FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I price a hydroseeding job?
Hydroseeding is priced by the square foot, or on large jobs
by the acre. In residential and commercial hydro seeding the
range of prices is from 6 cents to 20 cents per square foot with
7 to 10 cents being the most common. You can make great money
at it as long as you can get at least 6 cents per square foot.
Your cost to seed should be right around 2 to 2 1/2 cents per square
foot. Often on large jobs and on jobs for a homebuilder or a
job that is subbed out by a landscaper, where there may be a
continuing long term source of business prices are often
discounted a little, and on small jobs like repair and
renovation, damage from snow plows or water line installation my
be priced at a higher rate. Large jobs such as highway
construction are usually priced at 3.5 to 5 cents per square
Where can I get water to hydroseed?
These are the most common choices. Filling from a pond or a
stream with the auxiliary pump package or pond fill kit.
Filling from a fire hydrant. Talk to your water company. Many
will have a program where you place a deposit, usually around $
200.00. They will give you a water meter in a box, and the
other things you need, then you take it by every so often and
they read the meter and send you a bill for the water you
used. If you ever want to, you take the meter back, and they
refund your money. The next possibility is that many water
authorities have fill stations. They will often fill your
machine fast and inexpensively. The other choice is to fill
with a garden hose. A standard garden house faucet in a new
house with a municipal water supply will put out about 8 g.p.m.
If for example you were doing an 8000 square foot residential
lawn with a 300 gallon unit you would need two loads to cover
8000 square feet, and would spend about 36 minutes filling each
load. You can be adding your materials as the water is going
in, and be ready to start spraying as soon as the unit is
If I used the customers water to fill my unit, isn't the
customer going to get upset?
When I started hydro seeding I worried about that. When I
quoted the job, I used to say something like. I am going to
bring my first load of water, but to do your lawn I will have to
refill my machine twice with water. Before I quote a price, I
need to know if I can use your water to refill, because if I
have to run back to my place to refill the extra time will
effect the pricing. They loved to have me use their water. I
have even had them hook hoses to their neighbors houses so I
could fill faster, and on one job where I was using a big
machine, that I did not want to pull full with the truck I had
available on that day, my customer had me drop of the machine
the night before, and he filled it for me. I have had so
little objection to my using their water that for the past few
years, I just ask if it is ok for me to use their water.
If I get into hydroseeding, how can I promote my new business?
When we started hydro seeding we placed a few classified ad's
in a penny saver and from then on our business spread by word of
mouth. If you are doing residential and commercial work, you
might want to contact
builders in your area. They are a nice source of steady
business. We have some materials available at no charge to any
one who purchases a Turbo Turf Hydro Seeding System. First we
have available some ad copy for small display ad's that was made
up by our ad agency. Just take this to your newspaper or
pennysaver and they can insert your name. We also have a hand
out brochure that explains the benefits of hydro seeding and how
to care for a newly hydro seeded lawn. This is available to our
owners at no charge and you can add your name and take it to a
copy or print center. We are also coming with a site for
people who are searching the net for hydroseeding contractors.
It will be at
www.HydroSeedingExperts.com and we will be promoting it as
the largest list of custom hydroseeding contractors in the
world. A listing at this site as well as an E-Mail link or web
site link will all be free to Turbo Turf owners. Joining
the International Association of Hydroseeding professionals is
also a good way to promote your business. Membership in
the IAHP gives you a premium lisitng at the top of each state
list on the hydroseeding experts web site. Membership in
the IAHP is only $ 100.00 per year for more information visit
How well does a job need to be prepared for hydroseeding?
Hydroseeding came into use with the advent of the interstate
hightway system during the Eisenhour administration. Prior to
that time, roads went over hills or around them. Now they
started to go through the hills leaving steep banks that
conventional seeding equipment could not get on. Hydroseeding
was the solution to that problem, and produced great growth with
no preparation possible at all. If however I was doing the
front yard of a half million dollar house and being paid a lot
of money to do it. I would not recommend skimping too much.
