Hydroseeding Frequently Asked Questions

Why I should hydroseed, considerations, and concerns.

Is it safe?

Absolutely! Hydroseeding is a mix of seed, fiber, glue, fertilizer, and lime. Hydroseeding has the benefit of minimizing the potential of sediment entering the US water ways (the largest water polluter in the US water is sediment).

What is a nurse crop?

A nurse crop is a seed, or mix, that is used to get a root system, and potentially shade, established to anchor soil and enable the target grass to get established. Most Eastern NC grasses will require 20-40 days to germinate, and much longer to get established (up to over 1 season). A nurse crop enables your target grass to get established, while holding the soil and seedlings in place.

Can I walk on the seeded ground?

BLUF (bottom line up front): YES  ; however you should minimize walking on your fragile seedlings (you can crush them), but when the decision comes down to not watering, or walking on the seedling to water,... walk away.

What is the hydroseeding "season"?

You can hydroseed year round.   That said, for residential customers in Eastern NC the season is typically Mar-Sep. Seeding in other times is typically associated with commercial projects. Warm Season Turfs require 70 degrees to germinate/grow.

How long until I get my "Dream Lawn"?

Great question, challenging answer. If you are in Western NC you should have your "Dream" lawn in 60-90 days. However for those of you in Eastern NC the answer is a bit different. Warm season grasses need a frost cycle to truly take off (Bahia may be the exception). Year 1 will leave you with a nice nurse crop and the beginnings of your turf. Year 2 will have you new lawn sending out runners and getting established/thickening to your dream lawn. Bermuda will establish faster than Centipede; Bahia will beat both.

Straw, I see it all over what's the difference with hydroseeding?

Straw mulch is commonly specified for NC DoT and USACE contracts for jobs that have a slope that is less than 1:2. These areas (1:2 or less) are typically specified to have straw mulch applied at 1 ton (or so) per acre. Isn't it ironic that hydroseeding is authorized for steep areas (unarguable the more difficult area to seed) , but restricted from mild slopes? Straw and hydroseed both minimize erosion from rain fall; however, only hydroseeding improves germination by establishing a nutrient rich environment for seeds. Added to this, the soil amendments and tacktifier (+) no weeds added by the straw make hydroseeding stand out as the better choice.

Why should I hydroseed vs. SOD?

There may be some room for debate, but you won't get it from me;  Sod is the Cadillac Solution.

If you have it in your budget, it's the best option for residential solution. However, hydroseeding is normally approximately 30-50% of the cost of Sod materials, not including Sod installation AND hydroseeding includes soil amendments to get your ground ready for seeds (not normally associated with Sod). Hydroseeding can also be installed on terrain that a sod installer cringes at... for commercial and erosion control solutions you'll see hydroseeding on terrain impossible to accomplish with Sod.

When should I mow?

Mowing can begin once the new lawn is 2" tall in most areas. Mowing stimulates growth and increases thickness. Set the mower high at first, then gradually lower. Try to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass at a time. It's important to remove grass clippings from newly hydroseeded lawns, bagging is the preferred means. Grass clippings have the potential of smothering young seedlings. A general rule for mowing is that the shorter you want to mow the more often you need to mow to maintain healthy grass. Centipede, Bermuda, and Zoyasia lawns should all be mown at a height of around 1".

What is soil preparation and can I do it myself?

Soil preparation is the seed bed preparation. What it involves (when we do it) is bringing in specialty equipment to till the soil flat and get your bed ready for seeds. The advantage of us performing this service is that we use specialty equipment designed for turf bed preparation; however, this is definitely a task home owners can do themselves with a rake and a rotor tiller.

The benefit you get with us doing your prep is 1st off... you don't sweat, we do. Secondly, we bring in tillers designed for turf tilling with widths of 3 feet to 6 feet, ensuring a flat surface that will be less prone to lawn-mower "shaving/scalping".

Do you offer a guarantee?

We do not offer a grass growth guarantee on residential or commercial contracts. We can offer an erosion guarantee on commercial or residential contracts, WHEN REQUESTED . ( This guarantee will highlight that we will be responsible for re-hydroseeding areas that erode. When we offer erosion guarantees, we will use products designed for your job site, and the cost will normally be a higher rate than jobs without an erosion guarantee.) Erosion Guarantees must specify the duration of the guarantee request 30. 60, 90, or 180 days [we select products depending on the requirement].

Thunder Storms, steep slopes, etc have a large probability of causing erosion and moving your "expensive seed" and soil off site. The additional cost to ensure that you don't have erosion may seem expensive, but the cost to prevent erosion is typically a fraction of the cost to fix erosion.

Can I seed a Cool Season Turf in Eastern NC?

Yes, but the real answer is NO !  Seeding cool season turf in Eastern NC will typically provide a nice lawn... for about a month. Then it gets hot and the turf DIES.

Fescue, Blue Grass, Rye... they are all nice grasses as long as you don't live in Eastern NC. All of these grasses will begin to die when the temp get to about 80 degrees.  Save yourself the trouble, stay away from cool season grasses in Eastern NC.   DO NOT mix Cool and Warm Season Turfs (it only creates problems)!

What's the smallest area you will seed?

We will seed as small an area that you can identify: however, the price will be higher for small areas. For hydroseeding the smallest area that is typically cost effective is 5000 SF or more.

