We receive dozens of phone calls per day about hydroseed. We love to help and educate people about the process and our product. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about hydroseed and listed them below.
Why is hydroseed better than hand seeding?
When hydroseed is watered the wood fiber mulch retains moisture like a sponge and gives the seed the ideal environment to grow in. If you just throw down seed out of a bag onto the soil, when you water it the water quickly goes down into the soil. The seedlings do not have enough time to absorb the moisture or the nutrients from the fertilizer. That is why hydroseeding is far superior to hand seeding.
What kind of mulch do you use?
We only use high quality wood fiber mulch. Most contractors use paper fiber mulch because it's cheaper, but it doesn't retain water nearly as well as wood fiber mulch. Some contractors also have to use a paper mulch because of the style machine they use. Any hydroseeder that is made from a plastic tank uses jet agitation & can not process wood fiber mulch. We use a mechanical agitation truck-mounted machine to mix the hydroseed. Our truck is a $150,000 truck compared to a small $5,000 trailer with a plastic tank that many contractors use. You get what you pay for.
Can you hydroseed over my brown/dead grass?
No, we only hydroseed over freshly prepared soil. You need to have a large majority of the existing grass and turf removed, the soil turned over, and the surface raked flat and soft- not packed down/compacted. We recommend 2-4" of fresh loam also be applied to the area and raked out soft to where you can leave a footprint in it.
Will you come out and give me an estimate?
We do not need to come out to look at a hydroseed project ahead of time. If you or your landscaper are preparing it, we will just need you to give us a measurement or total square footage. We will give you the pricing right over the phone and then email you a proposal with our warranty information on it.
We will do a final measurement once on site, and adjust the price accordingly. We will need to visit the property if you are within our local area and also need us to do the prep work.
How can I prepare it myself?
You can check out our soil prep page. Basically, you can rototill it, use a Bobcat, rake/shovel, York rake etc to loosen/prep the soil for seeding.
I don't want to prep it, can you please just hydroseed over my dead lawn?
We don't spray over any existing grass, dead or alive. The hydroseed needs to penetrate the soil to germinate and root into it properly. When there's dead grass/root system in the way, it will germinate in the wood fiber mulch and then die off within a few weeks. The results are so bad, we would not put our name on that. You may want to consider a slice-seeding, this will help thicken up your existing lawn. You can rent a slice seeding machine and take care of this yourself.
We have a slice seeding "How-To" on our landscaping website: proturflandscaping.com
It will grow anywhere, right?
Yes, it will grow anywhere; even on a rock, but without having a surface to root into, it will not thrive or last. It's not a "magic" seed. It needs water, fertilizer, sun, and proper care forever to germinate properly and become a healthy beautiful lawn.
Can you prep it for me?
If you are local to our home office, we will take your information and have an estimator touch base with you to set up a time to provide you with a quote on the prep work and the hydroseed. We hydroseed all over New England, but only do the prep work locally. You can have any landscaper who is local to you prepare it for you and then call us to come hydroseed. Also, many clients do the prep work on their own.
Can you slice seed / overseed for me?
We do not provide this service. We recommend you contact a fertilization company for this service. You can also rent the equipment from any equipment rental store and do the work yourself.
How much loam do I need?
About 2-4" of thickness. A yard of loam will typically cover about 100 square feet at a depth of 3". We have a loam calculator that will help you estimate a quantity you will need.
Should I pack the soil down?
No, you want it soft enough to leave a footprint in it. If it gets packed down/compacted by rain or from sitting for too long, you will need to rake it again before we apply the hydroseed.
Do you have a guarantee?
Yes, we guarantee at least a 90% germination rate if seeded prior to July 1 and after August 15th up until October 15th, but you MUST have an underground sprinkler system installed to assure the lawn is being properly watered for us to provide this guarantee. You must also have the lawn properly fertilized on a regular schedule by a fertilization company. If you need a respray for any reason, the cost is 50% of the original price.
How long does it take to grow?
You should see areas starting to germinate in about 10-14 days and be able to perform the first mowing in about 4-6 weeks. Full lawn is established in 5-6 months. You must continue to water it and fertilize it to bring it to full establishment, just watering until it germinates is not enough!
Should I throw down my own seed before you come out?
It's not needed, but you are welcome to. It needs to be a high-quality seed. Seed from a building supply store typically has too high of a weed content. Be sure to check the weed seed content, or go to a SiteOne store for a New England Mix of fescue, rye, and Kentucky Bluegrass.
Can you do any type of special seed?
We have many seed options available. If you have any special seed requests we can calculate the price and email a quote to you.
My yard is really shady almost all the time, will shade seed work?
Yes, and no. Shade seed still needs some sun to grow. If you have so many trees in your yard that you have almost 90% shade from dawn until dusk, you would be best to have the branches thinned or some trees removed to allow light in for the grass to grow. You will end up needing to re-hydroseed in a year or two, or see almost no growth at all. Some shade is good, but too much shade will work against you.
Do you sell extra seed?
You can pick up 10 lb. bags of seed at our office for $40 each, you will need to call us to request it ahead of time. Or, you can buy a Sun & Shade mix at a SiteOne Landscape store. Be careful buying seed from other garden centers and DIY stores as those seed bags often contain a high percentage of weed seed. Our seed contains .007% weed seed. It's microscopic if at all present.
What happens if it gets washed out?
We try to work around the weather. We do our best to avoid this, but it can happen when the weather changes quickly. If you have a washout due to rain, we will come back and re-spray for 50% of the original price.
I have dogs/kids, can they go on it?
We do not recommend you let your dogs or kids onto the hydroseed until it's fully grown (About 8-10 weeks). It's safe for the but the wear and tear will result in poor growth.
How will I know how to care for it?
We leave a care sheet for you at the time of hydroseeding. It is also always available on the Hydroseed Care page.
How often should I water it?
3 times per day, about 15-20 minutes per zone for the first few weeks. Multiple light waterings are better than one heavy watering. You want to keep it moist, not sopping wet & puddling.
When can I mow it?
Keep as much traffic as possible off of the newly seeded areas for the first 6 weeks. At 4-6 weeks after it is sprayed, you can carefully push mow it. Never remove more than 1/3 of the blade when you mow. Do not go away on vacation and leave it to grow without being mowed for much longer than 7-10 days. We cannot repair this type of damage, you will have to start from scratch.
I don't think it's growing right, will you come look at it?
We do not need to inspect hydroseed in the first 16-20 weeks. You must give it time and be patient with it. You need to hand seed bare spots and follow our care instructions. You will see faster growth in some areas and slower growth in others. This is completely normal. Also, judging your growing hydroseed from a 2nd story window view should be avoided until the lawn is established.
What does lime do?
Lime creates the perfect environment for grass to germinate. It sweetens the soil by raising the Ph level to a neutral level…the nutrient uptake is much more efficient in this pH range. Changes the Ph in the root zone only…it's a short term fix…getting the Ph to 7.2 Ph level…Ph is the percentage of nitrogen in the soil. You should still apply lime to the lawn in the future. Ours lasts for the length of the germination process.
How long are your hoses?
We always carry 200 feet of hydroseed hose on the truck. We do have extra hose we can bring upon request.
Do I have to water it forever?
Yes, you need to water your lawn for the life of it. Once it fills in, you can taper down the frequency at your own discretion. The care sheet you receive will go over that. Rain alone will not be sufficient enough to keep your lawn healthy and thriving for years to come.