What is Hydroseeding? How to Hydroseed Your Lawn

Have you ever seen those lush, green lawns that look like they were professionally landscaped? Chances are, those lawns were hydroseeded. Hydroseeding is a process of planting grass by spraying a slurry of water, seeds, and mulch onto the surface.

It can be a great option for revitalizing your lawn, especially if it’s in poor condition, without spending hours on your hands and knees planting seeds one by one.

In this blog post, we’ll explain what hydroseeding is and how you can go about hydroseeding your own lawn. So, if you’re interested in learning more about this process, keep reading!

What is Hydroseeding?

Hydroseeding is a method of preparing soil using a slurry of seed and mulch. It is also called hydraulic mulch seeding, hydro-mulching, or hydraseeding.

Grass seeds are often mixed with a water-based solution that includes mulch, fertilizer, lime, or other elements that assist the seeds in germinating and developing. The hydroseeding slurry is stored in a large tank – generally truck-mounted or trailer-mounted – before being sprayed over prepared ground.

Hydroseeding is a popular erosion control technique on building sites, instead of the more common method of sowing dry seed through broadcasting or via a spreader. It’s also an excellent method to sow seeds on a steep slope or other difficult-to-seed terrain.

Any grass type or ground cover that may be sown by seed can be hydroseeded. This includes any sun or shade lawn seeds, athletic field mixes, pasture mixtures, native grasses, wildflowers, roadside mixes, and erosion control blends.

How Does Hydroseeding Work?

What makes hydroseeding successful is that the mulch serves as the growth apparatus for the grass seed within it. Mulch aids in moisture retention via quicker germination, insulation from temperature extremes to prevent seed dormancy, and protection from erosion by providing moisture retention for faster germination, insulation from temperature extremes to prevent seed dormancy, and protection from erosion.

Hydroseeding mulch has no weed seeds, unlike hay or straw that is frequently used on seeding projects. The mixture consists of water, grass seed, fertilizer, mulch, and other additional ingredients. This slurry is combined in a tank to form a uniform mixture, which is sprayed over the ground evenly when the slurry is spread.

Water serves as a carrier, and it is an essential element in the seed’s growth by helping it develop and germinate. Another essential component in hydroseed is the seed, which may be anything from a low-maintenance lawn grass seed to a native plant or wildflower seed; practically any seed can be utilized.

Fertilizer is usually included as a stimulant for root development. Any type of fertilizers may be used, depending on the mix’s proportions of chemicals that are intended to stimulate various sorts of growth.

Mulch has a lot to do with how hydroseed looks. It’s typically made out of wood or paper, and it’s sometimes dyed to guarantee that all of the material is used correctly. This mulch is usually green in color, so you can see where you spray it and so that it blends in with the grass as it sprouts.

Other ingredients that can be added to hydroseeding include tacky products, which help it to hold tight to sloped terrain during rain, and also assist to seal moisture into the soil.

Benefits of Hydroseeding

One of the major benefits of hydroponics over conventional seeding is time efficiency. This is because all of the elements you wish to apply to the seed bed are blended together into a single solution and applied simultaneously. In this case, hydroseeding is also usually more cost effective than other ways of applying grass seed.

The hydroseeding slurry may be improved with various additives to create the perfect growth environment for the seed, saving you effort and producing a higher quality lawn. It also helps to keep weeds from sprouting in your yard, and helps prevent erosion.

Potential Cons

The biggest and main drawback to hydroseeding is the large amount of water that you need for the initial spray. This can be a huge amount, so if you don’t have access to enough water potentially look at other grass planting options.

What Does Hydroseeding Cost?

The cost of installing a hydroseed installation depends on the size and complexity of the job. The average cost of hydroseeding in the United States is between $0.21 and $0.26 per square foot. Using these numbers, a lawn measuring 6,000 to 10,000 square feet would cost anywhere from $1,500—$2,600.

These prices often include grass and soil preparation, materials, as well as the hydroseeding. From site to site, pricing might vary; therefore, it’s always a good idea to get a quote from a service provider for your specific project.

If you want to construct your own spray solution, you may save money by buying it at a hardware store, although we advise hiring a professional to ensure that the project is completed correctly.

Types of Hydroseeding

Another benefit of hydroseeding is the capacity to use a wide range of slurry solutions. For example, you can add any kinds of seeds to your hydroseeding, from wildflower seeds to cool-season grasses, warm-season grasses, and many others.

Please note, however, that certain seed types won’t thrive in some climates, so consider your surroundings and climate before choosing them.

There are several more potential variations to the hydroseed mixture/slurry, such as different fertilizers. However, the most significant distinction between slurries apart from seed sort is the type of mulch used.