We began turf "revitalization"in 2014 using slit seeders to make the cost "reasonable" to consumers for problem areas. This offers homeowners an alternative to hydroseeding (or replacing turf with sod) for smaller areas. We still offer (and recommend) renovation hydroseeding options, this option is extremely effective with Bermuda Turfs.

Why should I aerate?

Aeration is a service we offer, typically under our other company (Weedcontrol.pro).

Soil Compaction is the #2 problem for turf in Eastern NC (shade is the #1 problem). Soil preparation is the easiest means to alleviate compaction issues prior to getting a lawn. After you have a lawn, aeration is the way to address this issue. Go to Lawn Care Estimates for an estimate.

Do you accept NET 15, 30, 60 payments?

Yes; however you must identify this prior to seeding or quote request (the assumption is that payment is DUE on job completion).

Payment is due on job completion (spraying) agreed upon by US in a contract. NET 15, 30, 60 or other will incur a higher contract price. NET 30 or longer typically requires a prime contractor Bond.

Can you seed slopes greater than 1:1?

Yes, we can seed steeper than 1:1. The mulch and growth medium for these applications are different than typical seeding.

Advantages of a hydroseeding/hydromulching application include that we can typically cover larger areas faster with a higher probability of vegetative cover than using seeds and blankets.

Are there alternatives to in-ground sprinklers for automatic sprinkler systems?

Yes, both Home Depot and Lowe's (among others) offer automatic hose sprinkler options. You use a controller and hoses to water your yard without the requirement to walk on your turf. Don't worry about the area that the hose is "laying", warm season grasses will fill in this area after they are established.

Watering, how much and when?

Newly hydroseeded lawns need plenty of water and must remain moist. Successful seed germination depends on a few weeks of special care. To assure proper germination water regularly. We suggest 2-3 times a day in hot weather. Keeping the yard moist will maximize seed germination. IF YOUR SEEDLINGS DRY, THEY WILL PROBABLY DIE!

There are additives that we can add during installation to increase water retention beyond the hydroseeded mulch. If you desire this, please highlight it when requesting an estimate. By watering regularly and keeping your new seedlings from drying out you ensure the beginnings of a lawn that will make your neighbors green with envy.

Keeping the mulch moist ensures that your seedlings also remain moist. You want to keep the ground 1-2 inches below the soil moist, but not water logged. The largest reason for any grass seed failure is normally associated with inadequate watering.

What seed to get?

Seed selection depends on a number of factors. For residential customers the decision often is associated with the lawn that is in your (or your neighbors) yard. The two most common grasses in Eastern North Carolina are Centipede and Bermuda (there are a number of options for Bermuda). If you have large dogs in your yard, another turf to consider is Bahia. Bahia is an inexpensive and hardy turf that re-seeds frequently and sends stolen's and rhizomes (above and below) runners. Bahia can frequently be seen on road sides (it's the grass that has stalks that are about 12" tall with a V on top). While almost impossible to kill, it requires frequent mowing, but does great in a hostile environment (i.e. Dog's) due to it's self seeding capabilities and runners. See seed selection.

Fertilization, when and how much?

About one to two months after seeding you will need to fertilize your new lawn using a high nitrogen (the first of the 3 numbers on the bag) fertilizer.

We used a high phosphorus water soluble "starter fertilizer" when hydroseeding your lawn. The good news is that this is great for new seedlings; however, it isn't as long term as granular fertilizer. The phosphorus will stimulate root growth needed in the early stages of turf establishment 
and the nitrogen stimulates a vigorous top growth.

Fertilization will depend largely on the type of turf you have (for Centipede, leave it alone) Bermuda can take 1 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sf per month easily. This application assists in turf establishment and survivability. Don't know how... or don't want to mess with it, that's OK ask us and we can provide this service as well as disease, pest, and weed control.

Weeds, I've got them... now what?

Weeds are the bane of all home owners. If you (or we) have tilled the soil at all, what occurs is that seeds that are dormant below the soil suddenly become active. Even treating your yard with Round-Up prior to hydroseeding won't solve this. While we aren't Sod installers or suppliers, sod has a definite advantage in this regard (sod keeps the weed seed below the sod at bay [dormant]).

We do not recommended that you attempt to kill these weeds with chemicals during the initial seeding season unless you are a professional in Turf management... even then it's a challenge. New seedlings (especially Centipede) are very susceptible to chemicals. The product you used to kill your new patch of dandelions may very well kill your grass too.

A good technique to deal with weeds in your 1st season (and beyond actually) is manually pulling weeds. I like to use the "Garden Weasel" that can be purchased online or at Lowe's or Home Depot. UNDER NO circumstances should you use a "pre-emergent" weed killer UNTIL AFTER your grass begins establishment. Most "Weed &Feed"fertilizers contain a pre and post emergent herbicide. If you have recently used this, review the data on the product to determine when to plant. Call us after the date identified; it would be a bad day if we came in and prepared and seeded an area that you put a product down that kept your new lawn from germinating!

We recently began providing weed control and fertilization services to our hydroseeding customers. Request an estimate, or a package deal when seeding.

Future FAQ #1
Future FAQ #2
Future FAQ #3
Future FAQ #4