DIY Hydroseeding: A TikTok Trend

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DIY Hydroseeding: A TikTok Trend

A well-maintained lawn can be a source of pride for homeowners. However, in some cases, you may need to start over and revive your lawn. Hydroseeding is a fast and effective way to do this. It involves spraying a mixture of grass seeds and other materials onto bare soil using a high-pressure hose.

Before hydroseeding, you should choose the type of grass species that will work best for your lawn and test your soil to determine any deficiencies. You must also prepare your property for spraying and fill a hydroseeder with the seed mixture.

The cost of hydroseeding depends on the amount of seed you need to cover your lawn. You can use any lawn grass seed mix, including wildflower or native grass mixes, in a hydroseeding slurry. It’s recommended to include up to 10% fast-sprouting rye seed in the mixture. Additionally, consider the climate and specific conditions of your property. For example, if you live in a drought-prone area, choose a low-maintenance, water-wise option.

You can purchase 5 pounds of California native grass seed mixture by Stover Seed for $106.50, which includes free delivery. If trees overhang your lawn, invest in mixes containing shade-tolerant grasses, such as the New England Semi-Shade Grass and Forbs Mix from New England Wetland Plants, which costs $91.00 per bulk pound.

Get scientific with your soil

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Before you begin, you’ll need a hydrospray mulch — you’ll mix this with your seed and water to make the slurry. You can get a 50-pound bag of Second Nature paper fiber hydroseeding mulch for $26.68 from Justin Seed Co. Measure the area you plan to plant in square feet to work out the volumes of seed and hydrospray mulch you need to buy. Now, It’s time to test your soil! Like all plants, grasses thrive on the right balance of macronutrients (phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium), an enormous range of micronutrients, and pH (acid or alkaline) ranges. Soil testing helps you determine the health of the ground under your lawn and what you may need to add or amend.

The process has been made surprisingly easy thanks to sophisticated DIY kits that are available for purchase online. If you have a considerable property or multiple lawns, get a large soil test kit — run up to three tests at a time — for $104.95 from Harris Seeds. On a budget? Walmart sells the highly-rated MySoil test kit for $29.99. While these kits work similarly, it’s best to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure you get reliable results. Once your soil test is done, it’s time to prepare your lawn for spraying.

Clear, amend, and spray

lawn covered in hydroseed slurry

Greenseas/Shutterstock

Hydroseeding works best on bare soil. To succeed in your hydroseeding efforts, first clear the planting area of rocks, branches, trash, and weeds, properly grade your yard to protect your foundation from water damage, and dress the soil with additives (as determined by your soil test) — you can also add compost and topsoil at this stage. If you have an irrigation system, mark the sprinklers with flags so they’re easy to spot when spraying. All that’s left to do now is re-grade and level your lawn and get your hands on a hydroseeder.

It is most cost-effective to rent a hydroseeder from your local hardware store or, if you’re handy, DIY one using a tank, hose, and electric pump. After all, how often do you need to start a lawn from scratch? What size tank you need depends on your lawn size. For example, Turbo Turf’s smallest hydroseeder, a 50-gallon tank unit for $2,295.00, will seed 650 square feet of lawn per load. Most machines allow you to mix the hydroseed slurry right in the tank. Add water (at a ratio of 1:20 mulch to water), your mulch, the seed, and any other additives, like eco-friendly dyes (typically green, so you can see where you’ve applied it), binder, and lawn fertilizer. If in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the machine or mulch bag. Then you can start spraying. When you’re done, brush up on how to care for your lawn after hydroseeding.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.