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To hydroseed or the standard way of seeding?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bad_chad48, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. bad_chad48

    bad_chad48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    I am preparing a bid for a customer that wants their yard dug-up and re-planted this spring. The property is almost 3 acres. I have never used hydro befor or for that fact, I have never even seen it done before. In the past I have just used an areator/seeder and then starter furt then straw. But, I have called a guy that hydroseeds and he will do it for the same price that I was going to charge. For those of you that has used both methods, give me some feedback about hydroseeding and which way should I go and why. Or should I just seed it the same old way?
  2. bad_chad48

    bad_chad48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    come on now...some of you must have some input on this. I did a search but didn't find any comparing the two.
  3. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    I have never used the hydroseeders. It sounds like it would get better results though. The seed, straw, and fert all in one application. I did a slitseeding job last season, and someone mentioned to me about hydroseeding. I did it with a slit seeder and it came out very well. 3 acres is a lot of area, I might be inclined to see about hydroseeding for that.
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    Hydroseeding works well in some areas depends a lot on wind and soil etc. The best case is to seed conventionally to get good seed soil contact and then hydromulch. Hydromulch seems to hold moisture much better than straw. More expensive though.

    Our state does not allow hyroseeding on govt work unless the site is inacessible with conventional equipment, they do however spec a lot of hydromulch, particularly in urban settings where they do not want the mess of straw.

    Austreim Landscaping
  5. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Will depend a lot on the type and quality of the Hydro Seed...

    Is their rig mechanical agitation, what type of slurry. any guarantees against run off? I don't know much about hydro seeding but I know there are differences in quality.

    If you seed use weed-free straw....the single net rolls aren't that expensive.
  6. MacKenzie

    MacKenzie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    I have NEVER seen a Hydroseeding job that I liked. I have had numerous freinds use hydroseeding, and have watched the progress of many hydroseeding jobs and I am always dissatisfied with them. I think AltaLawnCare probably makes a good point - what mix & quality of seed is the guy going to use.

    Around here it seems that we have some shoddy work being done by hydroseeders. Sure it sprouts up quickly, but it doesnt seem to establish into a nice, healthy turf as time goes on. I know there are many factors to bear on this, however IMO I prefer old fashioned seeding to Hydroseeding so far.

    Willing to proven wrong though...
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    since I own a hydroseeder, maybe I can answer some questions...
    I have found that any seeding job is successful because of two reasons: site prep, and follow up watering. hydroseeding is no different. I have grown grass on bricks before, but without prep, i.e. good soil, it failed eventually. also, on perfect soil, even the best slurry, seed, and fert mixture in the tank is useless without proper watering or rainfall. you can ad a gel to help woth water retention, but it still needs daily water to be suceesful. sod farms know this with fescue sod.

    the biggest advantages to hydroseeding are weed free mulch and speed of install after prep. with a good water source, I can apply seed, fert, mulch, to 3 acres in a good long day with an excellent water source.

    If it is watered properly, it will be even, green and weed free.

    The disadvantage of stray is weeds. straw is infested with wheat and other weed seed. weeds will come up, and some people actually think it is good because winter wheat is something. the straw tends to move and accumulate, and sometimes needs to be raked up in places.

    If I could work a digital camera I would show you two hydroseeding jobs we did in the fall. they are weed free, dark green, and look like sod. we did the prep, shot the loads, and followed up with watering and a fertilization program. they are honestly the best looking lawns in the neighborhoods they are in , and they are in the $250k plus neighborhood.

    In 1/2 tankload ( 5000sq. ft) and up, we do nothing else but hydroseed.

    Dave g
  8. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    I think Dave got to the basics here. Too many people think that Hydroseeding is a replacement for the whole process rather than just the seeding and mulching phase. Good soil prep and follow up irrigation are still extremely critical.

    That why I prefer the conventional seed and hydromulch, you get the best of both worlds with that process. If irrigation is not well done, this method will survive much better, because the seed has some protection from the soil and the hydromulch will help conserve as much of the water as possible.

    Austreim Landscaping Inc
  9. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 538

    If that other guy can hydroseed for the same price that you will be conventional seeding for, either your price is too high or he is offering a heck of a good deal to the homeowner in order to get the business.
    In my area I have never seen a hydroseed job that looks good a couple of months after it was done. It starts out looking great but it starts to deteriorate fast. This may be due to lack of soil prep, etc. as the other guys mentioned, but I would hope that with all of the hydroseed jobs I have seen someone knew what they were doing. In the Midwest we have very hot summers which puts a lot of stress on any new lawn or old lawn.
  10. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403


    Let me see if you have all the tools to do either one Hydro or Conventional.

    3 acres
    Hydoseeding- A whole bunch of water. I mean a whole bunch....
    Power rake or something to get the ground perfectly level. This is a must for Hydro seeding.

    Conventional - A tractor and a seeder of some sort. Straw blower I certainly would not want to shake out 3 acres worth of straw....

    I like to conventional way of putting in a lawn. I demo a Fine lawn Hydroseeder this past year. I did my parents lawn. I did not have my power rake at this time. The lawn was very rough and not well prepared. YOU must do this before you sprayed down your seed.

    If you have any questions please feel free to email me and I can discuss with in depth the pros and cons of both.

    I have put in over 100 lawns in the past 2 years. The only one that looks like **** is my parents. And it is the only one that was Hydro seeded.....

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