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How to Prepare for Hydroseeding

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hydroseeding a lawn is a process in which a liquid mix of grass seed, water, fertilizer and fiber mulch is sprayed onto the lawn. The process is lower in cost than laying sod and less labor-intensive than self-seeding the area. Once the area is prepared, the sprayed mixture adheres to the smooth soil and has a lesser chance of washing or blowing away. The fiber mulch adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes.

Preparing the Lawn

Kill existing lawn by applying herbicide to the grass area. The chemicals will take approximately three weeks to kill all grass and weeds. Clear dead grass and debris prior to tilling the soil.

Till the lawn area to loosen soil to a depth of at least 4 inches. Rake and smooth the area by filling in low areas and holes. Adjust the grade of the lawn, if needed. All debris must be removed from the lawn prior to seeding.

Verify the soil pH level with an at-home pH test. Consult with the hydroseeding company as to the appropriate pH level for the grass type being used. High pH levels are lowered by applying sulfur to the soil. Increase the pH level of the soil by applying ground limestone. Start by applying small amounts of the substance to slowly change the pH. Test the soil after several days and apply more if needed.

Use a lawn roller to lightly compact the ground prior to seeding. A lawn roller looks like a small manual steam roller and can be rented from a local gardening or rental store. Fill the lawn roller a quarter full with water for weight because hydroseeding does not respond well to heavily compacted ground.

Water the lawn well the two days prior to hydroseeding, making sure the water saturates several inches into the soil. Install underground sprinkler systems prior to hydroseeding as this will assist with watering and prevent damage to newly planted grass.

Seed will germinate quickly and be ready for mowing approximately three to four weeks after seeding. Contact the hydroseeding company if areas did not grow or the seed was not well covered because spot treatment might be needed.


Things You Will Need

  • Lawn tiller
  • Rake
  • pH testing kit
  • Limestone or sulfur
  • Lawn roller
  • Water sprinkler


  • Get several estimates from hydroseeding companies. Make sure the type of grass seed being used is included in the price quote. Verify that the seed type is one preferred for your area.
  • Follow care and maintenance instructions after seeding for best results.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.