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Hydroseed Question

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

  1. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    How are you coming in at 1.7 in material? What are you putting down?
  2. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    That must be some kind of record, sitting for two years with material in it and not clogging. I think that sort of backs up my comments about not clogging that I made a few pages ago. Yes, it does not take too long for that smell to get really rancid.
  4. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Mike, my typical mix is about like this,

    25 pounds of what we call turbo mix seed. It is 35% ky bluegrass, 20% fescue and 45% rye. A 50 pound bag is $ 69.95 so for 25 pound I have 35.00 in it.

    Mulch I am using about 80 pounds of paper mulch at a cost of $ 20.00.

    Tackifer, about 8 oz of PAM tackifier (turbo Tack) cost about $ 5.00

    Fertilzier. About 5-6 pounds of Plant Marvel, 16-45-7 starter fertizlier. Cost about $ 6.00

    So I have

    Seed $ 35.00
    Mulch 20.00
    Tack 5.00
    Fert 6.00

    Total $ 66.00 Coverage with my HS-300-XPW = 4000 sq ft.

    Cost per sq ft. $ .0165

    I will add that I am using a better seed blend than my competitors and I have as close to zero callback as you could get with that blend.
  5. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Pm me with your # m interested in that seed, im using 18-24-12 for fertlizer 14.00 50 lb and appling to each tank
  6. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    i think the fertilizer in the tank is mostly a waste of time. i throw some in just cuz folks ask, but i think by the time it germinates, most of the nutrients have been washed out.
    is there such a thing as slowrelease ONLY?????
  7. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I used to feel about the same and there was one time very long ago that I walked off without the fertilizer and rather than stopping and getting some or coming back I just seeded without it and that job did seem like it came in a little worse.

    There are slow release fertilizers but I tend to go the other way. I used granular fertilizers that were to some extent slow release for the first 7 years or so I was seeding, then I tried a water soluble fertilizer that I had heard good things about (the plant marvel one I talked about earlier). I wanted to do a little test with it so I had a small area right near my office that I had dug up. I had a two load job. I mixed the first load with the water soluble and sprayed a 3 x 3 test plot, then went to my job site and sprayed the back yard. I mixed up the second load on site and sprayed the front yard with a granular starter fertizler that I usually used, returned to my office and sprayed a 3 x 3 test plot next to the other.

    8 days later I noticed the test plot seemed to show a rather large difference with the water soluable well in the lead and decided to take a ride out to the job site. I parked accross the street and looked over at the front lawn, the part that had been done with the granular and thought well that looks good and is coming in nicely. I had a very even germination and spikes about 3/4 to 1" tall. I walked around to see what had happened in the back yard and to be honest my mouth about fell open. It looked like a lawn and was almost ready for the first cutting.

    I have been using that Plant Marvel fertizlier ever since. My thoughts are that the water soluble fertilizer soaks into the hull of the seed a little and speeds up germination. Perhaps there were other factors when I tested. It was not a scientific enough test to be very definitive. I do find that the water soluble will work faster but quit working sooner. Most customers get very concerned and anxious to see the lawn STARTING to come in so gaining a day or so there makes for a happy customer. Usually the lawn with be a little thin and yellow and I tell them to fertilizer with a high nitrogen fertilizer about the time the are ready to cut for the first time and that usually works a miracle in a day or two and turns it into a dark green beautiful lawn.

    Fertilizer is a pretty cheap component in the hydroseeding slurry and I do think it is worth using it. There are lots of other good water soluble starter fertilizers besides the one I use and the one I use has lots of people who sell it around the country but I always think with hydro seeding it is good to experiment and try different products and different ways of doing it.
  8. NewHorizon's Land

    NewHorizon's Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Ok unrelated to hydroseeding. Can the hydroseed unit be used for watering a plants, filling tree bags at places where a new landscape has been installed with out a substantial residual fertilize being applied?
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Ray, I think you have done a pretty good job of explaining the benefits of different hydroseeding machines. I am going to touch on a few comments I feel is important.