Wood Fiber Mulch

Wood mulch costs more than paper mulch, though it does a better job of keeping the soil from eroding and promoting plant growth. Wood mulch is ideal for slopes or premium lawns.

Paper Mulch

Paper mulch, on the other hand, is an inexpensive mulch additive, and because of this, it’s perfect for situations where cost is a concern and quality isn’t as important. It works well on flat open fields near industrial areas or highway medians, as well as some backyards.

Blended Mulch

A blended mulch of 70% wood mulch and 30% paper mulch gives better erosion control and encourages greater grass development than paper mulch, and is less expensive than wood fiber mulch.

How to Hydroseed

Follow these steps for a successful hydroseeding installation.

Prepare Your Soil

Before getting out the sprayer, you first have to make sure your lawn is ready to be hydroseeded. First, eliminate any large obstacles or objects from your yard; these will just make it harder for you to spray your entire lawn evenly.

Then, you have a few tests you might need to perform. For example, a soil pH test could be helpful, because specific grass types do better in certain pH levels than others. Plants have a harder time absorbing nutrients in alkaline soil with higher pH levels, but also overly acidic soil can cause plants to over-absorb nutrients and overload their system. Check here if you want to raise or lower your soil’s pH level.

Next you want to till your lawn. Tilling the soil will help to break apart any large clumps and it can blend the harder topsoil with the more fertile organic matter underneath. You can easily rent or buy a garden tiller from most hardware stores, or you can till your soil without a tiller. This is also the time when you want to add more topsoil or compost if your lawn needs it, and then till it into your preexisting soil.

Additionally, consider aerating hard or compacted dirt if you live in an area with rocky, stony, or otherwise difficult-to-treat soil. Aeration loosens cores in the soil and creates holes in the ground, allowing water and nutrients to more easily be absorbed into the earth and root system.

You could also want to consider adding a soil conditioner at this time. A soil conditioner aids in the loosening of the dirt as well as making it simpler for new grass seeds to take root and enhancing the fertility of the soil’s capacity to feed the grass with nutrients.

Install the Hydroseeding

Now that you have prepared your lawn so that it is in perfect condition to receive, nurture, and help to grow grass, it is time to hydroseed it. To apply your mixture to the soil, you’ll need a holding tank and a pump (such as a garden hose) to spray it over.

Fill the tank with the right combination of materials that you want for your lawn, turning on the agitator to produce a thoroughly mixed slurry. Professional lawn care firms will be equipped with the finest, commercial-grade hydroseeders, but you may also rent or buy your own.

Finally comes the most fun part, when you use your hose to spray the hydroseed onto your lawn. Make sure you cover the entire area thoroughly.

Water Afterwards

During the first stages after initial planting, a hydroseeded lawn requires a lot of water. It may be difficult but you need to keep the seedbed wet for an extended amount of time.

Hydroseed lawns require a significant amount of water. Water for a hydroseeded lawn should be budgeted at several hundred dollars. For the first two weeks, you’ll need to waters your sprinkler three to four times a day for at least 15 minutes every day. The frequency of watering should gradually decrease over the next two weeks

One month after the installation, the lawn will require 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, which is similar to a normal lawn’s amount.

How Hydroseeding Compares to Other Methods

When to plant hydroseed is similar to both sod and planting grass seed. Spring and fall are the ideal times for hydroseeding since warm soil and light rain aid in the development of deep roots in young grass seedlings.

Fall is the best time of year to hydroseed with cool season varieties of grass. Spring is best for warm season grasses, as the summer heat will assist grass to germinate faster, but you’ll need to water more frequently. It’s not a good idea to hydroseed in winter because the grass will most likely be dormant and is unlikely to germinate, meaning you can lose that batch of grass.

All of these same rules apply both to laying sod and planting grass seed as well.


The main difference hydroseeding and sod is the price. Sod is the most costly way to install grass. Hydroseeding, therefore, is recommended for medium to large projects, where the prices for sod can skyrocket and make it untenable to use.

Planting Grass Seed

The primary benefit hydroseeding has over planting grass seed by hand or via a spreader is that hydroseeding has within it all of the necessary ingredients you need to properly grow your grass. The mulch, fertilizer, water, and other ingredients that the hydroseed mixture has are all components you will need to add to the grass seed, which will use lots of time and effort.

Ending Thoughts

Hydroseeding is a great way to seed your lawn, and it’s becoming more popular every year. Costs for hydroseeding vary depending on the size of the project, but it is generally cheaper than other methods like sod or seeding. With the right preparation and execution, hydroseeding can be a great way to get a beautiful lawn without all the work!

If you’re thinking of hydroseeding your lawn, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. We’ve outlined the basics for you here, but if you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help! Once you get started, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful green lawn in no time! Have you tried hydroseeding? Let us know how it went in the comments!

Photo of author
Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.