Nearly every homeowner has, at some point, dealing with the painfully slow process of growing grass or the expensive option of putting down sod. Hydroseeding is a relatively new seeding method, whereby a mixture of grass seed, water, mulch, biostimulants, and other components are sprayed onto the area you’re seeding. The result is an easy application process, faster germination, low soil erosion, and a lower cost than placing sod.

TruGreen, our top-recommended lawn care company, doesn’t provide hydroseeding services, but we still strongly recommend its fertilization and lawn care services after you’ve hydroseeded your lawn. TruGreen can help protect your investment in a hydroseeding company or a DIY hydroseeding kit by maintaining thick, lush, green grass for years to come.

    Fast application
    More cost-effective than sod
    Rapid rate of germination
    Takes longer than sod to get to a useable lawn
    More expensive than normal seeding
    Much better results from professional services

    Hydroseeding Process Overview

    Hydroseeding involves using equipment to spray a mixture of lawn seed and other materials, called slurry, onto your property. In most cases, the spray includes grass seed — sometimes pre-germinated for faster growth — water, mulch or wood fiber, and fertilizer to boost growth, as well as some substance to offer erosion control and moisture retention — like paper mulch — which is usually called “tackifier.”

    Once the dirt is prepped, the technician will use a hose to direct the slurry spray onto your property where you want grass grown. Professionals use commercial hydroseeding equipment, which you can also rent, including a large storage tank and motor to distribute the slurry. Small-scale DIY solutions for purchase usually involve a garden hose connected to a small container of grass slurry.

    Hydroseeding is also known as hydromulching or hydraulic mulch seeding. Although these names may sound daunting, hydroseeding is a process that has been around for more than 50 years and is a proven seeding technique. Hydroseed is the term for the slurry placed in your hydroseeding equipment or the seed mixture that comes in your DIY hydroseeding kit. This slurry determines the type of grass you’ll grow, how quickly you’ll see results, and how thick and lush your lawn is in the long run.

    Spray-on grass seeding is an increasingly popular option because germination and growth are often faster than standard seeding, but the cost is far less than putting down sod. Most standard lawns under 10,000 square feet will cost between $500 and $3,500 for professional hydroseeding. Hydroseeding also applies all of the necessary components for growing grass at once, reducing application time.

    How to Hydroseed: 10 Steps

    Below you’ll find a brief guide on how to hydroseed your property. These steps apply whether you choose to DIY this home improvement project or hire a professional lawn care company to do it for you.

    1. Select the Seed You Want

    First, you’ll need to choose the grass seed you want on your property. Hydroseeding allows you to customize seed blends based on your local climate or personal preference. If you plan to do the hydroseeding yourself, your local garden center can help you choose an appropriate mixture. If you hire a professional, they should guide you instead.

    2. Test Your Soil

    Soil tests might seem like an unnecessary step, but they will ultimately determine what components go into your slurry. You’re spending good money on hydroseeding, and a soil test will optimize your soil conditions for healthy grass growth and help choose the suitable lawn fertilizer and soil amendments.

    If you’d like to learn how to effectively test your soil, we recommend you explore our article that outlines practical ways to test soil pH.

    3. Remove Weeds, Rocks, and Debris

    Next, you’ll want to prep the soil. This involves removing weeds, wildflowers, rocks, and any other debris that will hinder the grass growth or leave your yard uneven.

    4. Grade the Soil

    If you don’t have a level property, now is the time to fix that. Grading your soil gently away from your home will help reduce foundation damage and leaking, and leveling small, uneven areas is far easier before the grass starts to grow.

    5. Lay Topsoil & Compost

    Once your existing dirt is prepped, you’ll want to add topsoil and compost to give the grass seed the ideal environment for growth. These soil additions will offer pH stabilization and optimize the nutrient levels of your dirt before the seed goes down.

    6. Re-grade the Soil

    Now that the topsoil and compost are down, gently re-grade the soil away from your home and level out any spots that may have been messed up during the topsoil application.

    7. Prep the Hydroseeder

    If you rented a hydroseeder, prepare the agitator now for application. Add your high-quality dry seed mixture, water, fertilizer, and any other components and biostimulants that you plan to put down on your soil.

    8. Spray the Hydroseed

    Now it’s time to apply your hydroseeding slurry. Walk the area and use the hose to spray an even ground cover. Be careful not to leave any bare spots, as this will invite weed growth and leave you with a weed-encroached lawn.

    9. Maintain Your Lawn

    After the hydroseeding work is done, you’ll want to continue to water the area two to three times a day with your sprinklers until the grass grows to a few inches tall. After that, you can reduce it to once a day. Most homeowners see growth in just seven to 10 days after hydroseeding. We recommend you check out our comprehensive article to discover effective strategies and techniques on how to promote quick grass growth.

    Hydroseeding Compared to Other Methods

    Hydroseeding is just one option for getting that beautiful lawn established quickly. Other popular methods include traditional seeding and laying down sod. Each of these methods has its upsides and drawbacks compared to the other options, and the one best for your home will depend on your budget, time and effort you want to put in, and lawn type.

