Planting a new lawn can improve the appearance and function of your yard and landscape. Although many landscape designers and new homeowners choose grass sod to establish a new lawn quickly, certain seeding techniques provide comparable results at a fraction of the cost. One planting technique, hydroseeding, helps your grass germinate and grow faster than regular seeding. With the proper equipment, you can hydroseed your own lawn.
Step 1 – Prepare your planting site in the late spring for your new lawn seed. Remove any existing vegetation, including ground covers, weeds and other plants. Loosen the topsoil with a rototiller or garden tractor with a tiller attachment. Break apart the top 4 to 5 inches of topsoil and remove any large rocks or debris. Smooth the area with your garden rake.
Step 2 – Measure your planting site to determine the correct amount of seed and materials you require. Purchase your grass seed and your hydroseeding materials. Some manufacturers package the grass seed with the other materials, creating a single product that requires only water to complete. Others provide just the bonding agents and mulch particles, leaving the selection of grass seed and fertilizers to you. Check the application rate on the package to determine the correct amount to purchase.
Step 3 – Rent a hydroseeder. You may find a complete unit that includes the truck, supplies and tools, or you may get just the tank, pump and hose on a trailer that pulls behind your vehicle. Check your local landscape businesses and rental agencies for hydroseeding units. Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s directions and safety warnings before using the equipment.
Step 4 – Apply a light misting of water over your prepared soil to gently pack the soil and make it evenly moist. Mix your seed, hydroseed supplies and water according to the amounts listed on your package instructions. Depending on your equipment, you may be able to blend this slurry directly in the holding tank. Set the sprayer at the desired rate of application and begin applying the slurry to your prepared soil. Start at one corner of your lawn and work your way to the opposite corner, applying a uniform layer of hydroseed slurry.
Step 5 – Water your new lawn lightly and frequently to keep the hydroseed mixture slightly damp for the first three to four weeks. Reduce your watering frequency as the grass blades grow and the roots mature, keeping just the soil near the level of the roots slightly moist.