View Full Version : Lawn Seeding

05-02-2004, 12:40 AM
Fresh virgin meat here - please be gentle with me!

I just finished reading ALL the posts in this forum and have learned a great deal. Thanks to all who have contributed.

I have just purchased a 500 gallon hydroseeding unit and my first question has to do with organic methods at seeding time for turf grass (the forum discussions weren't too heavy in this area).

That question is - What would you recommend to replace the normal seed starter type fertilizer in my mix (Lesco 18-24-12 for example)?

A little more information to help you in answering:

Hydroseed mix sufficient to cover 1000sq ft. normally contains about 100 gallons of water, 35 to 40lbs of ph balanced wood or paper mulch, seed at recommended rate (I add a little to the recommendation), and starter fertilizer at recommended rate. Other additives such as tackifier, locking fibers, water retaining gels, etc. can be added if required for the site conditions.

I live in the Kansas City area and most people here seem to have a fescue type lawn.

I have also tried Monty's Joy Juice (yellow label) as well as Plant Marvel which were both night and day improvements over the Lesco - but I am still looking for something better.

My own (uneducated opinion) is to first do a soil test, then hydroseed with a mix that is "tweaked" to get the seed to germinate as soon as possible, followed a few weeks later by a normal fert program as recommended by the soil test lab. The "tweaked" part would be something like compost tea, molasses, stray dog, etc.

OK, give it to me - but please be gentle.....

05-05-2004, 05:10 PM
OK, how about this one:

For those of you who apply compost tea to turf - would it be ok to mix the compost tea and alfalfa meal together and apply both at the same time?

Tim G
05-05-2004, 05:43 PM
Sounds interesting I know nothing about hydro seeding. Something I would like to try in the future. Why dont you make some tea in a bucket, and add your hydro mix as you would in your machine and try it out on a small area. Compost tea can go anaerobic on you if you over feed it, you have to be careful. When I apply aerobic compost tea, I add a kelp fertilizer, and spray it as soon as I can. I am experimenting with mychorrhiza as well which may also be a good additive for hydroseeding. It associates with plant roots, needs to be in contact with them and will increase the root mass. Dont know if this helps, but good luck

05-05-2004, 07:20 PM

Thanks for the response!

I guess my line of thinking is that the compost tea along with a good starter fertilizer will help the seed germinate much better & then the alfalfa meal would start to kick in about 3 weeks later (about the time the starter fert runs out). From what I have read on this forum, corn meal isn't recommended for application on new seeds - even though it is much cheaper here.

As for application, I would use dechlorinated water and add ALL materials at the customer site (including the continuously aerated compost tea concentrate). Mixing time would be about 10 minutes. The nozzles used on a typical hydroseeder are quite large so I am not worried about clogging at all.

My real concern is that the compost tea potency will be reduced beyond what would be acceptable either by the combination of materials or by the aggressive agitation action of the hydroseeder itself.

Be pretty slick if it works though.....

05-05-2004, 08:14 PM
Hello Seed Squirter,
As you can see, the answers to organic questions when it concerns hydroseeding are slow coming here. Since it seems to be a new concept appling organics with the hydro seeding slurry, I can only assume the slow replys are either because they dont know the answer or they are not sure of the answer. While I feel that the addition of organics with the hydroseeding slurry should be of some benefit, I am not so sure that applying organics along with starter fertilizers will be productive. TimG mentioned experimenting with Mychorrizha. Mychorrizha can be killed or severly diminished with high applications of Phosphorous which is normally found in starter fertilizers. So can most other forms of bacteria. It is my understanding that compost teas are mostly living microbes that might not survive the direct mixing with fertilizers used in the hydroseeding process. While I am reasonably sure that adding compost or other organics to the hydroseeding slurry would be benefital to the soil, it might work better if they where used without the addition of fertilizers at the same time. I am planning on doing a little test since I am redoing my own lawn. In my test I plan on doing everything I normally do when I hydroseed with the addition of Mushroom compost to the slurry on half of the lawn. Since my seeding area is small and will require less than a tank load, I intend to spray slurry without compost on half the lawn and on another area that is freshly graded, then add the compost to the slurry and finish the lawn and spray the remainder on the other area. This will give me two test sites using the same slurry with and without compost to eliminate variations in slurry mixes. I will post pictures on the hydroseeding.org/forum as well as here. I feel this is worth pursueing but might take a lot of trail and error before a suitable balance between organics and chemical is determined.

