Thanks to new innovation in home landscaping, it can be easy and affordable to try new methods for planting in your own backyard. One of those do-it-yourself techniques is hydroseeding. Learning more about DIY hydroseeding can help you decide if it's the right method for helping new plant life to flourish during your next home landscaping project.
Hydroseeding is a process also known as hydraulic mulch seeding or hydro mulching, and it's a technique that sprays a seed mixture over an area in order to plant grass or other seeds there. When done correctly in the right conditions, the process can be more efficient and affordable than traditional, time-consuming methods, such as tilling the soil to prepare it for planting.
Saving time is one of the biggest advantages of hydroseeding. You might consider it for your own landscaping project if you have a relatively large area on which you want to plant or if, for instance, you'd like to have your seeds sprout before colder weather sets in.
Since the seeds are fortified by extra nutrients in the special hydroseed mixture, they can sprout as little as a week after the process. That is much shorter than the three to four weeks it can take for the conventional seeding by hand process.
Another advantage to the spray on grass seed is that it is relatively easy to spread over uneven areas, leading to healthier, less eroded and more even planting than conventional seeding would yield for areas like hills and rocky terrains.
Additionally, DIY hydroseeding can be very affordable. Since you don't have to pay for labor and landscapers, doing your own hydroseeding can often save homeowners up to hundreds of dollars.
How to Make a Homemade Hydroseeder
The efficiency of the hydroseeding process comes from its seed mixture and its equipment. Normally, that mixture contains water, seeds, some type of fertilizer, soil nutrients or treatments and a type of fiber or mulch. That mulch protects the seeds as they enter the ground, allowing the nutrients to help the seed germinate quickly. The elements of this mixture can be found at your local hardware store, but you'll have to check ahead of time to see if they carry the exact types of seeds, mulch and fertilizers that are best for your land.
Some stores carry a home hydroseeding mousse kit that includes this liquid seed mixture and comes in a canister designed for easy spraying application. If you don't go that route, you'll need to build or rent your own hydroseeding equipment. This involves connecting some sort of tank to hold the seed mixture to a pump that will spray the mixture over your land, usually an ordinary garden hose.
If you're not sure you have what it takes to put together a homemade hydroseeder, you can also check out your local hardware stores. Many stores offer equipment rentals for the day, often for less than $300.
Things to Consider
Although home hydroseeding does come with many benefits, there are also important considerations to think about before starting the job. After hydroseeding, the mulch and plants must be continuously wet in order to ensure they stay healthy and grow. Depending on your climate, you may need to water it as much as three times a day during the first two weeks of growth, then at least once a day for the next two weeks. If you live in an area where water is scarce, you may want to consider a different planting option. Additionally, if you live in a rural area, you may have to travel long distances to several stores to get all the correct ingredients for your personal mixture of hydroseed. It also might not be worth the trouble if you have a small backyard, one that wouldn't require too much time to seed traditionally.
Rachelle Dragani is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn with extensive experience covering the lifestyle space. Her work on topics including smart home technology, pest control, living green, budget home repair and helpful household tips have appeared in publications including Bob Vila, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo and Yahoo.