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How Much Does Hydroseeding A Lawn Cost?

Typical Range: $500 - $4,000

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Homeowners can expect to pay between $500 and $4,000, or an average of $1,000, for hydroseeding a typical 5,000 to 10,000 square foot lawn. Hydroseeding averages between $0.06 to $0.20 per square foot or $2,000 to $4,000 per acre. Small jobs of less than 500 sq. ft. will, instead, be charged an hourly rate of $24 to $30 per hour. However, most landscapers prefer to charge by the acre or square foot for greater accuracy.

Professionals include the prices of using their equipment into their rates. A 225-gallon machine is between $1,500 and $3,000 to buy. An industrial 2,500-gallon device can set a company back by $18,000. People who want to try DIY work can purchase cheaper alternatives at local stores. Lawn and hardware stores frequently sell spray mixtures for $20 to $80 per gallon.

It's best to hire a professional for the job because they supply the necessary equipment in their rate, know how to spread the mixture evenly, and can complete the task quickly. The average yard in the United States can take 4 or 5 hours of continuous work.

Hydroseeding is cost-effective compared to other methods like sod. All the required materials come in a liquid mixture and can be spread with a sprayer instead of by hand. One of the main benefits is that it's easier to cover an entire yard evenly because it is a spray. It also requires less physical effort.

Average Hydroseed Prices

The average price of seed is from $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot. The seed used in the procedure is inexpensive. Many of the expenses associated with hydroseeding come from the necessary equipment. You can find the following brands at stores like Lowe's, the Home Depot, and ACE or online retailers like Amazon and eBay.

Price and Coverage of Store-Bought Hydroseed
BrandPriceCoverage
Scott's$13300 sq. ft.
Nature's Seed$19500 sq. ft.
Grass Shot$17700 sq. ft.

Professionals order the seed for the process from supply stores or buy different varieties from manufacturers. Producers use different formulas, so the factors below affect the price of each product.

Materials in the Spray-on Grass Seed Mix

Products that claim to be environmentally friendly can sell for up to $80 per gallon, or $0.55 per square foot. A high-quality slurry will be more expensive because the manufacturer invested in better fertilizers or is avoiding the dyes in food coloring. A cheaper variation like the ones discussed above will only be $0.20 per square foot.

Spray-on grass seed does not use many materials. Some of the main ingredients include wood or paper mulch, grass seed, food coloring, and fertilizer.

Lawn Size - Acres & Square Footage

The amount of seed a lawn needs varies based on its size and shape. Below are some of the most common measurements for yards in several different units.

Hydroseed Cost for Different Lawn Sizes
Yard SizeAverage Total Cost
500 sq. ft.$100
1,000 sq. ft.$200
5,000 sq. ft.$1,000
10,000 sq. ft.$2,000
0.5 Acre$2,250
1 Acre$3,500

NOTE: Do not let the prices for the acres worry you. Professionals measure home lawns in square feet. The average yard will have 10,000 sq. ft. or less based on the location.

Yard Slope & Condition

Hydroseeding a small slope is a straightforward process with extra expense. The rule of thumb is to double the amount of seed, fertilizer and water for a sloped area. If the slope is gentle - 10 degrees or lower - it's not necessary to use extra supplies. Slopes between 20 and 25 degrees need double supplies. A slope lower than 5 degrees requires almost the same amount of materials of a flat surface.

It is difficult to treat a yard with a steeper gradient. Yards with slopes need more materials because there is increased runoff and drainage. One in poor condition will also take more fertilizer, seed, and water to restore the ground.

Professional services can calculate the exact amount of materials each area needs and give estimates. DIY landscapers need to estimate the extra quantities of supplies on their own. Thoroughly damaged and steep ground can cost property owners over three times more than a flat yard.

Consider making this and other lawn services easier and less expensive in the future by reshaping your yard. The cost for a pro to reslope a lawn ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.

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Calculating the Cost of Professional Hydromulching

"Hydromulching" and "hydroseeding" are interchangeable. Professional landscapers charge an average of $0.10 per square foot. This price includes a broad range of factors such as labor, fertilizer prices in their state, water scarcity and prices in the state, and equipment usage. Most professional landscapers will provide their own equipment and materials. They will incorporate the value of the equipment usage and slurry in their quotes and hourly rates.

Other professionals charge an average of $30 an hour to cover the equipment and labor needed to spray the material. Laborers with more experience will charge more, while an inexperienced crew could charge $24 per hour or less. Landscapers use hourly rates for jobs that are much smaller than average.

Acreage or Square Footage

The current average is $3,500 per acre and $0.10 per square foot. Most landscapers charge by the square foot, though per acre can be common for larger yards, and some companies offer discounts for oversized properties.

Many professional landscapers will measure a yard to determine acreage or square footage before providing a labor quote. The average expense to cover an acre or square foot varies by state because of differences in water scarcity and the price of supplies.

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Benefits of Hiring a Professional Landscaper

Hiring a professional is expensive, but not as expensive as buying the materials and equipment yourself. If you decide to DIY, you could spend between $1,500 and $10,000 to buy a hydroseeder.

Hydroseeding requires the exact size of the yard and calculations of both slope gradient and slurry material to cover the property. A professional can usually get the job done cheaper since they have more experience calculating these variables and can get materials at discounted rates.

A common, amateur mistake is using too much or too little of the hydroseed solution in their yards. Too much can drown existing plants. Too little can lead to underwhelming grass growth. Many professionals know how much material it takes to prevent killing existing grass while promoting new growth.

