epic-manufacturing_logo 12 Benefits of HydroSeeding

12 Benefits of HydroSeeding  


Any person professionally responsible for outdoor areas could benefit from the knowledge of how HydroSeeding can differentiate them from their competition. Epic Manufacturing answers a lot of questions every day about the processes and the equipment, and we're eager to help everyone understand the world of Hydroseeding.

HydroSeed is a verb that means to mix grass seed, mulch, fertilizer and water together in a tank to make a slurry. A specialized HydroSeed truck then sprays the slurry mixture onto a growing surface where, in five to seven days, the seeds begin to germinate and sprout.

From places where turf establishment is needed to solve an erosion problem to areas where a beautiful, lush-green lawn is required, HydroSeeding provides a quality, cost-effective solution.

You will hear the terms HydroSeeding and HydroMulching used nearly interchangeably. They are similar processes, but technically HydroMulching is the process minus the seed, a technique frequently used for projects such as erosion control, streambank restoration and slope stabilization.

HydroSeeding has many advantages and can be used in a variety of industries and applications. Read on to learn more about the benefits of HydroSeeding. 

Benefit #1: HydroSeeding Saves Money and Time

Money and time tie directly to your bottom line, and with HydroSeeding, you'll save both. HydroSeeding costs up to 75 percent less than sod because it is not nearly as labor-intensive as unrolling and installing all those rolls of sod.

Besides the prices of sod itself being notoriously expensive, its installation typically requires a team of people and a host of equipment. In comparison, HydroSeeding requires just a handful of workers or even one, depending on how many turrets the truck has.

Companies often compare HydroSeeding to hand seeding since both use seed that have comparable costs. However, HydroSeeding has an advantage because it takes about one sixth of the time required for hand-seeding. You and your clients will be happy that turf establishment or other goals take less money and time to complete.

The cost of HydroSeeding depends upon several industry-specific and project-related parameters:

  • Size of the area to be seeded
  • Mulch – application rate, weight, amount needed, form in which it comes such as bales or bags
  • Capacity/size of the HydroSeeding truck and tank to be used
  • Mixing rate of the tank to be used
  • How much area each tank cover
  • Whether you use a towable or drivable machine
  • The efficiency of the equipment being used.

Benefit #2: HydroSeeding Can Be Used in A Variety Of Industries and Applications

The list of clients who realize the advantages of HydroSeeding spans many industries and types of businesses:

The purposes people serve with HydroSeeding vary by industry, business and project. Most commonly, the objective is to establish a large expanse of grass, turf or sometimes, wildflowers and natural prairie. Often the goal is more technical such as to stabilize a slope, hold down dust, revive vegetation and expedite restoration after wildfires.[G2] 

Benefit #3: HydroSeeding Enhances Quality

Copious amounts of scientific research and data, as well as in-the-field experience and results, backs up the notion that HydroSeeding elevates the quality of your project. HydroSeeding produces superior-quality results because it enables the grass roots to embed into the soil sooner and more deeply than with the other methods. HydroSeed fibers interlock and create a mat that results in strong roots and green, healthy, long-lasting grass.

HydroSeeding delivers an uninterrupted line of uniform, visually pleasing lawn. With sod, you can see seams. With hand seeding, you'll inevitably have bare patches. A successfully HydroSeeded area usually appears to be just about flawless because of how evenly HydroSeeding distributes the seed, growing medium, water and fertilizer. It also applies it with the perfect amount of pressure for excellent staying power.

Sod is cut and transferred from the farm where it was grown and then transplanted into foreign soil. Grass seed is applied by hand or via other broadcast means and is dropped loose on the ground, where it's susceptible to disturbance from rain or animals. The HydroSeed slurry mix contains a coagulant that causes it to stay put for quick growth. Fertilizers in the slurry add phosphorous to give the seed and soil a healthy boost.

HydroSeeded areas also resist disease and sprout fewer weeds. The inherent strength of HydroSeeded grass will naturally resist or dominate unwanted biological or horticultural pests.

