Hydromulch vs. Hydroseed

Hydromulch vs. Hydroseed: What’s The Difference?

Do you need immediate vegetation? A bare lawn looks ugly and it’s a thorn in the flesh for every homeowner. Besides, what’s worse than having the most unattractive yard in the block?

Worry not! There are ways you can redeem the bare land for something desirable. Hydromulch and hydroseed are efficient methods that give impressive results.

Hydromulching consists of slurry, a mixture of water, grass seeds, fiber mulch, fertilizer, and tackifier. The solidified hydroseeding mixture holds onto the soil, stabilizing it to limit erosion. Depending on the slurry, watering, and climate, it takes 5-7 days for the lawn to start sprouting. 

While these two terms are often interchangeable, let’s look at the notable differences of hydromulch vs. hydroseed. Read to the end!

What Is Hydromulch?

Hydromulching adds a fiber-mulch to the mixture of water, seed, fertilizer, and optional color dye. The fiber-mulch takes the role of the seed cover but degrades after several months.

Also, the mixture contains a tackifier that acts as an adhesive for holding the soil in place. It retains moisture for germination and limits soil erosion and rain from washing away the seeds.

The homeowner sprays the seeds over a targeted area. The spraying occurs from a mounted tank through discharge nozzles for even application. What’s more?

Remarkably, you get to choose what to grow on your lawn from a wide selection of seeds. Your location also affects how well your grass develops to give you a unique property.

What Is Hydroseeding?

This is a mixture that consists of grass seed, water, and fertilizer. Usually, the preferred seeds of hydroseeding are rye and bluegrass. Hydroseeding occurs on the bare soil of your yard.  

You don’t wake up and decide to hydroseed your yard. The state of your lawn determines how long you’ll wait to start hydroseeding.

Typically, rye shoots within 7-10 days since it grows faster than bluegrass. The first and quick growth of rye is ideal because it protects the bluegrass as it germinates.

Do you see the beautiful and lush green on perfect turfs? That is bluegrass. Typically, bluegrass is the sought-after grass for most lawns. It’s very soft on the feet, and the dark green is eye-catching. Additionally, it takes 3-4 weeks to grow and infill the entire lawn.

Comparison of Hydromulch vs. Hydroseed

Undeniably, having the prettiest lawn in the block is a point of pride and identity. So, many homeowners are turning to hydromulch and hydroseed to improve their yards.

Take a look at the comparison of essential features of hydroseed vs. sod below. This helps you make the perfect choice for your lawn.

Lawn Development

How’s The Application?

Firstly, the mixture of hydromulch is thicker than that of hydroseed. This is because it contains a tackifier to hold the ground surface against soil erosion. Even though fiber mulch has adhesive features, adding a tackifier holds the loose straw.

Usually, hydromulch is ideal for severely burnt areas or bare land after construction. Hydromulch is hardly recommended for a site with more rock or appreciable needle-cast. It’s also not advisable to hydromulch in the first year after a fire.

The application of hydromulch is by a tank and spray nozzle. You can also opt for aerial application; however, it is hard to achieve uniform application. In the end, the aerial application does a poor job of preventing soil erosion.

Conversely, you can hydroseed any bare land that needs cover. For hydroseed, the split application is better than applying everything at once. Hydroseeded grass grows 3 inches tall and is ready for mowing 4-6 weeks after application. Better yet, your family can enjoy playing and relaxing on a hydroseeded lawn after about three months.

When Is The Right Time?

The best seasons to hydromulch and hydroseed are spring and fall. The warm soil and average rain help the young seedlings to develop deep roots. On the other hand, winter makes the grass grow dormant, awaiting warmer temperatures.

Like hydromulch, hydroseed grass can reject to grow a root system. However, this is unlikely to happen if you correctly prepped the lawn and hydroseed mixture.

Also, watering both hydromulched and hydroseeded lawns is a must. Plus, the watering routine should be strict and regular with a lot of water. Watering must be done several times a day until eight weeks of growth during the hot season. 

