Hydroseed Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by NewHorizon's Land, May 21, 2007.

  1. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Ok I am interested in getting into hydroseeding. Please "set me up" for doing this work i.e. equipment needed, materials needed and such. Also what kind of ground prep needs to be done on a new construction when the property has not been graded.

    Thanks for all the help
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    First off you need a hydroseeding unit. For residential work 300 gallon or bigger would be my recommendation. No matter what size you get you will wish you had bought the next size up.

    You need hydroseeding mulch which comes in three types. One is made of recycled newprint. One is made of wood byproducts, another type is flakes which makes it easy to use. There are also blends of the wood and paper. There are a few mulches made from other products. One from corn, one from cotton, and one from grass. I would not recommend them for starters. The mulch has dye in it. It is what makes the mix green and it will keep the seed moist to speed up germination. In your area any of the mulches will work.

    Then you need a tackifer. It is like a glue and keeps the mulch and seed from washing away. It is most commonly called a PAM tackifer, made from Polyacrilimide.

    You need seed. Nothing special here, about 7-8 pounds per 1000 feet that you want to cover.

    You need fertilzer. Get something in a starter fertizler with a high phosphorus content.

    That is basically your mix. There are other things you can add such as a material that holds water in case the lawn is not watered as often as it should be, fibers to help hold on a hillside, growth stimulants. One of the trends that is getting a lot of interst right now is organic hydroseeding. It is a premium service that can be very profitable

    Most mixes are mulch, seed, fertilizer and tackifer.
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    You might also find some helpful information at the hydroseeding association website. (International Associaition of Hydroseeding Professionals) www.hydroseeding.org
  4. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Thanks for your help. What brands besides Finn are good? What about the pump for getting water into the tank? Do you use regular seed or is it a special seed for the units?
  5. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    The seeds don't have to be anything special. Just regular grass seed. Of course buy it from a good supplier of turf supplies.

    As far as machines, all the machines made these days are pretty good. Finn makes an excellent unit. The other manufacturers listed alphabetically are

    Aqua Mulcher (TGMI)
    Easy Lawn,
    Turbo Turf

    There are a few more that are not widely sold. They include

    You can do an internet search for info on any of those. AquaMulcher, Bowie, Eden and Turfmaker make paddle agitated machines. Easy Lawn, Turbo Turf and Reinco make both paddle and jet agitated units and Hydro Terra is jet.
  6. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Ok so is a paddle machine better or worse then a jet? Do the machines come with a refill pump?
  7. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Both types are good. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    Jet machines are lower in cost, easier to use, one man operations, faster clean up, lighter and easier to transport, lower maintenance. They do not do as well with 100% wood mulches and BFM's (for serious erosion control projects) as paddle machines.

    Paddle machines are able to handle a little thicker slurry, are able to use any products including BFM's. It is often possible to load a full bale rather than breaking it up some.

    Not all jet machines or all paddle machines will work the same. All jet machines use a centrifugal pump. The larger the machine the larger the engine and pump that is necessary. Generally in each size you will see a selection of engines and pumps. The lower HP ones work fine but the ones with larger engines will mix faster and spray further. You are probably looking at an investment of $ 4000.00 and up for a jet agitated machine.

    Paddle machines come with two kinds of pumps. Centrifugal and Gear (positive displacement) Finn is primarily centrifugal. Bowie, Kincaid and Turfmaker are primarily a gear pump. Easy Lawn and Turbo Turf offer both. A centrifugal pump is a little better for tower work. They are also lower maintenance. A gear pump is better for long hose lengths and they do require more maintenance. Finn and Turbo Turf & Easy Lawn have reversible hydraulic drive available which lets you reverse the paddles if they get wedged. Turbo Turf has a paddle unit with a plastic tank for easier clean up. Probably for a paddle machine you will start about $ 9,000.00

    As far as the water filling some like Turfmaker and Kincade have the pond fill standard (you may need to buy the hose) Others have it as an option. Sometimes it is easier and better to just have a little pump that you carry with you. I prefer to do it that way. Part of the reason is you can carry the pump close to the water source which makes priming much easier. Sometimes it is hard to get your unit close to the water and you can burn the seal out of your pump trying to get it primed.
  8. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Ok thanks for the info. Looks like to start I will get a jet machine. Also how many sq ft can a gallon cover? Is it still 300 lbs of seed per acre on flat ground?
  9. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    A 300 gallon unit will cover about 4000 sq ft +/- A 500 will cover about 6600 sq feet per load.

    Yes, 300 pounds of seed to the acre should be about perfect. I usually go 25 pounds in a 300 or about 275 pounds per acre.
  10. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Are you a salesman for turbo-turf? your information was very good and partial if so. I have a turf-maker 550 with 500 gal. aux. tank mounted on a trailer.

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