The Problem With Hyrdroseeding....
Throughout the summer we travel from place to place servicing our clients and often run into trucks with big tanks on their beds waiting to be laid down on fresh soil. These tanks contain a formula which has prompted an ever growing profession- hyrdroseeding (hydraulic mulch seeding). The country we live in is fast paced; the quicker it’s done, the better off you are. However, think twice before laying that green sludge on your recently leveled dirt.
As a young landscaper, there are wiser individuals who know more and whom have seen more. I can say with confidence however, that never have I once witnessed a successful hyrdoseeding operation. That is not to say they don’t exist, but they do require a lot more attention than putting down regular grass seed. What makes the process of hydraulic mulch seeding so rapid, is the mulch and fertilizers within the slurry. Mulch helps trap the moisture, and along with the fertilizers, germinate the seed much quicker than seed alone.
Sounds great- right? Well, sure- if you have the ability to constantly treat your lawn for weeds. You see, a hydroseed formula may contain as much “weed seed” as your comparative bag of landscaper seed. It’s not the seed or the formula, it’s the soil and the environment we live in. “Weeds are plants that are adapted to disturbed habitats.”(FOS, 2009) Wherever one may place fresh seed or pants, by default, produces a disturbed habitat. This is why you may find more weeds in your garden than in your grass. You never essentially disturb the patch of grass you have year after year, but you plant your seeds in the garden- along with your plants, and continue to treat them, rototill and give attention to them. Once the season ends, you rip it all up and mix it back into the soil. Perhaps you pull them, but it’s highly unlikely you get all the roots and seed. As the hyrdoseed mixture hits the freshly disturbed dirt, it also produces the exact same environment for the weeds as it does the seed. The weeds start to thrive in this environment.
Hyrdroseeding still needs attention just as much as seed. It still has to be watered and maintained. It still has to grow a few inches before it can be mowed. It still needs minimal traffic for the first couple of months. It’s not a set it and forget it routine. Put down some soil or tear off the top layer of your desired area; put down a heavy dose of grass seed and rake it over the surface; and it will grow comparatively with less weeds. Be sure to- WATER, WATER, WATER! We have worked with many people who think you can set seed and it should just grow. It does not.