    Laying Sod

    Laying sod involves putting down strips of pre-grown grass — called sod — over your prepared soil. Sod strips can be cut to fit any dimension property, and they leave you with a new lawn right away. You still need to water regularly, but your yard will appear established as soon as the installation is complete.

    Sod is the most expensive option for growing grass, often totaling more than double what hydroseeding costs. Additionally, the options for the type of grass are more limited than seeding. However, the instant lawn and the fact that sod can be laid any time of year make it an appealing option for those who have the money to invest.

    Traditional Seeding

    Traditional seeding is probably the method most homeowners think of when they imagine growing grass. It’s the most labor-intensive option, and results take the longest, by far. However, traditional seeding is the most cost-effective option, and the seed options and blends are limitless.

    Traditional seeding involves preparing your soil, spreading seed, fertilizer, and amendments with a garden spreader, and then diligently watering to help the seeds germinate and establish a root system. Traditional seeding is often less than half as expensive as hydroseeding, but it can take about six to 10 weeks before you see real results.


    Reseeding, the process of planting new grass seeds to rejuvenate a lawn or field, can vary in cost depending on factors such as the size of the area to be reseeded, the type of grass seed chosen, and whether professional assistance is required.

    Typically, the cost to reseed a lawn (a small residential lawn) might range anywhere from $100 to $500, while larger commercial or sports fields may require a more substantial investment, ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. The expense is influenced by factors like soil preparation, seed quality, and any additional maintenance services, making it essential to budget accordingly for this essential landscaping task.

    When to Use Hydroseed vs. Sod vs. Grass Seed

    Hydroseeding isn’t for everyone, and other seeding methods might suit you better or more appropriately meet your expectations for growth. Below is a brief guide to help you decide which method is right for you.

    • Hydroseed: Hydroseeding is best if you want rapid lawn development but don’t want to pay the high prices for sod. It’s most cost-effective and appropriate for medium to large areas and seeding projects.
    • Sod: Sod is, by far, your best option if you want your lawn to look full quickly and don’t mind paying about double the cost of hydroseeding for immediate results.
    • Traditional Seed: Traditional seeding is ideal for homeowners looking to minimize costs and don’t mind waiting six to 10 weeks for results.

    Benefits of Hydroseeding

    Hydroseeding is a popular option for homeowners who want rapid results but don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for sod. Below are some of the most appealing benefits of hydroseeding:

    • Cheaper than sod
    • Faster results than traditional seeding
    • Unlimited options for seed mixture/grass species
    • Optimizes soil pH and nutrient levels
    • Helps maintain soil moisture for germination
    • Leads to uniform growth
    • Fast application process

    Final Thoughts

    Hydroseeding is a great intermediate option for growing grass; it offers faster results, demands less work than traditional seeding, and costs far less than laying sod. Ultimately, you’ll have to choose which method is right for you, but hydroseeding might be ideal if you’re looking to balance your budget and your results timeline.

    Once you’ve hydroseeded your lawn and have gotten some decent growth, you’ll want to protect your investment by maintaining your yard. Our top recommendation for professional lawn care is TruGreen. This company has customizable lawn care plans based on your budget and needs. Its techs are professional and knowledgeable. All results are based on soil tests and a personalized approach to fertilization and maintenance.

    To learn more: TruGreen Review and TruGreen Costs

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much does hydroseed cost?

    Hydroseeding is usually priced based on the square footage of the area you want to be seeded. For standard lawns under a quarter-acre, you can expect to pay between $500 and $3,500 for professional hydroseeding services.

    Can I hire someone to hydroseed my lawn?

    Yes, absolutely! Many professional lawn care companies offer this service. In fact, professional hydroseeding is recommended over a DIY job because most homeowners see better results when an expert completes the work. In most cases, the added labor cost is worth the investment.

    Can I use my lawn after hydroseeding?

    Just like with traditional seeding, you should limit any foot traffic on a hydroseeded lawn until after the grass is long enough to mow — usually around three to four weeks with hydroseeding. The longer you wait, the better established the grass will be, and the less damage you’ll do.

    Should I use hydroseed or regular seed?

    Hydroseed is a great option for homeowners who don’t mind paying more than traditional seeding for expedited results. Hydroseeding typically yields results in as little as a week and can be exposed to light foot traffic in about half the time as traditional seeding. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide which method is best for your needs and expectations.

    Today's Homeowner Rating & Methodology

    At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each lawn company/service according to our methodology.

    Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each lawn care service’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the lawn care companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

    We developed a formula to objectively determine the best lawn care companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

    • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
    • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at the number of lawn care coverages, including weed control, seeding, irrigation, aeration, dethatching, and more.
    • Trust (10): What do customers say after their lawn has been serviced? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
    • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same lawn services.
    • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as organic treatments, pest control, or a mobile app? We looked for perks each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
    • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
    • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.
    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Elisabeth Beauchamp

    Elisabeth Beauchamp

    Senior Staff Writer

    Elisabeth Beauchamp is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner’s Lawn and Windows categories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Journalism and Linguistics. When Elisabeth isn’t writing about flowers, foliage, and fertilizer, she’s researching landscaping trends and current events in the agricultural space. Elisabeth aims to educate and equip readers with the tools they need to create a home they love.

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    photo of Lora Novak

    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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