05-06-2004, 11:35 AM
seed & mudd,
have you considered spraying the compost tea directly to the soil, then applying the hydro slurry?
Also, mushroom compost is sterilized after use (at least around here) so you won't get the benefit of the benificial micro-organisms.

05-06-2004, 03:15 PM
When we get the shroom compost it is still making heat so I assume it is still full of organisms. As for spraying the tea before the slurry, might work but would there be any difference in effect if the tea is sprayed and then the seeding slurry right afterward instead of putting it all down at once, or are you suggesting waiting a few days between the two applications. I have considered applying the compost a few weeks after seeding but in most cases its not really practical, especially since it is hard to get the home owners to pay the difference. I sort of feel that the addition of the organic matter will be a big help even if the organisms are killed off with the fertilizer, after all more organisms are going to be needed for their decay, and I have considered adding molasses to the slurry to help the little buggers breed. Some of this is a mute point concerning a lot of my seeding, if I am doing the prepwork, meaning I can get on the property with equipment, I can add the organic matter and work it into the soil. My biggest concern is doing critical areas that are to steep for equipment yet the home owners want something to cover the dirt. These areas are seldom mowed or maintained except for a little weed wacking and hardly ever see additional fertilizer after planting. Most should be covered with Junipers and mulched but money always seems to get in the way.

05-06-2004, 11:50 PM
i've been considering getting a hydroseeder to do just about what you're considering (hopefully next year).
On www.soilfoodweb.com they say that the microorganisms can be killed by ther wrong pump so, you'll need to check whether it'll work all at once. They talk about compost tea makers 'failing' because the kill half of the the beneficials. I think that should still leave enough to help.
If you're doing the prep, I'd add the tea and/or compost then and seed later.
But like with most things in life, I think you'll have to whats economically practical even if it isn't the 'best' way

05-07-2004, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the link, I have been trying to figure out if adding the composted products to the seeder is worthwhile for sometime now. Just doesnt seem to be much info on the subject. Terra seeding is what sort of gave me the ideal for trying it in a regular hydroseeder. With Terra Seeding they blow large amounts of compost and organic materials on top of the surface and then inject the seed by mechanical means, (not sure exactly how), but the procedure is expensive and so is the equipment. I was hopeing to duplicate the results using the equipment I already have. Hydroseeders are expensive too!! Since I cant seem to find any information from someone that has actually tried it using a hydroseeder, I guess I will have to be the guineypig. There are all sorts of "so called" organic products being sold to add to a hydroseeding slurry but I feel most of them are just snake oil. While they may be benefitual, the amounts being recommended by the manufacturer are so minute that they cant possibly be a serious benefit, at least not short term. I guess I have a hard time believeing that 32oz of anything per acre can supply enough micro-organisms to properly admend the soil, or at least not in the time it takes the seed to germinate and grow.

05-07-2004, 08:52 AM
I had read the same info about how the wrong type of pump could damage the potency. I am sure that the jet type hydroseed pumps will do some damage because they are very aggressive.

Wonder if it might work to add an injector in the line AFTER the pump to prevent damage? I am sure it would need to be a type of design that would allow the slurry to pass unimpeded. Something to consider anyway. If you had a mechanical type hydroseeder I am sure you wouldn't have to worry about damage from the pump as it is low volume.

Mudd, we must be thinking along the same lines on several things. I also have plans to try some mushroom based product in my mix. I currently use a product called Earth Right to help aerate and inoculate the soil. The same people make a product called Mushroom Stuff.

