Hydroseeding Application in lake tahoeHydroseeding 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

Benefits

  • 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

Limitations

  • 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.

Resources

Research