Hydroseeding application, Lake Tahoe, photo courtesy of Caltrans
Hydroseed and hydromulch are treatments in which seed, fiber (such as compost), tackifier (to increase stickiness), and other materials such as fertilizer are applied on disturbed soils with a hydraulic spray rig.
Where to Use Treatment
- Use for cut and fill slopes 2:1 (H:V) and flatter
- Use on disturbed areas larger than 0.5 acres
- Consider hand-seeding areas less than 0.5 acre
- Protect soil surface from erosion due to raindrop impact
- Conserve water/soil moisture
- Low initial cost compared to other treatments
- Vegetation from seeds can provide long-term erosion control
- Surface treatment only – does not improve underlying soil structure, improve soil biome, restore nutrients, sufficiently improve compacted soils, and does not always result in sufficient vegetative cover
- Higher application rates required for steeper slopes may inhibit seed germination and long-term establishment of vegetation
- Not efficient in treating disturbed areas less than 0.5 acres
Consider Using With
At sites where hydroseed may not stay in place, consider combining this treatment with netting or turf reinforcement mat. At sites with poor soils (compacted, nutrient depleted, or poorly draining), consider combining this treatment with local topsoil, compost blanket, incorporating compost, or roughening soil surface.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study on Hydroseeding
- Caltrans webpage on Hydroseed and Hydromulch
- Lin, Shin-Hwei et al. Vegetation Effect and Succession Analysis of Mixed Medium after Hydroseeding on Roadside Slopeland. International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:14 No:02.
- Faucette, L.B. et al (2006). Vegetation and soil quality effects from hydroseed and compost blankets used for erosion control in construction activities. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 61(6):355-362