I am working toward using my hydroseeding equipment for other applications during the off season for growing grass. This will most likely include the aeration product, compost tea, and meal type fertilizers (corn, alfalfa, etc). Possibly others if I run across something beneficial that is worth the effort.

05-07-2004, 10:25 AM
Keep me posted on the results if you can. I am reasonably sure that we can add compost and organics with our machines, I just am not sure how well they will work during the actuall seeding process. One thing to consider is the amounts of organics everybody here seems to be recommending to use. They seem to be large amounts and a hydroseeder might not be the most efficient way to apply them. Mixing large amounts of meals in a slurry of water might make dough, ( I'm thinking cornbread). Compost on the other hand might be easier to apply and get spread evenly. You could even add seed for overseeding as you applied the compost.

05-07-2004, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by muddstopper
One thing to consider is the amounts of organics everybody here seems to be recommending to use. They seem to be large amounts and a hydroseeder might not be the most efficient way to apply them. Mixing large amounts of meals in a slurry of water might make dough, ( I'm thinking cornbread).

Cornbread, my favorite - I can smell the lawn cookin' now.......

I had thought that the corn meal (not corn gluten meal) was applied at 10lbs per 1000 sq ft. In my case with a 500 gallon tank that would be about 65lbs of the meal. Since I normally put in between 150 & 200 lbs of hydromulch for hydroseeding I figured it would handle the meal just fine. In fact it might be a little "watery" which should help it get down into the soil a little better vs. sitting on top of the grass.

Of course I might be proven wrong - it has happened before.

05-07-2004, 12:02 PM
The part about it being watery is the reason I suspect we would try adding more to the slurry to try and get more coverage per tank. That is why I suggested being a little conservative with the amounts used. The contents in my slurry usually adverage about 1lb of materials per gal of water. This includes seed, mulch, lime and fert. about 450 lbs of materials in a 500 gal tank. 450lbs of corn meal might make dough. Of course if we use to much we can always get out the butter and milk and have a picnic.LOL On the other hand, 450 lbs of compost would probably be soupy and spray easy. Just a guess of course, but I have sprayed 450 lbs of just lime and fertilizer with out any problems.

Tim G
05-08-2004, 12:17 AM
You guys are going to town. Remember you just have to feed the critters in the soil,you can over do it. Evan when I make tea if I add to much food it will go anaerobic on me. Before I spray it on I had about 4 0z. of kelp fertilizer that’s in 30 gallons of tea for about 1000 sq. ft I do trees and flower beds as well with that. On established lawns I put on about 10 lbs of corn gluten per 1000 as well. Don’t over do the corn meal. Ive put corn gluten on at about 20lbs per 1000 and the smell was terrible stunk really, really bad. Organic fertilizers work best when you have the biology in the soil or add it as in compost or compost tea. You can make your soil anaerobic, if you over do it with to thick of a cover and not allow air in.

I think you guys are right about the pump may kill the beneificials. What pressure does it operate at? Is it an impeller pump?

What makes up the hydro mulch?

05-08-2004, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by Tim G
I think you guys are right about the pump may kill the beneificials. What pressure does it operate at? Is it an impeller pump?

What makes up the hydro mulch?


In the jet type hydroseeders the pump is typically a very high volume centrifugal type (with an impeller). Flow rates in the neighborhood of 600+ gallons per minute. The bulk of this flow is used to agitate the contents of the tank. The typical application rate nozzles used are in the neighborhood of 50 gpm with pressures ranging from 40 to 90 psi.

In the mechanical type hydroseeders the pump is a low volume gear type that is only used to supply the application hose (the tank contents are mixed with a mechanical paddle). Pressures are higher, maybe in the range of 125psi - but the flow rate is in the 60gpm range.

The real experts can correct me on the above info if I am off a little.

The hydromulch is typically made up of ground up recycled newspaper or pulverized wood fibers (small fibers - not like sawdust). Some hydromulch is a blend of the paper and wood as well. As I understand it, there are some other types out there as well, but the wood and paper are probably 99% of what gets used. Sometimes there are additives in the mulch such as green dye, polyester locking fibers, etc. The mulch is perfectly PH balanced and will bio-degrade over time.