Benefit #4: HydroSeed Retains More Moisture

Due to the all-important mulch in its mix, HydroSeeded grass retains more moisture than other planting techniques such as broadcast seeding, straw-blown seed and sod.

HydroSeed retains up to 10 times its weight in water, which stimulates fast germination. Watering needs for HydroSeeding are about are about half as frequent as with other methods because the mix holds onto its moisture so well. 

How does it do all that? The slurry retains the moisture throughout the process of HydroSeeding mixing and application. Once down, the mulch protects the seed against wind, erosion and sun damage before it disintegrates into nutrients to aid germination.

Benefit #5: HydroSeeding Reaches Difficult Areas

HydroSeeding solves many accessibility challenges through the extent of its sprayers' ability. Mounted on a turret aboard the truck, the gun-like sprayers shoot the slurry onto challenging terrain such as steep slopes that would be unsafe to access any other way.

Here are some examples of the capabilities in Epic Manufacturing’s contractor series of towable HydroSeeders:

Steep grades are part of many road projects, golf courses, home developments and commercial or other public or private complexes. HydroSeeding makes it easy to reduce risk by keeping humans at a safe distance from slopes and hazardous terrain.

Benefit #6: HydroSeeding Works for Erosion Control

HydroSeeding becomes the choice of many entities charged with erosion control and different kinds of soil stabilization. The mat style and tacky texture of the HydroSeeding technique can work when other methods fail because of its stabilizing quality. HydroSeeding will stay in place through most heavy rains even on steep slopes, whereas other techniques leave the seeds susceptible to washout.

Epic Manufacturing produces customized solutions for erosion control including steep slopes, streambank restoration and stormwater-retention facilities. Your solution might involve HydroSeeding and HydroMulching, possibly along with other measures such as silt-fence installation and straw-blown mulch.

Benefit #7: HydroSeeding Delivers Versatile Options

People like options and HydroSeeding enables you to both offer them and take advantage of them.

HydroSeeding can handle everything from residential lawns to large-scale seeding projects. While grass is a common request, you can also create native wildflowers, agricultural pasture and specialized mixes.

The slurry mix of HydroSeeding and the method of application can be customized to meet clients' needs. A school complex with a cluster of soccer fields will have different seed-mix and application needs than a sprawling government complex would.

Construction, erosion and landscape contractors, as well as other professionals, can think about HydroSeeding as a way to expand the business by adding capacity or new capabilities with a new machine. More examples of Epic machines give you an idea of how versatile and flexible they are:

  • The L90 HydroSeeder from the landscaper series has a 900-gallon tank, 100 feet of hose and a spraying distance of 145 feet.
  • The L30 HydroSeeder from the landscaper series has a 300-gallon tank and 100 feet of non-kinking hose, which suits well the needs of landscaping businesses, municipalities, golf courses and similar entities.
  • The L10 HydroSeeder from the landscaper series has a 100-gallon tank and two 50-foot sections of hose, which is well-matched to nursery businesses, cemeteries and small contractors.
  • The LF 120 HydroSeeder from the landfill series has a 1,180-gallon tank; sprays 180 feet; holds 3,200 pounds of granular solids; and comes with turret options that vary the spray among straight, a narrow fan and a wide fan.
  • The LF 90 HydroSeeder from the landfill series has an 800-gallon tank, sprays 180 feet, holds 2,500 pounds of granular matter and also features different turret options.

You need quality equipment to achieve the full and maximum benefit of HydroSeeding. If you work with an inferior machine, you will not get the results you expect and want.

For example, the benefits aren't likely to materialize using a machine that is undersized, contains old technology or stops regularly due to mulch clogs. Epic pays attention to the fine details of HydroSeeding, and it's worth pointing out how and why our machines provide businesses even more value for their HydroSeeding investment.

The primary decision for anyone considering the purchase of a HydroSeeder is whether they should choose one with jet-driven agitation or paddle-driven agitation. Much of that choice depends on what kind of slurry you use.

Paddle-drive-agitation machines handle thicker slurries and large, absorbent mulch fibers such as wood. They move the materials in both directions at once. Jet-agitation machines are known for their ease of use and low maintenance since they have fewer moving parts. They're powered by a centrifugal pump and cost less than their paddle-driven counterparts.

