Hydroseeding Profit

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by RwADesigner, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Whysod and Turboguy, If you two decide to get together let me know, I usually vacate somewhere in Feb, never been out west, I just might tag along, just give me a little notice so I can make plans. My wife has family in Phoenix, might just give them a call.
    Just drop in to i-hydroseeing forum and drop me a line.
  2. WhySod

    WhySod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I don't want to get controversial here, but 8 or 9 years ago I knew a guy that tried to use air to agitate a hydroseeding slurry. It didn't work, and it wasn't from lack of air.

    He actually got ahold of a blower from a street sweeping machine. (The kind that mount on the back of a Toyota cab and chassis.) He used some kind of flexible duct that he ran into the tank, into a 6" or 8" piece of PVC pipe. He drilled a whole bunch of holes in the bottom of that big pipe (so it wouldn't fill with slurry) and glued a cap on other end. Then he sank the thing into the bottom of a plastic tank.

    When he ran it, it was kind of like trying to mix a glass of chocolate milk by blowing into a soda straw. Rick
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    The funniest one I can remember was many years ago I was at a show in Ohio. I had a guy come up and brag that he had made his own hydroseeder. Then He added that it did not mix very well so he would stick his outboard motor in the tank when he needed to mix.
  4. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    You seem to associate seeding with ONLY hydro. MOST seeding is done with a seeder and covered with straw. Straw covering actually yields better germination than hydro. Looks better too, unless it blows around.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I know I said I wasnt going to post anymore about this but, your statement about the straw yielding better germination than hydroseeding has made me courious. Just excately where did you get this information. Everything I have ever read saids different. In my experience I have seen what looks like better germination rates with straw in certain conditions but, side by side in most situations hydroseeding using hydromulch is usually up before the straw. I have seen hydroseeders that dont use hydromulch and cover with staw after seeding that have good results but, nothing that I believe is anybetter than using the hydromulch.
    Usually when a broadcast seeder and straw is used the seed just lays there , unless it is watered, until it comes a good rain. It takes moisture to make the seed germinate, When hydroseeding you are using water to seed with,, The mulch helps hold the water promoting faster germination. Also the mulch, straw or wood, creates heat as it decomposes. A thick layer of wood mulch will create more heat than a loose layer of straw making the wood mulch a better choice if the ground is a little to cool for proper germination. If you are going to broadcast seed, straw is probably your best, if not your only choice for mulch,(yes I have seen the Penn Mulch and Seed Starter) but, That doesnt make it a better mulch. You have already mentioned the blowing around with the straw mulch, I hydroseeded a lawn this year where the home owner had already seeded and covered with straw,(not hay), I seeded it because it hadnt came up. After hydroseeding everything came up, including a large area of clover. I didnt use any clover seed and the owner said he didnt either so, where did it come from? The answer is, it came in the straw.
  6. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Hi Mike,

    You may find the ratio of dry seeding to hydroseeding will change in your area Mike. Around here 10 years ago I saw a lot of straw. Now if I see it I almost consiter it an oddity. Usually once hydroseeding comes into an area, it is what everyone wants.

    For my two cents worth, I have to agree with Muddstopper. I don't see that straw has advantages over hydroseeding. Straw is messy. It can blow into neighbors yards and these days people don't just complain, they sue if it comes in their yards. It has a ton of weed seed and may look pretty to some people, but most of the people I talk to likes the bright colors of a newly hydroseeded lawn a lot better.

    As to the quote in your post from RWaDesigner, the hydroseeding part of my business is about 80% residential and 20% commercial. My jobs start in at about 100 square feet and go up. The biggest job I have done was 12 acres. Residential is the most profitable work for me. Even on the little 10'x 10' jobs are money makers. There are a lot of different nitches in hydroseeding and that is the one I like for my own operation
  7. GreginAlaska

    GreginAlaska Banned
    Messages: 829

    "When he ran it, it was kind of like trying to mix a glass of chocolate milk by blowing into a soda straw. Rick"


  8. WhySod

    WhySod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Greginalaska, there was a huge volume of air, after all it was a street sweeper blower. Made one heck of a noise, but it just didn't mix the slurry very well. I think most jet agitation machines, homemade or brand name, would work better. I kind of like the outboard motor idea though. (Oops, just realized that's mechanical agitation...)

    Ray, How do you price a 100 s/f job. I got a call from a guy yesterday that wanted a 10 by 15 area. I told him my minimum charge was $100 for up to 500 s/f. His job would have taken less than $40 worth of sod that he could pick up at quite a few nurseries and garden centers around town.

    I've always thought my $100 minimum for up to 500 s/f or $120 for 500 to 1,000 s/f for my "standard grass is bordering on insane. There are times when I have to drive 60 to 75 miles each way, in heavy traffic, to do one small job.

    That can easily take $30 to 40 for fuel, and 4 to 5 hours. Subtract materials cost and I wouldn't be in business long if I only had one job to do when I drove across town every time. I make money when I string several small jobs together.

    But if you're going to do small jobs, you've got to be willing to do small jobs. Rick
  9. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Hi Rick,

    I love the small jobs. I usually don't have to drive as far as you do and try to incorporate it on my way to another job. I usually price about $ 100.00 minimum and since I usually am there about 10 minutes and use about $ 5.00 in material it works out just fine. If I get up over about 250 square feet, I start going up in price. The only really small job where I had to drive 40 miles was a hillside that was about 6' x 20' that I seeded in crown vetch. He was just ecstatic that I would come and seed it for $ 200.00 because no one else would do it at any price. I have a lot of guys tell me on those small jobs that I am the only one that calls them back.
  10. 47926

    47926 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 4

    Hello could someone help me? Im looking to buy a new pump for a home made hydroseeder. What is the best pump!!!!

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