Hope this answers your questions.

Tim G
05-08-2004, 09:12 AM
I think I may have to invest in one of these units or possibly build one. To the best of your knowledge what is the best...mechanical or jet agitation? I have a small trailer unit right now for application, Iv'e been lookin at building a bigger one. Im thinking I wont just build it for tea alone but maybe to handle more density like a hydro seeder. On the jet pump you described above would it be a 3" pump 1/14" for agitation 1/14" for spraying?

05-08-2004, 09:43 AM

Discussing hydroseeder types can start wars in some circles - but here goes.....

Mechanicals are typically WAY more expensive, heavier and require more maintenance because of the heavy metal design needed to support the paddle mixing apparatus. On the plus side they can typically mix a much thicker slurry. Just make sure and bring your BIG checkbook when you buy one.

The jet types use the pump to mix AND apply, so it doesn't need the heavy metal tank. The tanks are usually poly types and are real easy to keep clean. By far, I recommend that you check out the units at www.turboturf.com . I am very impressed with the way they conduct business and support their customers. Get the largest pump & engine you can afford (largest is a 25hp 4").

Stay away from the folks building hydroseeders in Oklahoma (whatever their names are now) - they have shady business practices. You can ask Muddstopper about that one.

05-08-2004, 01:13 PM
The mulch in the slurry is usually what determines the amount of coverage area with one 50# bale giving approx 1452 sqft of coverage, (based on 1500# per acre rate). Increasing the amount of mulch in the tank will increase the coverage area. I guess that is why I was thinking along the lines of increasing the organic matter per tank so as to increase the coverage area. heavy much rates will make a thicker slurry and I supposed the same would be for the organic matter. Since you are saying you use 4 oz in thirty gal, I assume you are makeing a thin mixture or slurry for applications. Would the thinner mixtures work better than the thick mixture, meaning will they work into the soil at a faster rate? Whether I am trying to add 10lbs or 100lbs per thousand, it is going to be hard to regulate just exactly how much is put down using a hydroseeder and would mostly be by eyeball and trail and error to getting the correct amount down for a given area. I know somewhere there has to be a point of to much, but given the materials are organic there should be a fairly big threshold between to little and to much. I am finding out that there are organics manufactured just for hydroseeding applications but anything that is packaged and stored on a shelf cant have very many living organisms in it. Trying to figure out the snakeoils from the good stuff is the hard part.

05-08-2004, 01:27 PM
The part about the mechanical and jet machine and one being better than the other is and always will probably be a huge argument for some people. I own both types and use both types almost everyday. The machine isnt what determines how your grass will grow, its your knowledge of what the grass needs to grow that will determine your success. I paid for my Bowie machine with the cheap plastic jug that some people call jet machines. I still use the jet machine more than the bowie. Many times I use both machines on the same job site. I planted grass side by side using the different machines and the results where excatly the same. Buy or build a machine based on what you expect to be doing with it. For lawn work a jet machine might be your best bet. For large erosion control projects then I would go mechanical.

05-08-2004, 09:07 PM
Tim G,

How about educating me about the compost tea application equipment!

What kind of pump do you use to apply the tea that doesn't damage the organisms? What are the pump specs?

How do you transport the tea - diluted and ready to spray or as a concentrate to be mixed at the customer site?

It would make the most sense to haul and apply the minimum amount of liquid, but how do you do this and still ensure adequate application rates?


Tim G
05-09-2004, 10:27 AM
muddstopper said
Increasing the amount of mulch in the tank will increase the coverage area. I guess that is why I was thinking along the lines of increasing the organic matter per tank so as to increase the coverage area.