Preparing Your Lawn for a Professional

Growing new grass requires careful lawn preparation. Landscapers charge an average rate of $9 to $11 per hour. Talk to your lawn care provider about the following pre-hydroseeding appointment tips:

  • Remove any rocks larger than an egg from their lawn to prevent equipment interference
  • Kill or remove crabgrass a week in advance
  • Rake away dead debris
  • Avoid using chemicals or fertilizers for at least a week beforehand

More in-depth landscaping ranges between $350 and $2000.

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DIY Hydroseeding Equipment Costs

Most machines cost $1,500 to $10,000 to buy and $500 per day to rent. There are several pros and cons to each form of agitation, which changes the energy requirements of the machine and the price of the equipment overall.

Hydroseeding requires the use of a hose and a spraying machine. The majority of the equipment used during the process can hold between 600 and 900 gallons of slurry. The mixture is constantly agitated by either jets or paddles to keep it sprayable.

Jet Agitation

A typical machine is between $2,500 and $3,000 for a new 100-gallon model.

Jet agitation is the cheaper and easier mixing system for machines. It specializes in mixing thin slurries, using paper mulch as a fertilizer. You can buy this machine for significantly less than their paddle counterparts but will limit in the kind of slurry you can use. However, the inside of the equipment is easy to clean and maintain.

Erosion-risk areas should not use this method because jet agitation machines cannot process the necessary kind of mulch.

Paddle Agitation

A new model sells for $3,000 to $4,000 for a 100-gallon model.

Paddle agitation is more complicated than jet. The equipment breaks up slurries which use thick mulches like wood pulp. Thick slurry works well for areas facing erosion problems.

Hydraulics, or an encompassing mechanical system of pulleys and belts, power the paddles. Both are effective, but mechanical is more likely to break down. Whichever you choose, this tool is more difficult to use and repair but versatile.

Other Materials & Tools Needed

Most machines come with the hoses required to spray the mixture on a property. Besides the machine, a hose, and the slurry itself, you will need a way to transport the machine for a DIY job. Many people rent pickup trucks if they don't have one themselves, which can cost $20 per day or more. It's also possible to place the equipment on a trailer and hitch it to a vehicle capable of driving around the property.

Hydro Seeding Kits

If you don't want to invest the time and money into equipment and slurry, you can try a kit. The kits are inexpensive compared to professional work but also less effective. A standard kit can treat a 100-square-foot area and is between $25 and $35.

Unlike traditional products, the kits contain materials that will dehydrate faster and have less fertilizer. These kits come from hardware, general, and lawncare stores. Many are jugs of mousse or grass seed mixed with fertilizer that can be sprayed around a yard. Many people use kits as a supplement to otherwise healthy yards. The kits are especially useful for treating dry patches.

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Pros & Cons of Hydroseeding

Many homeowners choose to use hydroseeding because of its adaptability and variety.

ProsCons
  • Grass Seed and Fertilizer Variety
  • Covers a Large Area
  • Greater Grass Disease Resistance
  • Saves Money in Comparison to Other Methods
  • Expensive for Small Lawns
  • Requires a Lot of Water
  • Damp Conditions Result in Weeds

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Hydroseed vs. Sod vs. Broadcast Grass Seeding

Sod is grass seed which has already grown. It is sold in sections that include the grown grass, fertilizer, and soil held together with roots. Simply placing these pre-grown sections allows you to achieve the healthy lawn you want, fast.

Broadcast grass seeding is the process of spraying grass seed on top of the soil with some sort of seeder.

Both sod and broadcast are different from hydroseeding, which is applying slurry to an area and giving the seed time to germinate in moisture.

All three methods come with different levels of involvement and opportunities for plant growth. Sod is the most hands-off and simply requires laying the already grown grass. Broadcast grass seeding requires some physical labor, but sprays seeds around a yard so they can grow. Hydroseeding is the most in-depth and complex because of the nature of the equipment required and the slurry.

Below are the pros and cons of sod and broadcast grass seeding in comparison to the process discussed above.

Sod

Sod is the quickest way to get a healthy lawn. Most people can have sod installed for between $1,000 to $2,700.

ProsCons
  • Sod can be installed during any time of the year
  • Doesn't need as much water as regular seed
  • Can be laid at any required angles
  • Takes root more reliably than seed
  • Some sod wonÂ’t take in the new soil and needs to be replaced
  • Much more expensive than regular seed
  • Harder to install than seed

Broadcast Grass Seeding

Most people in the United States use a form of broad grass seeding because of its ease and low price.

ProsCons
  • Easy to use on slopes
  • Easy to spread
  • Can use any type of grass seed you want
  • Cheaper than other options
  • Hard to get into the soil
  • The yard won't be usable for several months
  • Need to water the lawn daily

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FAQs

What is Hydroseeding?

This is when grass seed, fertilizer, some form of mulch, and water are mixed into a slurry and sprayed over an area to encourage grass growth.

Does Hydromulching Require Unsafe Chemicals?

The products used during hydromulching have low toxicity ratings. This means they are unlikely to hurt humans and pets but should still not be ingested. The ingredients in the fertilizers should transfer from the slurry to the ground after the lawn is watered roughly six times. Dogs and cats are unlikely to eat the slurry because it does not smell appetizing. Overall, this means the ingredients are relatively safe.

How Much is Rental Equipment for a DIY job?

Many hardware stores and landscaping companies rent hydroseeders to interested property owners. Most seeding business own 600 to 900-gallon machines and charge an average of $500 per day. Some companies offer discounted rates for extended rentals of three days or more.

When is the Best Time to Hydroseed?

There are several "best times" to hydroseed. Spring and fall are great times to seed while saving money and conserving water. Summer seeding is best If you want the grass to grow as quickly as possible. Heat allows the seed to germinate and grow faster than it would in chilly weather.

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