Our recommendation is to do the same preparation you would for
seeding any other way, but in a situation where the weather
hasn't co-operated and perhaps rains have caused some crusting,
just go ahead and seed. Hydro seeding will produce great
results under a wider range of circumstances and get a higher
percentage of seed to germinate.
What materials should I use?
You can use any seed at the same seeding rate you would if
seeding any other way, seed doesn't need to be anything special
for hydro seeding. You can use any turf fertilizer. Most
people use granular because it is less expensive. Turbo Turf
will handle granular fertilizer fine. It does not dissolve the
granules, it suspends them and blends them evenly into the
mix. The types of hydro seeding mulch that are available are:
- Paper or cellulose mulch,
- Wood fiber mulch,
- Mixtures of wood and paper
- Pelletized mulch such as Jet Spray.
We recommend paper mulch or Jet Spray.
Why do you prefer paper mulch over wood mulch?
Paper mulch and wood mulch use a different technique in
protecting the seed and sealing in the moisture. Paper mulch
forms something like a thin layer of green paper machete. Wood
mulch is a little like miniaturized straw. The fibers in wood
mulch are up to a little over an inch in length. Although they
work differently, both products work great.
A bale of wood mulch costs much more than a bale of paper
mulch. You also must use a lot more of it than you do with
paper mulch. With paper mulch anything from 50% coverage to 90%
coverage will grow grass. (at 50% coverage, looking down you
would see half brown and half green, at 90% you would see almost
all green with just a little brown) because wood mulch in
interlocked strands, you must build up a thick layer to protect
The main reason we prefer paper mulch is that with wood mulch
you must use twice as much, and it costs 50 to 100% more per
pound. University studies have shown a good paper mulch to be
equal or better than a wood mulch. In windy condition the
fibers of wood mulch can act like a wick and pull the moisture
from the soil. Because the layer of mulch is much thicker with
wood mulch, and because the seed is evenly distributed
throughout the mulch seed to soil contact is much less with wood
mulch. Think of it this way. If a paper mulch layer is 1/16"
thick, all seed is within 1/16" of the soil. If a wood mulch
layer is 3 /16" one third of the seed is within 1/16" of the
soil, 1/3 between 1/16" and 1/8" and one third is over 1/8" from
How heavily should I apply the material?
What you want too try for is about 75 percent coverage as we
talked about in the last question. If you use paper mulch and
apply it too heavily, the seedlings may not be able to push
through it. If you use wood mulch and apply it too thin, it may
not protect the new seedlings. A Turbo Turf Hydro Seeding
system will apply the material any thickness you want. You may
find some erroneous information on the internet that talks about
the difference between hydro seeding and hydro mulching. They
say that mulch applied at rates
under 1500 pounds
per acre is hydroseeding, and anything over 1500 pounds an acre
is hydromulching. They imply that if you seed with 1499 pounds
per the acre it is inferior and doesn't have a chance of growing
grass. If however you seed at 1501 pounds per acre, that is a
produce lush grass. Of course they also say that you really
should have their machine to apply mulch at that rate and that
it is impossible to use a jet machine for that application
rate. Any hydro seeding or hydro mulching system can
apply materials at any thickness. In these two photos we are
applying mulch at about 40,000 pounds to the acre (about 3 "
thick). Actually we wanted a photo, and sprayed out a load in
one spot while we were taking the photo. Of course you would
never really want to do this.
It really works like this no matter who's system you are
using. Suppose you are seeding with a unit and are pointing the
gun down and walking very fast at 4 mph. Let us say for
example that at that speed you were applying the material at
1000 pounds per acre, the exact number is not important for our
example. If you cut your walking speed in half to 2 miles per
hour, and kept the spray the same, the material will be coming
out the gun at the same rate and you will be applying twice as
much or 2000 pounds per acre. If you again cut your speed in
half to 1 mile per hour, you would be applying material at 4000
pounds per acre, and so forth. You can apply mulch at any
amount you want using any brand of hydro seeding system.
For best results using paper mulch we recommend about 1000
-1200 pounds of mulch to the acre, and for wood mulch about 1400
- 2000 pounds of mulch to the acre.
See top menu to order your FREE
HYDRO SEEDING VIDEO