I don’t know the exact breakdown on a hydro bail, looks like wood, paper or both that is good organic matter. If I’m hearing you right are you saying that by adding compost you are adding more organic matter?
Sounds to me like everything about hydro seeding is organic except for the addition of synthetic fertilizer or maybe the sticker or tackifier…what are they made of?
As you probably know the difference between compost and compost tea is the fact that you make tea and multiply the organisms. With the tea you now have a product that is easier to apply than compost and has more beneficial in it. As long as the soil has good organic matter or you add it in like, wood chips, you are on your way to building great soil. So by making a good tea and adding it to your mix sounds like something way better than adding compost…cause you would need way more of it. When you make tea you are extracting from the compost, you can multiply the bacteria and protozoa and fungi. Some fungi, nematodes don’t multiply there just extracted
Now you have to feed the bacteria and fungi
Bacteria – add bacterial foods, such as simple sugars, simple proteins, and simple carbohydrates. Molasses, fruit juice, fish emulsion and green plant material feed bacteria. The more kinds of sugars and simple substrates added, the greater the diversity of species of bacteria, and the more likely the full range of beneficials will be present.
Fungi – add fungal foods, such as complex sugars, amino sugars, complex proteins, soy bean meal, fish hydrolysate, fish oils, cellulose, lignin, cutins, humic acids, fulvic acids, wood, paper or cardboard. The more kinds of fungal foods that are present, the greater the diversity of fungal species will grow.

Right now I have 150 gallon tank with a ¾” screw pump, runs with a 5 horse Honda. I think this style of pump is fairly easy on the microbes, I spray at about 30 psi all done with a garden hose and hand sprayer. It has a ¾” by-pass as well to keep the product moving. Ive been using this set up for 2 years and I seem to be getting really good success. I use a bobs brewer which works really good. I try to keep the large particles down but I don’t filter it really, it only passes through regular house screen. I don’t have a lab close for a biological sample yet but SFI is going to put one here within the next few months…I hope. I have been going by the smell of my tea and the results I get which have all been very good to this point. What I like about tea is the ease of application. Like I said before, I spray the whole yard. The tea can be diluted if you want, or sprayed on straight. Like anything you want coverage. I add different organic fertilizer and usually some humic acid.
As per application rate I just go by coverage. You want at least 70% coverage on anything you spray. My front lawn for example is about 1300 square ft. with trees and bushes, I use about 20-30 gallons of diluted tea at 5 –1. I do tend to probably put on too much at times but my lawn is really looking good. I am now spraying 3 neighbors yards as well they like what they are seeing in my lawn. I spray about 20 yards with gardens as well and haven’t charged a cent for the tea. I won’t charge while I learn and experiment they only pay for any other input like corn gluten.

I did some reading on the turbo turf site good info there. They mentioned on jet pumps that things may get plugged and so if it were a positive displacement pump something may blow. The reason I ask is I have a 3” positive displacement pump and 20 hp motor, I was gonna use, to set up a bigger system for tea. Now do you think it may work for hydro seeing as well? I would have an 1 ¼” application hose and 2 1 ¼” by-pass lines with pressure valves on them. The pump is like a rubber vein I haven’t looked at it in 3 years, I don’t have any other details on it. It should be easy on the tea. Probably get a 300 to 500 gallon tank as well. Any ideas do you think this may work?
Here is a link I found as well

05-09-2004, 12:01 PM
The biggest problem with positive displacement pumps and jet agitated machines is that the pumps dont create enough flow to properly mix the slurry.

While the mulch is organic, it is also a virgin wood product that hasnot started to decompose.. Sure in time it will add organic nutrients to the soil but until it does it is actualy robbing nessicary nutrients needed for the grass to establish. I am looking for something to add to my slurry that will replace the nutreints lost by the decompsition of the wood mulches. Since all this organic stuff is new to me I may be looking for the wrong ingredients, I dont know. Seeding in most critical areas, there is usually nothing there except steril subsoil. I am wanting to try and apply some type of organic substance that will increase the micro organisms and hopefully insure better seed germination and survivability. In these type areas, replacing topsoil isnot an option, usually because of accessability and steepness of terrain and of course cost. I realize that everything needed probably cant be applied in one application but something has to be better than nothing.

