Hydroseeding which is sometimes also called hydraulic mulch seeding, hydromulching, or hydroseeding is a planting process in which a slurry containing seed, mulch, fertilizer, and a tackifier (bonding agent) is sprayed onto the ground. The slurry is transported in a truck or trailer mounted tank to the job site and sprayed over prepared ground in a uniform layer. In remote areas hydroseeding is sometimes also done using helicopter. Hydroseeding offers many advantages to the traditional process of broadcasting or sowing dry seed. It promotes quick germination and inhibits soil erosion. It is also a very cost effective alternative to sod and offers significant cost savings, as well as many other benefits.
Virtually any grass or erosion control seed that can be planted by seed can be hydroseeded. This includes any sun or shade lawn seed, athletic field mixes, pasture mixes, native grasses, wildflowers, roadside mixes and erosion control mixes. The nutrient rich slurry helps promote fast germination. The hydroseeding mulch helps keep the soil moist to enable the seed to germinate quickly and unlike straw or hay contains no weed seed. The tackifier in the mix acts like a glue to hold the mulch in place and to help prevent washout in the case of heavy rains.
Sod provides instant gratification but there are advantages to hydroseeding over sod. As someone once commented, hydroseeding is a lot like sod but you eliminate the middle man.
The advantages of hydro seeding over sod are:
With some of the newer hydro seeding materials that have come on the market it is now possible to save time and money by seeding difficult areas that formerly required labor intensive erosion control blankets.
Products such as BFM (Bonded Fiber Matrix) and FGM (Flexible Growth Media) will provide superior erosion control and fast turf establishment with up to 8 times less labor than erosion control blankets. Unlike blankets these erosion control products bond directly to the soil surface and hold better while requiring less surface preparation. On less demanding applications standard hydroseeding materials do an excellent job.