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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

    Next question is can an exsiting lawn be hydroseeded as if you were overseeding?
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Close Mike, actually I am the owner of Turbo Turf. Thanks for saying my information was good and impartial. If I post somewhere like here or over at the hydro seeding association I try to do it to share any tiny bits of knowledge that might be floating around in my empty head and not to sell any units. I see a forum like this as a place to help people and if what I sell is not the right unit for someone I would prefer to steer them to the unit that is.

    I am happy to hear you have a TurfMaker. It is an excellent unit and an auxiliary tank is a great way to make any smaller machine seed like a bigger machine. I use one myself frequently. If you have no objection I am going to talk about nurse tanks a little because it may help some others.

    One of the slowest parts of hydro seeding is filling your tank and it probably sometimes seems slower than it actually is. Whenever I can I like to fill from a lake or stream or use a hydrant. Often that is not possible and I must use the customers water to refill. All my customers seem OK with this.

    One way to really speed up your job is to use an auxiliary tank. Basically you can keep the water running all the time. In other words you fill your unit and while you are mixing and spraying you run the hose into the auxiliary tank. When it is time for a new load you pump the water from the auxiliary tank, add your materials top off your unit and then just stick the garden hose back into the auxiliary tank. Since you are never shutting the water off you are maximizing your seeding time. You can actually seed as fast with a 300 gallon machine (or a 550) as you could with a 1000 gallon unit since water is the limiting factor. Of course you can also haul more water with you on the way to the job but I don't find that aspect of it speeds me up that much.

    OK, on to New Horizons other question. Yes, you can overseed a lawn and do spot repairs. I have done a ton if it and it works great. You don't usually need to do any prep work. Just thin down your mulch a little so it does not hang up on the existing grass. Usually what you see is some areas that are thin and some areas that are patches of dead grass. You can overspray the areas that are thin and follow the contours of the dead patches perfectly. It is really easy. I do prefer to do this kind of job in the spring and fall when the ground is softer and has more moisture and try to stay away from the hottest part of summer when the ground is rock hard.

    New Horizons or anyone else in hydro seeding. I am going to make one other suggestion and it does not relate to machines. If you do get into hydro seeding take a hard look at joining the hydro seeding association. They give you a free listing on what is probably the most popular spot on the Internet to find hydro seeders and most of the members get tons of jobs from that listing, often more than they get from a yellow page ad that costs them 10 times more. I have seen people get 85% of their jobs from their $ 100.00 cost of membership. If you want to check it out the associations web site is www.hydroseeding.org.
  3. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I have been hearing some good information on your machines. its sounds like your co. has been stepping forward on technology. Yes i could afford a 70k truck just to haul a 1500 ga. machine so i went the route i did. I have both mounted on a 12kgvw trailer that starts every time. I do residental most yards average 4-6 tanks. I have been using a product from profile called jump start on some of my top end yards, what is your opinion of this product. I enjoyed your posts that you tried to educate instead of selling your product. This will gain you business. Good luck with your business.
  4. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Thanks Turboguy you information is very helpful.
  5. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Thanks Mike, I appreciate the compliments. We do try to keep improving them and try to listen to the ideas and comments of our customers. It is part of the reason I like to do a lot of hydroseeding myself. Many years I seed as much as 2 million sq feet myself and using something sometimes gives you good ideas about improving your product.

    Jump start. I think it is a very good product. The only complaint I have with it is that it is pretty expensive. We sell some of profiles products but dropped the jump start just because I didn't thnk people would pay the price but I have to say what we had sold our pretty quickly. I do have one bag left that we have on our clearance sale at about half the regular price just in case you are interested. I also have abaout a half dozen bags of their previous growth stimulant on the sale at a great price.

    At the end of this year we will be evaluating our supplies line and may bring it back into our line.

    New Horizons, You are welcome. If you get more questions I will be happy to give you any help I can.
  6. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    pm me i am interested in buying your jump start.
  7. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Ok Mike, I will send you a PM
  8. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    I am also considering purchasing a unit. Thanks for the info. What are some other things a guy should be considering when purchasing a unit.
    - primarily for residential use.
    - 5,000 sq. ft.
    - parked in street
    - 200' reach
    - 1 man?? & my 9 yr. old son operation.

    I guess I see hose reels, hose wrapped around units, and what is, in your experience, "worth the money". Also, trailer size considering adding a "nurse tank" . What additional nozzles, etc. are necessary?
    In your experience Turboguy, what is the "best" setup (out of your lineup) that would meet these goals.
    By the way, it's exceedingly refreshing to see the "top dog" out doing "real" work!! Keep it up!
  9. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Hi Dirt Boy,

    Thanks for your good questions. I am going to try to answer them in a general information way because I really just want to try and share any help and information about hydro seeding in general and not to promote my particular products. I have a feeling the site would prefer it that way too. The hydro seeding business has always treated me well and I have tried to do what I can in any way to help people.

