Hydroseeding is a way to create a lawn space by spraying a mixture of water, grass seed, mulch, and fertilizer. Many experts consider this process to be the most efficient one for adding grass to a plain soil area. However, there are important hydroseeding pros and cons to consider, and I’ll go over these and compare hydroseeding to other methods for starting a lawn in this article.
Pros of Hydroseeding
There are several advantages to hydroseeding.
It’s Less Expensive than Sod
Hydroseeding is kind of a middle road between sod and basic grass seed.
With hydroseeding, you won’t have an instant lawn like you do when laying sod. However, a hydroseeded lawn will establish itself more quickly than one started with grass seed in the traditional way. Also, hydroseeding isn’t as expensive as sod.
A Hydroseed Lawn Tends to Be Healthy
With sod, you are forced to choose only one species of grass for your new lawn. Conversely, with hydroseeding, you can use a beneficial combination of grass types that best suits your needs and will work well in all areas of your property.
Thus, you have a better chance of a beautiful lawn in the long term with hydroseed compared to sod, and single types of grass seed.
Using only one type of grass creates a monoculture. Monocultures are more susceptible to disease than mixtures, which is why I always recommend choosing a blend of different types of grass for your lawn.
You Can Create Your Own Mixture of Seed
When you choose hydroseeding, you can select a mixture of grass species that suits your needs and personal preferences.
You will probably find the lawn this creates to be more attractive, as you will have exactly the color and texture that you want.
Hydroseeding is Excellent for Large Spaces
Generally speaking, the larger the space, the more money you can save by choosing to hydroseed your yard.
This makes sense when you consider the amount of labor involved in rolling out and installing sod over expansive spaces, and the challenge of keeping a large yard wet when spreading grass seed yourself.
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Cons of Hydroseeding
While there are certainly many potential advantages, you should have a balanced view and consider the hydroseeding pros and cons before choosing to hydroseed your property.
Let’s go over some of them below:
Hydroseeding Requires a Lot of Water
The process of hydroseeding will require the use of enormous quantities of water.
While it’s true that any new lawn will require a lot of water to establish itself and thrive, hydroseeding uses water both during and after the seed is spread.
Some experts say that you need to water a newly hydroseeded lawn two or three times every day for a certain period of time. A sod lawn might require less water.
You Can’t DIY Your Hydroseeding Project
It’s impossible for an individual homeowner to own and operate a hydroseeding sprayer. Any DIY Hydroseed sprayer you see advertised online (like this one on Amazon) is a scam, and you shouldn’t waste your money on it.
A local company that specializes in hydroseeding will need to do the job for you, which ads to the cost.
The Need for Precision
Another negative about hydroseeding is the need to worry about being especially precise in your prep work.
It’s easy to believe that hydroseeding will save you a lot of time because you don’t have to prepare your turf for the seed the same way you would with traditional grass seed.
But soil preparation must exactly follow the instructions given to you by the technician you hire.
Also, a hydroseed application must occur immediately prior to the most effective growing season for the specific grass seed that will be used.
Not only that, but seed can’t stay within the hydroseeding equipment for much more than an hour. Otherwise, it may be damaged by the fertilizer and water with which it is mixed.
In other words, many things can go wrong with hydroseeding, so there’s a lot more risk that your investment won’t pan out than there is by throwing down some Scotts or Pennington seed to create your new lawn.
You’ll Need to be Patient
If you go the hydroseeding route, you won’t be able to enjoy the immediate effect of a finished lawn the same day, the way you can when you buy sod.
Be aware that regardless of what kind of seed you use in hydroseeding, you can expect 3-4 weeks before your lawn is established enough to mow it.
It’s also quite common for there to be delays with hydroseeding caused by problems with the necessary machinery.
There are Environmental Concerns
This doesn’t so much apply to the use of hydroseeding on small properties, but you should know that the application of hydroseed commercially, where it’s sprayed on large swaths of green-space alongside roadways, it has had a negative environmental impact.
Hydroseed can adversely affect local vegetation, and when you’re spraying fertilizers, there can be run-off issues.
Is Hydroseeding Right For You?
Now that you know the hydroseeding pros and cons, you can decide for yourself whether you think it will be the best choice to start a new lawn on your property.
Sod can be a satisfying DIY project, and while it’s more expensive, you’ll enjoy your lawn in a shorter period of time.
But hydroseeding allows you to give your new lawn a solid start, and to choose a great blend of seed proven to perform in your area.
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