Hydroseeding, also referred to as hydraulic mulch seeding, hydro-mulching or hydraseeding; is a versatile alternative to turfing or conventional seeding . In response to increasing demand, Knighton Countryside have recently purchased a Finn T60S HydroSeeder. This is a compact, skid mounted machine with an application range of 27m, making it ideal for contracting use on projects such as construction sites, habitat creation and enhancement, and private landscaping. Hydroseeding is an exceptionally good alternative to conventional planting or turfing, offering quick establishment and evenly distibuted seed coverage. It is particularly useful for controlling erosion, as it can be used on areas that are otherwise inaccessible.
How does it work?
The tank of the hydroseeder is used to create a ‘slurry’ a thick mixture of water, seeds, and mulch. This is then applied to the area that needs seeding by a powerful pump and hose.
The seed is always mixed evenly throughout the slurry, as the tank constantly ‘stirs’ to keep distribution even. This means that the application rates are consistent.
Why choose Hydroseeding?
Conventional methods of creating areas of lawn or meadow are very effective and can be the most sensible choice for some projects. However, here are some key factors that can make Hydroseeding the most effective solution.
Turf growers mass produce a limited range of cultivated species, often chosen for their speed of growth. They may not be the best species for your project, particularly if the soil type or ph of the new location is significantly different from the harvest site. Hydroseeding allows us to create a mix tailored exactly to your requirements, ensuring the greatest possible success rates. Both turf and seed are both complex to use on sloped or uneven areas, and both require much more intensive maintenance and irrigation in the early stages.
Hydroseeding allows for complete control over seed varieties. Wildflowers and even tree and shrub seeds can be included in the mix, and they will also benefit from the ideal growing conditions created by the mulch. The distribution will be even and consistent over the planned area.
Mulch can be varied in amount and type. Made from inert organic fibres, its purpose is to form a textile blanket over the ground to be seeded This helps retain moisture, and gives every seed a place to germinate successfully, as each one is in contact with a suitable basis for growth.
Hydro-fertiliser products are specifically designed for hydromulching application. These deliver slow release NPK fertilisers (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) to emerging grass plants to provide young seedlings with the necessary nutrients they require to establish strong root mass.
Biostimulants are specialist substances used to stimulate seeds to meet their healthy, maximum potential and cause regeneration of healthy soil. They are not fertilizers, but using them can greatly reduce fertiliser use. Biostimulants contain the bacteria, hormones, soil microbes and nutrients required by new grass plants as they germinate and develop.
Tackifiers or Soil Binders are added to the hydroseeding mixture to bind the seed, fertiliser and mulch to the soil surface. Tackifiers also act to protect the seed from wind, water erosion and drought. These are high quality Polyacrylimide products specially designed to re-wet slowly, providing increased moisture retention When mixed with water, the tackifier swells, activating its adhesive qualities. All the tackifiers used are biodegradable.
Knighton use the relatively small Finn T60S Hydroseeder. This is skid mounted, and as such it can be deployed from numerous different machines, allowing us to access all areas. The mulch can be applied as far as 27m from the machine, so that we can avoid taking heavy machines onto eco sensitive areas. Because of their small size, the machines are easily transportable around the country, and as well as being suitable for large scale application they can equally be used effectively for private landscaping projects such as new lawns.
Erosion Control in the Construction, Highways and Rail Industry.
Planting for erosion control can be difficult. Often areas will need a considerable amount of work to prepare a suitable seed bed, or will require erosion control blankets or turfing. If this is necessary on sloping or inaccessible areas, such as railway and motorway embankments, then hydroseeding is the answer. Knighton’s staff hold all the necessary qualifications for working on these safety critical sites, and can offer teams of PTS trained operatives.
When installed properly by a professional hydroseeding contractor such as Knighton Countryside Management Ltd, the technique creates an erosion control blanket, effectively ‘locking-down’ the soils, whilst the seed germinates in the mulch. Depending on the fibre product used, the textile blanket can remain in place for up to 24 months. This allows the seeding to become strongly established before the fibres break down organically.
Habitat Creation for Ecological Projects
In terms of Ecological Mitigation work and Habitat Creation, hydroseeding has a distinct advantage over conventional planting, in that it produces excellent coverage very quickly. Where a conventionally seeded site might take up to a year to establish as adequate habitat, hydroseeded vegetation can develop within the same season, allowing times on site and delays to development to be reduced.
Hydroseeding products can be used on saturated areas, and can also be used for dormant seeding during winter or summer. In addition, they can be used on highly eroded barren or rocky areas to help re-establish growth.
Hydroseeding is now being used to re-establish vegetation on waterways. This is particularly useful where areas have been cleared of invasive species, and new areas of native growth need to be established quickly.
Because Hydroseeding established planting so quickly, it is a great choice for and project that needs to show results quickly. Conventional seeding or turfing is very effective, and is a method often used by Knighton Countryside. However, for various reasons, these methods can take a while to look good. Unless they are planted at times when the right temperature and irrigation can be managed, they can be hard to look after. Hydroseeding produces quick results and, because of the ability to add the various products to the slurry mix, requires less input in the early stages. This also makes it ideal for situations where lawns or turf need repairing quickly.
Of course, there is still very much a place for conventional seeding, and Knighton have the capacity to offer both seeding and turfng if required. Our equipment ranges from large agricultural machines through to compact lightweight solutions with narrow implements, ideal for amenity projects with difficult access and embankments.
Knighton Countryside can offer any combination of conventional seeding and hydroseeding expertise & equipment to enable the completion of the even the most complex of seeding projects, on time and to budget