You have a large and bare dirt yard that needs to be covered by something. If you’re inclined toward turf cover, you can either spend the whole weekend spreading seeds or shell out large sums of cash for sodding. However, you also have the option of hydroseeding. If you want to get your yard taken care of by professionals, you can search for “landscape companies near me” and choose a reputable company. Let’s check out the pros and cons of hydroseeding.
What is Hydroseeding?
Before learning about the pros and cons of hydroseeding, it’s important to know the process of hydroseeding. In this process, a slurry of mulch, water, grass seeds, and fertilizer is sprayed over bare dirt with the help of a high-pressure hose. The fertilizer delivers nutrients to the seeds while the mulch protects seeds from natural elements. You can also add green dye to the slurry to mark out where the seeds have been sprayed.
While the process sounds high-tech, it really isn’t. Highway departments have used hydroseeding for more than half a century for controlling erosion. While it is recently rising in popularity among homeowners, hydroseeding has been used for more than a few decades by the construction industry, for reforesting areas burned by wildfire, and even for restoring sensitive zones beside riverbanks. With that out of the way, let’s check out the pros and cons of hydroseeding.
The Pros of Hydroseeding:
- Convenient for steep slopes – One of the greatest advantages of hydroseeding is convenience. While seeding large yards is tiresome with conventional methods, it’s even more tricky and challenging for seeding steep slopes. Hydroseeding simplifies your task when you need to seed inclines. The slurry is thick enough to stick to the slopes without any problems. Moreover, you don’t need to run over the slope with any equipment.
- Budget-friendly for large spaces – When you have a large yard, it becomes increasingly more expensive to broadcast seed or use sod. A lot of labor needs to be invested for seeding a large lawn with those methods and then you need to devote more time and energy to keep the soil moist as the grassroots get established. With hydroseeding, you get economies of scale where it gets progressively cheaper as you sow larger areas. However, you’ll be spending a lot of money on hydroseeding a small space.
- Ample room for customization – Nature hates monoculture because it creates biodiversity deserts in an area. Unfortunately, most lawn covers are made out of one type of grass grown year after year, depleting the soil and making it more prone to erosion. That’s why it is always advised to grow a mix of grass types.
This way even your lawn becomes more resilient, and diseases have a harder time spreading throughout the lawn. While mixing soda can be very difficult, hydroseeding uses slurry. It was designed to mix and match different types of materials including grass species. You’ll have the easiest time seeding your lawn with a wide variety of grasses when you choose hydroseeding.
The Cons of Hydroseeding:
- High water consumption – Turf grass doesn’t have a very good reputation in the past few years as the water crisis and adverse effects of climate change have been deepening. Turf grass is a water hog and one of the most irrigated crops in the country. You can only make things worse when you sow turf grass with hydroseeding.
The process requires an awful amount of water and frequent waterings over the next few weeks so that the seeds can germinate and grow grass blades. If you live in the western part of the country where water is becoming a scarce resource every day, you should avoid hydroseeding.
- More expensive than broadcasting seed – While hydroseeding gets progressively cheaper for larger yards and can be significantly cheaper than applying sod, it still costs quite a lot of money. You’ll save a lot of cash when you choose to broadcast seed instead of hydroseeding. Hydroseeding requires the help of professional landscapers and specialized hydroseeding equipment and you can’t DIY it without the proper training and technical know-how. If you try to DIY hydroseeding, you’ll end up wasting a lot of money and resources.
- Requires bare dirt – You always have the option to overseed existing grass when you choose to broadcast seed. However, that’s impossible with hydroseeding. Hydroseeding always needs to start with bare dirt, and you’ll need to remove small patches of existing grass before you begin. Moreover, bare dirt is usually compacted to a great degree and doesn’t have any nutrients. That means you’ll need to invest more labor into tilling the soil and mixing in compost or organic matter before you can start hydroseeding.
- Hydroseeding process needs to be perfect – One of the greatest disadvantages of hydroseeding is that you’ll need to prepare the soil according to the instructions provided by your landscaper before beginning hydroseeding. Moreover, the seed mix can only stay for an hour inside the hydroseeding equipment before it gets damaged.
While it can save you a lot of money on a large scale, there are too many factors that can go wrong if you don’t follow the steps to the tee. A lot of homeowners don’t like those odds and stick to traditional sowing methods that are more reliable and have more room for DIY.
- Bad for the environment – Depending on the ingredients hydroseeding can have a significant impact on the environment. First of all, it is a water-intensive sowing technique and if the dyes and fertilizers are not chosen carefully, they can pollute both the soil and local water supplies.
As it turns out, hydroseeding has a lot more cons than people assume. Apart from requiring bare dirt and being more expensive than grass seed, it also harms the environment. Instead, you can completely get rid of turf grass and choose to xeriscape your bare yard. Either way, you can search for “landscape companies near me” and hire professionals for the task.