Unfortunately, both techniques are vulnerable to soil erosion. Because of the top application of the seeds, they may take a long time to grow roots. The growing of roots depends on the condition of the lawn. That’s why it helps prepare the bare land before application to speed up the germination process.

Price and Convenience

Typically, the price and convenience of each method is significant factor when making a favorable decision. Let’s see how this works out;


Generally, both hydroseed and hydromulch methods are economical. You’ll be paying for only the equipment and labor if you don’t want to DIY.

In hydromulching, it would help if you let the erosion experts determine the rates. This  depends on the bare land’s level of protection and site features. Furthermore, the application method and material rates play an essential role in pricing.

Alternatively, hydroseeding only requires buying the materials to apply on the bare soil. As for the labor, you can DIY from the start to full-grown turf. Therefore, the cost of hydroseeding is somehow less than hydromulching.

Hydroseeding generally costs $.06-$.15 per square foot. The price varies depending on the climate, grass type, and soil additives. 

Furthermore, some states ask for licensing to apply some soil additives. Licensing doesn’t come free. Also, remember that frequent and much watering during hot seasons adds to the water bills. 

You still need to consider the cost of different grass seeds for both approaches. Well, the beautiful and lush lawn you desire doesn’t come cheap either way.


The value of hydroseeding is in the cost of labor as it doesn’t require a team to complete. While using the mixture is convenient, the split application can be tiring. This is unlike hydromulching, which involves spraying everything at once.

Ideally, hydroseed and hydromulch aren’t the most economical methods for small areas. This is because of the cost of specialized equipment. 

The tank usually covers up to 3,500 square feet or more. So, paying for a small area is the same as paying for a large one. See, there’s no value for your money!

While you can DIY, an expert’s touch would give you better and quicker results.

Mixing of the materials requires a unique technique and balance. Still, the mixture should be thorough before application. 

A professional also supplies the necessary equipment for use. In addition, the state of the equipment also determines the application. Hence, a professional would know how to use it properly.

Health and Appearance

Hydroseeding and hydromulching approaches provide a healthy lawn. This is because they don’t involve transplanting of seeds but even application. Also, the root system grows intact without any interference.

Because the seeds grow where they land, it will be impossible for the grass to shift.

The uniform application of both processes results in a neat lawn. Unlike laying sods, your yard won’t have seams or patches. However, opting for hydromulch aerial application can result in unevenness. You also need not worry about your lawn drying out because of the frequent watering in hydroseeding and hydromulching.

Since you’ll be using several types of grass seed, your grass will have more excellent disease resistance. Besides, more grass seeds bring out a catchy and lush appearance. The amount and type of tackifier determine how long the grass stays.

Furthermore, both hydroseed and hydromulch require a properly prepared lawn before application. Usually, constructions and fires tend to destroy most topsoil. So, it would be best to add 4 inches of quality topsoil before application. This makes a massive difference in the outcome of your lawn.

The use of hydromulching and hydroseeding is entirely safe and eco-friendly. With high limitations to soil erosion once fully developed, the environment is safe. Moreover, the mixture contains biodegradable ingredients that won’t harm the soil.

Care and Maintenance

Both seeding methods require optimal care at the beginning.

 A soil test will be advisable if you aren’t sure of the condition of the soil. Also, frequent watering, especially in sunny seasons, is mandatory. For both hydromulch and hydroseeding, you should keep off the seeded lawn for a while.

After a month, the grassroots are healthy and firmly in place. So, you can access your lawn and reduce the frequency of care. Better still, you can start mowing when the grass exceeds the desired height.

Hydromulch vs. Hydroseed – Final Take

Which is better in hydromulch vs. hydroseed?

Both hydromulching and hydroseeding are excellent methods of lawn establishment. Nonetheless, they are also very similar, as noted above. Both approaches are ideal because time and money are fundamental aspects to consider.

If you can’t stand seeing a bare and ugly lawn but have a strict budget, either option helps. They are economical, and the results are quick.

All in all, hydromulch is a better option for both large and small areas in need of immediate vegetation. It will hold in place longer because it consists of heavier slurry.

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