Frequently Asked Questions
How does the cost of hydro-seeding compare to regular seeding or sodding?
At installation, hydro-seeding will generally be significantly less expensive than sod to install, but more expensive than seeding. A hydro-seeded lawn becomes even more cost effective as you increase the area of lawn to be seeded. This occurs because hydro-seeding depends on the use of large specialized equipment which must be brought to each job. This specialized equipment enables rapid and superior seeding. Since the equipment only needs to be moved once to each job, that cost is spread out over the area seeded: more area means a lower cost per square foot related to equipment.
By contrast, seeding costs per square foot do not decrease significantly as the area to be seeded increases. Likewise, sodding costs remain constant because the labour to put the sod in place is the same for each roll of sod.
A number of clients choose to have us install an irrigation system, followed by hydro-seeding. As a result, they have a permanent watering system that will quickly establish their new lawn, and keep it looking great for years. They have invested the money, otherwise spent on sod, towards a convenient and reliable watering solution.
I have a smaller area to be hydro-seeded. How can I minimize the cost?
One way is to remain flexible as to when you want the application done. By grouping your installation with other jobs in the area, we decrease our travel and equipment costs, allowing us to pass the savings on to the customer. In these cases, we still expect to alert you via email a day or so ahead of actual installation.
A second way is to talk to neighbours who might also be needing new lawns. This is particularly obvious when you are in a new estate lot area and everyone is facing the challenge of landscaping a new property. Consult with your neighbours and, as a group, decide on a common date for the hydro-seeding. Each of you will benefit from the savings, as mentioned above, and have beautiful and consistent lawns.
Do seeding, hydro-seeding and sodding each require the same amount of attention after installation?
New lawns, regardless of how they are created, need nutrition. Seeding, hydro-seeding or sod all benefit from being installed on a bed of good topsoil with proper fertilizer applied.
Hydro-seeding benefits from a rational amount of after-installation attention to achieve a beautiful lawn. Because hydro-seeding puts down fertilizer and seed, both encased in mulch, the seed is nourished and protected while it germinates and builds its roots. The mulch also adds a significant level of protection against erosion and bird damage. Though the mulch retains moisture and hydro-seeded areas are much better protected from drying out than seed on its own, regular watering is required. If you have driven past newly constructed overpasses on highways, you will often see that the steep slopes are bright green - those slopes have been recently hydro-seeded.
Not surprisingly, regular seeding requires the most work after installation and is most vulnerable to the elements of nature. Newly seeded areas require frequent watering. However, you don’t want to overwater or you can wash seed away. Natural events such as thunderstorms washing away seed, wind blowing away seed, and birds eating the seed all generally lead to reseeding portions of new lawns a number of times before achieving a nice lawn. It certainly can be done with perseverance.
New sod is most dependent on proper installation, watering and fertilizing. If looking at sod as an option, it is worthwhile to know that there are variations in sod quality. Some sod is very thin, taking it longer to root, and making it more susceptible to drying out prior to installation. Sod should be installed very soon after it is harvested, and particularly so during the heat of summer.
I have areas of my planned lawn that are in full sun while other areas are shaded areas. How does hydro-seeding handle that?
Because every batch of product is custom made, the grass seed mix can be whatever you desire. Clients have even asked to include a wild flower mix in some areas we hydro-seeded to allow those areas to return to a more natural state.
Compared to seeding, how quickly does a hydro-seeded lawn become established?
A hydro-seeded lawn will become established sooner than regular seeding. With regular watering, a typical hydro-seeded lawn will be germinating in about a week during the summer. During the cooler periods of the growing season, the hydro-seeding advantage is even greater. We recommend that people begin cutting their new lawn when about half of the grass is 2 inches tall.
How do I prepare my property for hydro-seeding?
Hydro-seeding is most effective when done on 4 or more inches of clean top soil. It should be graded for proper drainage and be moderately packed with a small amount of loose soil on top.
How often should I water my newly hydro-seeded lawn?
A newly hydro-seeded lawn should be kept moist throughout the germination period. The perennial grasses will take up to three weeks to germinate. Obviously, the weather will dictate what is required on your part to keep the lawn moist. Applying smaller amounts of water a number of times each day is preferred. If you have an irrigation system, we can set your timer for optimal watering.
New System Warranty Information
National Capital Irrigation and Hydro-seeding Systems guarantees customers that the ingredients used in the hydro-seeding process are of high quality, and we are always willing to explain to customers the specific ingredients that have gone into their job. For the first year, if the lawn does not establish properly due to product or workmanship, the areas of the lawn that are not growing will be re-done, free of charge.
The most important undertaking by customers is to appropriately and adequately water their newly hydro-seeded areas. Guidelines are provided to each customer at the completion of each job. The warranty is only in effect if these guidelines have been followed.
Warranty exclusions related to watering do not apply to customers with an automatic sprinkler system from National Capital Irrigation & Hydro-seeding Systems. We will properly set your controller for your newly hydro-seeded areas when we do the hydro-seeding.
Where customers have an automatic sprinkler system from another provider, National Capital Irrigation & Hydro-seeding will gladly assist in setting the controller. Unfortunately, we have encountered situations where other automatic watering systems do not adequately or evenly water, so warranty exclusions related to watering do apply.
The Warranty does not cover damage due to heavy rain fall or grass burned due to over-fertilizing, use of the incorrect fertilizer, or improper use of weed-killing chemicals. The fertilizer that is applied when the hydro-seeding is done is sufficient for the first season.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your newly hydro-seeded areas.
Major Manufacturer Links
- National Capital Irrigation & Hydro-seeding operates a Finn T-75 Hydro-seeder