When you need a new lawn you have a lot of choices. Hydroseeding is one. Sod is another choice. Dry seeding with straw or compost is another.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE OPTIONS
HYDRO SEEDING VS. SOD
Sod has one big advantage. It is instant. They come and sod your lawn and at the end of the day you have a nice lawn. It also has a number of disadvantages. One big disadvantage is cost. The cost to sod a lawn is often 5 times the cost to hydro seed a lawn and with a quality hydro seeding job after 3 weeks or so the hydro seeded lawn usually can look every bit as nice as a lawn installed with sod.
A hydro seeded lawn is healthier than a sodded lawn. One reason for this is that the sod is grown on different soil than you have on your lawn. Another reason is that with sod the roots are cut very short. Sod requires a lot of water as does hydro seeding but sometimes it is easy to neglect a sod lawn and that may cause problems. If a sod lawn is not properly installed it can fail. I have seen sod lawns that even a year after sodding look like it can be rolled right up again. A proper sod install takes skill. If it is not installed properly the job can fail. The real thing is that you can have a quality hydroseeded lawn that will be a healthier lawn for a fraction of the cost of sod.
HYDROSEEDING VS. DRY SEEDING
Just spreading seed over the prepared surface does not keep the seed moist enough to germinate. Often some kind of mulch is used. Straw is a common mulch, compost is another product sometimes used as a mulch. Straw has a lot of disadvantages. Among them are that it tends to clump. It can blow off. It needs to be raked off once the grass germinates and that can cause damage to the new lawn. It does not detract birds from eating the seed so you will often have fat birds even if you don’t have a good lawn. Birds wont’ eat seed that has been hydroseeded. Straw contains weed seed so you will likely have more weeds in a lawn that has been dry seeded and mulched with straw. Compost is a better choice than straw but still not as effective as hydro seeding. Compost is hard to apply evenly and clumps and doesn’t provide a true seal to retain moisture as hydro seeding does. It is also very labor intensive.
HYDROSEEDING VS. SLIT SEEDING
Slit seeding is an excellent way to overseed a thin lawn. It cuts a slit in the soil and drops a seed into the slit. Hydro Seeding is a better method of seeding a complete lawn or repairing dead spots and construction damage. Silt seeding works best of flat lawns and some areas such as between sidewalks and curbs, hillsides, and areas close to houses or between landscape features such as were a mulch bed joins a sidewalk are nearly impossible to seed with a slit seeder. They are a breeze for a hydro seeder. Slit seeding does not have the mulch layer to keep the seed moist unless it is applied in a separate step.