05-09-2004, 08:12 PM
The link posted didnt give the full report. This one will.

According to the report compost was mixed with paper mulch at the rate of 3 to 1 and applied to the soil at the rate of 4000lbs per acre. I cover 5000 sqft in my 500 gal hydroseeder so I would have to suppend 457 lbs of compost/mulch per tank to get that kind of coverage. As posted earlier, I have suspended as much as 1lb of materal per gal of water and sprayed with out any problems so these rates are not out of the question. The compost used was a cow manure compost which I predict will get very liquid when mixed with water. It was also noted that the organic tackifiers, applied at the rate of 7 lbs per acre showed less soil erosion and better seed germination that the poly acrylamide tackifiers. Tests also showed better erosion control and better seed germination than areas seeded using wood mulch. I checked on some cowmanure compost today and the price was $1.97 per 40 lb bag or about 1/5th of the price of regular mulch. This is starting to sound like not only is it a better material to use in hydroseeding but it is also a cheaper material to use. I will know next week if it will mix at those rates in my hydroseeder, The results might take a few weeks. Smell might be a problem, have to wait and see. Anybody got any suggestions before I mix this in my seeder?

05-09-2004, 09:24 PM
Now this is getting interesting!

I know the document was specific to manure based compost, but I am wondering how well this would work with compost derived from leaves and grass - we have a VERY large composting operation of this type here in town. I can get this compost for $22 per cubic yard.

I also might need to reduce the amount of compost due to using a jet type hydroseeder.

05-10-2004, 10:15 AM

I have a Roper 3611 gear pump on hand that I am thinking might work for the compost tea. Would you please check this link out and tell me what you think:


Also - how much pressure does your pump develop? Do you have a brand & model number for the pump?

In regards to your 3" pump and using it for hydroseeding - it would work great for the application side of hydroseeding, but you would need another method to keep the slurry mixed in the tank. Think of something the consistency of pour-able oatmeal that has to be constantly mixed to keep the stuff that wants to float and the stuff that wants to sink well mixed. You will either need to find a mechanical way to keep it mixed such as a paddle mixer, or get another high volume pump (300 to 600 gpm) and use jet agitation to keep it mixed. The pump would probably be easier to implement.

When you get your tank you want either a horizontal round tank (without legs) or an elliptical. You want to make it easy for the contents to "roll" horizontally while being mixed. The leg tanks have dead spots where the heavy stuff wants to accumulate & not mix too well.

Hope that helps

Tim G
05-10-2004, 06:23 PM
Seedsquirter the pump I use is #5 on this link, I couldn’t find it at the moyno site. I run it at 35 to 40 lbs. When applying, it will run up to about 125 lbs. The best pump for tea is a diaphragm style. I think the 3” pump I have is maybe a bowie by the looks of the pictures, I just have to dig it out its buried under some stuff at the moment. It will be a gear pump close to the roper one you have. I have a feeling they will work they should be easy enough on everything. I’m gonna keep checking it out. Have to do what we can to keep it alive or its all for not. I went and looked at some tanks today $365 for a 300 gallon with no legs, low profile, elliptical.

I think leaf and grass compost will work fine as long as it isn’t contaminated. There can be chemical residue from grass and leaf compost make sure its been tested.
Muddstopper as for the compost stinking it shouldn’t, if it does it isn’t compost or it isn’t ready. It should smell like soil. Have to wash everything out though or it will start to stink.

05-11-2004, 07:38 PM
SealMaster is awful proud of their Bowie Pumps. Rittenhouse has them for about half that price. Might want to check them out for other pumps also.

Good to know about the smell, The stuff I looked at was at WalMart, didnt get out of the car, just noticed it as I was driving by. Weather and time permitting, I plan on testing it out this weekend. Heres some already mixed for hydroseeding,
http://www.albrightseed.com/oe_hydro.htm and some more info on the subject.