    All my company does is hydroseed. We started about 6 or 7 years ago with a Jet agitated machine. It was basicly just a side job for a little extra cash. As time went by, and business increased, we bought a 1000gal Bowie mechanical machine. That jet machine paid for the Bowie. Due to the type of seeding jobs we where doing, that durn big Bowie just wasnt feasible to operate, so we continued to use the Jet machine. I got the opportunity to purchase a used 600 gal Finn mounted on a trailer. The jet machine paid for the Finn also. The trailer mounted Finn, was just to hard to drag around so we cut the axles out from under it and mounted it on a 4500 series truck. Life became much easier. Like Turboguy mentioned, I dont like to spray using a hose reel. I thought I would and even made the trip to Turboturf to pick up a new one. Once I got it mounted and saw the pressure drop, I discontinued spraying thru the reel. Now the reel is just used to store the hose. I roll off what i need and hook directly to the machine. I keep 200ft (2 100ft sections) on the reel and an extra 50ft peice coiled up under the machine. I also have a 25ft section I use for roadsides. My machine doesnt have a tower but with the short peice of hose, I can stand on the truckbed and spray while someone drives the truck. I actually like this setup better than a tower, (My bowie had a tower). We continued to use the jet machine until we wore out the centrifical pump, and then I converted the machine into a nurse tank that was mounted on a ton flatbed. I even at times would use the bigger Bowie as a water truck to keep the smaller finn going. Transporting water is a big time factor, keeping a machine spraying on site, even if it is the smaller of the two machines, becomes more efficient than stopping and going after water. With water being hualed to the truck, I can reload and start spraying in about 6 minutes, and adverage a load every 20 minutes, if I have to go get water I adverage about 2 tankloads per hour, easy to see the time factor. Thats a lost of about 8 tank loads a day.

    Recently we sold the Bowie machine, I hated to see it go because that thing was pure muscle and brute force. We just didnt use it enought to justify keeping tags and insurance on it. With the old jet machine converted to a nurse tank and mounted on a flatbed truck, our seeding times with the smaller machine is very similar to the larger machine, so if we have larger jobs to do we dont spend all day getting them done because of machine size. For the smaller residential jobs, the smaller Finn and truck combo lets us do most jobs without the aid of a nurse tank and is cetainly more manuverable than a trailer mounted machine. I Use a 6x10 dump trailer towed behind the seeding rig to carry extra supplies. I usually unhook from it at the water source so it doesnt cause problems on site. I can carry at least a ton of mulch on the truck with the hydroseeder and still be dot legal, and with this setup, (truck and trailer) we can carry more supplies than we can apply in a day, (or at least all I want to do). I almost never use a cutomers water spicket as a water source.

    The question about using the hydroseeder for other things. I am going to say this. Once you learn the machine, you can apply just about any liquid material you want. The spray nozzles are not going to be as easy to calibarate as you can with a nomal chemical spray rig, to many varible factors, so I dont suggest pesticide applications, but you can apply ice melt in winter, dust control solutions in summer, use it to fight fires, (I have rented mine out to contractors that wanted to burn huge brush piles), apply organic materials to lawns (compost topdressings and other not easily spreadable materials. You can flush the tank pretty clean with just water and get rid of most fertilizer residues, probably want to flush it anyways to make sure you aint applying seed to that new flower bed. You can even clean the tank out and use it to fill swimming pools. Jet machines are a lot easier to clean out than a mechanical one.
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Nice post Mudd. Unlike you I probably use the customers hose on 80% of my jobs.

    About New Horizons watering question I have had tons of guys tell me they use thier machines for watering a lot. Much of it seems to be spot watering in hard to reach areas and also in a few cases to water a new lawn.

    I have even had a few guys tell me they had developed a pretty good sideline business washing down parking lots.

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