    The situations you describe are pretty common for people doing residential installs. Most of the residential jobs I have done may be 5000 sq feet or as much as 12,000. When I get into the upscale neighborhoods they may run a half acre or sometimes up to 2 acres. I have a feeling yours in Nebraska will be much the same.

    For anyone looking to get into the business for the first time I would usually suggest something in the 300 gallon to 500 gallon range. I think a lot of people getting into hydro seeding have a pretty good idea that they will like it and have enough business to justify and usually they will find that is true. With a unit that size your investment is not enormous and you have a unit that is very capable of doing most any size job. I have done as much as 14 acre jobs with a 300 gallon unit but if all my jobs were that size I would want a bigger machine. Once they are in it a few years they may find they want a bigger machine. Often they find there is a lot of business and the bigger machines can do jobs faster with less time filling.

    With anyones jet machine the bigger the tank the more mixing power you need. Someone with a 300 gallon can get along fine with a 13 HP engine. Someone wanting lets say a 500 gallon can get along with a 13 but there is enough improvement in the mixing that I would usually recommend they go up to an 18 hp and larger pump no matter whose unit they are looking at.

    As far as hose, I find that 150 feet of hose lets me do 95% of the jobs I get. You can spray out another 40-50 feet past the nozzle if you need to. The bad part about using 200 feet is that you have to deal with that hose on every job and will only need it 5% of the time. What I usually do is go with 150' and carry the extra 50' with me when I will need it. It makes handling the hose a lot easier.

    As far as hose reels. They look nice and they can be handy. Personally I don't like them. The main reasons I feel that way are that as the fluid passes through a hose reel you have three bends it must pass through. Each of those is a potential place it can clog and any restriction in a hose such as a bend will reduce the power by 6.2% per bend so you are looking at an 18% power loss using a hose reel. The other thing I don't like about them is lets say you have 200' of hose on a hose reel and you have a job where you need to spray someones front lawn. That hose wrapped tightly on the hose reel either needs to be totally unwrapped or you are going to have a major power loss from all the wrappings. Hose wrapped on a side mounted hose holder is big loops and you can just unwrap what you need. In our own case we could make more money suggesting hose reels to everyone but we try hard to give people what is best for them and try to discourage them as much as we can.

    Probably for a one man operation there could be some advantages with a unit with a centrifugal pump. I find units with a gear pump just a little harder to use and a little trickier to use but I do have a lot more time on our units which anything you use all the time is easier to use. I know I do 85% of my seeding alone and have no difficulty. Probably any of the units by any manufacture in that size can be run by one man. I think the bigger units are better with some help. I have lots of women hydro seeders that run the units by themselves so that is no problem. Actually I enjoy doing it and find it fun. You may even find your 9 year old spraying out some loads alone. (with you there to supervise of course.) I have seen guys buy units for their high school age son to use as a part time and summer time business for them. One person is not a problem.

    Most manufactures include all the nozzles you will need with the unit. There is one that most use 95% of the time. In our case it is an 80400 which means it has an 80 degree spray and a volume of 40 GPM at 30 PSI. (the actual PSI on one of our units in the 300 gallon size is more than twice that but it is how they rate the nozzles).

    The only other nozzle I use a lot is the straight one. That is only because I am lazy. Sometimes if I drag the hose around the right side of the house by putting that nozzle in I can get the opposite corner of the back yard and not have to drag the hose around the other side of the house to reach that opposite corner.

    Usually a double axle 7000 GVW trailer will handle any units in the 300-500 gallon range. Those trailers are often fairly inexpensive and it leaves you some room for supplies.

    What I use for a nurse tank with a 300 gallon unit is a 200 gallon PCO tank. (rectangular sprayer tank). What I find is that if I am running a hose into that while I am spraying out my previous load it works about right. It usually is not quite full but if I pump that over and start adding materials with the hose now in my unit that my tank is full at the same time my materials are in and I can switch the hose back to my nurse tank and start spraying. Basically I never have to shut the water off and I have no down time.

    If you are using a unit in the 500 gallon range you might want to go a little bigger tank and may have a small amount of down time but then again sometimes you can run two garden hoses to your tank and perhaps again have no downtime.

    Sorry for the long post. If I forgot to answer anything remind me. I hope the ideas I have mentioned are usable for anyone using an brand of machine.
  10. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    Thanks Turboguy! Appreciate your help, not sure what I'll do but I'm sure lookin'


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