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Hydroseeder program start

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by GreenthumbGA, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. GreenthumbGA

    GreenthumbGA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    My mind has been spinning on this for days and I am about to do it, just need some advice on some stuff. I have some compost, some vermicompost, access to a hydorseeder, customers that would listen to any thing I tell them, and would pay whatever it takes, and a desire to never sell or apply another chemical in my life. Here it is.....

    A soil sample will be taken

    ?Where is some good places to send this off to. We have Lesco but the report is scimpy.?

    Program will start by brewing the amount of compost tea needed for the the job. From there, the seeds (centipede, st Augustine, Bermuda) will be soaked in the tea.

    ? How much tea for a property per 1k?

    ? How long should seed soak in tea?

    During the process of brewing and soaking, the property will be aerated.

    Once the tea is ready, seeds have been soaked, property has been aerated, the hydro seeder is rented.

    Fill hydroseeder with compost, tea, well water, and seed.

    ? What ratio of tea/compost/water for app?

    Let agitate in hydro seeder.

    ? Is there anything that I can put in at this point to help things out?

    ? What kind of things do I want to look for in the hydroseeder that would affect my microbiological populations?

    Apply on lawn.

    What would be a good app rate?

    Set irrigation to come on in the morning and afternoon to lightly moisten surface for germination.

    How long for this watering program?

    This would be followed by a good program.

    ?What are some options to try out.?

    Thank you guys for being so informative and deep. There is no way that I would have ever gotten in to business, and stayed in the business without people like you who take the time to speak about your business practices.

    I have been reading for years and am about to take the plunge. I don’t say much because I read most of my questions in the searches.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308


    Good start.

    Check with your local extension service. You can also use this site to find one.


    That depends on the site, dilution ratio, etc... If the site/soils are in bad shape, you will want your CT applied at a lower dilution ratio.

    If your hydroseeding with CT, I would think that is good enough. Treegal might have something to say on this.

    Once again, this will depend on the site.

    I think most everyone will agree that adding some mycorrhizae spores to the mix would be a good idea.

    Tim would be the best person to answer this question.

    Depends on the site. Is this an overseed or a new seeding?

    Whatever is required to keep the seed moist (not wet). Run times will vary widely depending on regional weather conditions and how efficient your sprinklers are.

    I not sure I understand the question, but given your location I would be looking at options that reduce or eliminate your irrigated landscapes.
  3. Elden

    Elden LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Greenthumb, I don't believe that you can get St. Aug seed to use. From what I've read and people from UF have told me is that it can only be propogated vegatatively. If you know other wise please post some info about it.
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Greenthumb, indeed you have thinking this over. I have seen this done with great success

    We have a biological hydroseed product called 1-2-3 Hydro-Seed, send me your email address and I will send you the label that breaks down each species.
    We use 9 different species of Bacteria, 10 species of mycorrhizae and 5 species of trichoderma fungi in very dense populations. All of these guys ar great for new seeding applications. It costs $0.15 per 1000 square feet to apply, it is an excellent addition to the slurry mix.

    The compost should be screened to 1/8 minus before adding to the hydroseeder, this will make a nice slurry. I have seen 1 to 1 1/2 yards per 600 gallon used. Some people add a liquid fertilizer to the mix, some don't. You could also use our instant mix which has a 2-0-2 NPK and is a rich mix of organic nutrients. 1 carton treats 90,000 square feet, cost $0.67 per 1000

    The typical tea (brewed) application rate is 5 gallons per acre of straight tea, I personally like to use more. The application rate from the hydro-seeder will be dependent on the model and type and type nozzle used.

    My experience has been 3 to 4 day germination with germination rates well over 90%. The root and shoot go crazy with this mixture, 3 to 4 inch grass in about a week.

    I like that you are core aerating first, it is not often that we can literally shoot this mixture down into the soil next to the root zone

    You might want to look at some of the alfalfa/soy meal fertilizers out there, the protein and carb's in those mixes really feed the microbial populations well. You might even use it as part of the slurry
  5. GreenthumbGA

    GreenthumbGA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    Very good. As to the St. Augustine, I was just throwing in types of grass in my area. I service maybe 5% St Augustine in my area.

    Waiting on some others to reply.

    Treegal, Gerry (only if he's nice), Small axe, Barefoot, Lawncuttingfoo, phasthound???????? Leaving anyone out..?
  6. bmjones17

    bmjones17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Are you referring to spraying compost tea out of a hydroseeder/mulcher???? I'm pretty sure that spraying compost tea out of a hydroseeder would absolutly ruin the tea.....
  7. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Posts: 82

    What a timely post. I have just started entertaining the idea, doing a little research on hydro seeding, using organics, compost teas and of course mycorrhizae. Anyone have any places I can go to bone up on this process.

    1) How difficult is it to learn?
    2) Should I rent or buy? Charlotte, NC area.
    3) Is it difficult to get even seed growth.

    As many of you may know, the South has suffered an extreme drought this past summer and many of the lawns here are devastated.

    4) Can you hydro seed in the summer months (cool season grasses?)
    5) I assume the cost per 1K is less than sod.

    Sorry for all the questions, I got carried away...

  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    bmjones17, For some it is standard practice to add compost and compost tea to the hydroseeder. Often compost is used instead of hydromulch, sometimes the 2 are used together.

    The compost holds water very well and coats/covers the seed, germination time is lessened and the long term health of the turf is increased. It basically gives the grass plant a great place to grow and flourish

    This was the same practice used at the National Mall in Washington DC, so far it has shown itself to much better than the other 2 panels where they are testing different turf applications
  9. bmjones17

    bmjones17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Ok I'm not saying the compost won't help as a mulch I'm saying that spraying compost tea above 15 psi will ruin the compost tea>
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    I have consistently had good results applying tea at psi up to 300. I am not convinced that the microbiology is as fragile as some folks think. Admittedly, I do not test with a microscope, but the results are there.

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