12-15-2005, 11:33 PM
Our primary machine is a 300 gallon unit. I carry a nurse tank on the flatbed that holds almost 300 gallons. If I am at a residential, and have to fill from a garden hose, I leave it run into the nurse tank, then use a 15000GPH transfer pump to fill the seeder. If we have the luxury of filling from a pond or lake, I can fill the machine with water in about 1-2 minutes. I always try to go to the job with my first tank loaded, and start filling the nurse tank immediately as soon as I am on site. Our local water board did away with meter rentals for tapping onto hydrants about 5 years ago. You can still fill up at the local water pumping station for about $2 per 1000K gallons.

12-16-2005, 03:20 PM
building a jet machine isnt as hard as it might seem. Most materials can be found at the local farmers co-op and plumbing suppliers. The expensive parts are the tank and the engine/pump combo. Most of the little 5hp trash pumps dont work that well so you need to find something with more hp. I almost burnt up my 5hp honda pump just trying to pump a slurry out of one machine that had broken down and that slurry was already mixed. Used machines are for sale all over the internet, jet and mechanical ones of all different sizes. By the time you figure your cost in parts and materials you can probably by a used one just as cheap. Even if you build one you still have to buy hose and nozzles to make it work and these should come with a used machine.

Refilling out of the customers garden hose is one source of water. I never liked that approach because most outside spicketts wont supply enough water to fill as fast as i can spray a load out. A nurse tank helps because you can just stick the hose in it and let it run while you are empting your hydroseeder. I usually fill from ponds and streams, I have a nurse tank mounted on a seperate truck. I just send the truck after a load of water while I am seeding. The nurse tank is usually back by the time I empty the seeder. I have also used my larger hydroseeder as a nurse tank for the smaller machine. It will hold enough water for two tank loads in the smaller machine. I only do this when I am seeding areas i am afraid to take the bigger machine into. I have used the smaller seeder and nurse tank to feed the larger machine to, but requires an extra driver so that doesnt happen much. I always go to a job with the hydroseeder full and the nurse tank as well, if the job requires more than one load. If a creek or stream is close, I wont use a nurse tank, I just unhook the hoses and take the machine to the water. I can adverage 2-600gal loads an hour this way.