07-19-2004, 05:23 PM
In the discussions of additives I have a question related to germination. I have just started hydroseeding, having done only my own new house and a small golf green in the back. I have a Bowie 1500, older, and mixed a tank with the recommendations from the seller of the equipment. I used a Finn protein product and 19-19-19 fertilizer as well as a moisterizer, holder/tackifier to the tank. Along with the seed it was applied in mid July in Michigan and in less than a week we had grass coming up. My question is this, "On the seed bag a quote of 86% germination" does all these additives up the percentage of germination by any factor or is it just pure magic that grass appears less than a week?

07-20-2004, 06:30 PM
what a great idea to apply the compost as a liquid.

07-21-2004, 12:34 AM
your seed probably came up as fast as it did because the conditions where right for germination. The major contibuting germination factors are moisture and temperature. Since you are in the north I assume you where using cool season grasses. Those grasses germinate best with soil temperature between 55 and 75 degrees. They will germinate at lower and higher temperatures, just not as well. At temperatures higher than 75 germination time can increase as much as 1 1/2 to 2 times a long. At temperatures over 90degress seed will actually start to die before it germinates. Even if its still in the bag. At temperatures over 115 degrees total seed kill can occur, something to think about if you leave a bag of seed in the back of your car. The fertilizer when added to the seeding slurry will actually slow germination because of the salt content of the fertilizer. Seed needs moisture to start the germination process, moisture is provided with the hydroseeding process. The mulch helps hold the moisture and helps keeping the seed from drying out. The salts in the fertilizer competes with the seed for available moisture. . There is nothing magic about hydroseeding. A lot of people like to use the tripple 19 fertilizer in their slurry and if your soil is low in potassium it might make a good fert, but tripple 19 is made using murate of potash which is a high salt content fertilizer. Using a starter fertilizer that contains sulfate of potash will reduce the salt levels by 50% and might make a better choice for hydroseeding. The 86% germination rate on the seed is the amount of seed that you can expect to germinate in the bag of seed. It doesnot constitute the amount of pure live seed contained in the bag. To calculate the amount of PLS you have to also figure the amount of weed and other seeds in the bag and deduct them along with the 14% of non germinating seed in the bag. Growth stimulants wont help dead seed but they might speed up the remaining PLS germinating. The best results with bio stimulants are usually seen if the seed is soaked in a solution of bio stimulants overnite before seeding. The correct biostimulants used in the correct amounts have been shown to speed up germination but mixing just a few ounces in a lot of water with seed for just a few minutes before seeding probably isnt going to help enough to be worth the added cost.

07-21-2004, 12:55 AM
Compost is easy to apply with a hydroseeder as long as you use a quality compost. Compost that is not completely composted and containing larger particals will clogg your spray nozzle. I suppose you could always get a bigger nozzle. It is also a heavy material and requires constant agitation to stay suppended or it will seperate from the water and settel to the bottom of the tank. It can also settel in you spray hoses and cause cloggs there as well. it is best to just mix what you are going to use at each site instead of just mixing a tank load and trying to spray several different sites. When you stop spraying the compost will settle in the hoses and can be pretty hard to unclogg. I have sprayed as much as 400lbs in a 500gal jet hydroseeder and could probably add a little more but I dont like fooling with cloggs so I dont take chances.

07-23-2004, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the reply....great infomation. What are your thoughts on "Monty's Joy Juice", "Plant Marvel", "compost tea" or any other bio stimulants? Worth the investment? Discussions along these lines seem to be at best trial and error.

08-04-2004, 01:32 AM
My thoughts on those products are that they probably work but I have a hard time believing that just a few ounces per acre is really going to make that big a difference.

03-18-2006, 08:31 AM
"I have also tried Monty's Joy Juice (yellow label) as well as Plant Marvel which were both night and day improvements over the Lesco - but I am still looking for something better."-earlier post.

We just had a Monty's rep come by and discuss his line of products. For new seeding you should use the green labeled product. Also, can be combined with Liquid Carbon to help break down any hard, clay soil. I'm going to give these products a try this spring with my slit-seeding.