Benefit #8: Hydraulics Create Smooth Operation

Most of Epic's HydroSeeders and HydroMulchers use an all-hydraulic drive system that powers the paddle shaft, spray pump and other main components. Some models include a mulch grinder to break up bales of mulch that's also powered by the hydraulics.

The absence of belts, chains, pulleys, tensioners and clutches create smooth, consistent operation. Epic's SmartSense Hydraulic System contains a load-sensing, pressure-compensating hydraulic pump and is the first of its kind included on a HydroMulcher.

Hydraulics gives you the freedom to design the machine for ease of access and maximum operator comfort, keeping them the greatest distance from the exhaust, heat and noise. With a hydraulic drive, the engine can be placed anywhere, unlike a direct-drive HydroSeeder, which must have its engine in the rear of the machine.

Benefit #9: A Built-in Tank Makes Flushing Faster

Some of Epic's HydroSeeders have an integrated flush tank that reduces the task of flushing from many minutes to a few seconds. The flush tank fills along with the slurry tank, and when you're ready to flush, you can shut the suction valve and open the drain valve to engage the spray pump for tank cleaning.

Benefit #10: Turrets Bring Reach, Speed and Customization

Most turret handles on Epic HydroSeeders adjust to three positions to make it more practical, functional and comfortable for operators to use. The turrets have a looped-handle design instead of a straight rod.

You can also choose the type of spray that works best for your industry and task, with options for a fanlike spray that is either narrow or wide, as well as a straight spray. HydroSeeders vary and may have a spray gun at the end of a long hose if it is a smaller one, or it might be a big, drivable vehicle with five or six turrets and spray guns aboard.

Turrets play a central role in enabling us to reach those hard-to-reach areas from a safe distance too. The option to have multiple sprayers and various sprays allows you to cover a lot of ground in little time. Users appreciate how Epic's turret-gun swivel joints have a split flange with sealed-pack bearings, so they're easy to change.

Benefit #11: Increased Speed and Efficiency

The design and blade surface of Epic's unique paddle-blade agitation system create speed and efficiency. It is part of what keeps things moving, moist and ready to spray.

Light-emitting-diode (LED) lights give a red or green signal to the driver as to when it's time to start or stop spraying, replacing the sound-alert system.

To expedite mixing, a number of our HydroSeeders feature a built-in mulch grinder that can process full bales of mulch. It breaks up and then grinds the mulch but prevents it from floating above the paddles and not blending in well.

Tank material makes a difference in HydroSeeding equipment because the mix used for it is corrosive. Historically, HydroSeeder tanks have been made out of steel and then coated to protect against corrosion, but that coating requires regular maintenance. Epic uses stainless steel tanks, which don't corrode or require much upkeep.

You might be surprised to know that the majority of Epic Manufacturing’s machines have all its features accessible to operators from the ground, including:

  • Engine components
  • Flush tank drain valve
  • Hose-reel control valve
  • Main suction valve
  • Recirculation line-control valve
  • Turret-control valve.

Besides offering safe application and maintenance, HydroSeeding is also completely non-toxic and safe for children, animals and the environment.

Benefit #12: Quality Equipment Reduces Downtime

Most people's complaint about HydroSeeding has to do with downtime due to clogs and routine maintenance, as well as reduced machine durability due to inferior design construction or materials. Epic machines address these and other issues on the wish list for HydroSeeders, such as better spray performance, faster mixing and flushing and less-cumbersome operation.

Once you invest in a new HydroSeeder, you'll need a skilled person on staff to operate it. Some companies have a real challenge in finding skilled labor. When you weigh the pros and cons of HydroSeeding, the scales tip in favor of the pros.

Epic Helps Hold Your Ground

Epic Manufacturing could elaborate much more on the benefits of HydroSeeding and HydroMulching and the finer points of the machines that do that work. They are our specialty, and we have deep, detailed knowledge to share, along with our industry-leading machines. View our product pages or get in contact with us for more information.