Our lawns play an essential role in the look of our homes, so it’s no wonder we spend so much time and money on them. Spray-on grass seed might seem like a simple solution for growing grass, but does it really work? Also, how does it compare in terms of effectiveness and cost to simply hiring the best lawn care company in your area?
In this guide, I’ll take a look at spray-on grass seed, share insight into how you should use it, and recommend a few options like Hydro Mousse that you can use to get the green and lush lawn you’ve always dreamed of.
What Are Spray-on Grass Seeds?
Spray-on grass seed, also known as hydroseeding, applies grass seed to the soil using a mixture of grass seed, water, fiber mulch, and other additives such as fertilizers. It often uses a tackifier or bonding agent to hold the mix better together.
You can also apply this slurry mixture to existing lawns without grass seed, known as hydromulching. Hydromulching is more common on established lawns and is used to fight erosion. You’ll usually see the terms “hydromulching” and “hydroseeding” interchangeably.
What Are the Best Spray-on Grass Seeds for Your Lawn?
If spray-on grass seed seems like a no-brainer, I want to recommend some of my favorites to you.
I chose these based on the type of grass seed offered, total coverage, cost, ease of use, compatibility and flexibility with climates, and overall ratings online.
Let’s take a look at some products you can find on Amazon.
Hydro Mousse Liquid Lawn
Hydro Mousse is one of the most popular spray-on grass seeds as seen on TV that claims to be able to grow grass wherever you spray it and transform a drab yard into a green paradise.
One of the standout features of Hydro Mousse Liquid Lawn is its use of high-quality grass seed. The product utilizes a blend of premium grass seed varieties carefully selected to thrive in various conditions.
Whether you have sandy soil, clay soil, or a mix of both, Hydro Mousse provides a diverse seed mix of tall fescue, Bermuda grass, ryegrass, and bluegrass to accommodate different soil types. The quality of the grass seed ensures that you achieve a dense and healthy lawn.
All you need to do is attach the bag to your garden hose, and it’ll cover up to 500 square feet of overseeding and 165 square feet for new lawns.
It coats the seeds with a green overspray so you can tell what you’ve sprayed so you don’t walk through it or spray too much in certain areas.
What I Like
You can’t beat the simplicity of this spray-on lawn seed. Hook it up to your hose, spray down the yard, and you’re good to go. You can use this to get a green lawn with any grass type, and you don’t have to worry about whether the area gets full sun.
What I Don’t Like
There’s a lot of inconsistency here, and that’s what happens when you purchase a “blanket” product like this. It’s an assortment of grass seed designed to appeal to the masses, and what it does in most cases is appeal to no one when it doesn’t work.
Customer reviews back this up because a lot of people have had little to no success with Hydro Mousse, while others claim it’s changed their life.
Overall, I think the cost makes it worth trying, even if it doesn’t work. I wouldn’t recommend using this spray-on grass seed for your entire yard, but I think it could be a useful option for spot seeding.
Here is a video providing some more context on how effective Hydro Mousse can be in the right conditions:
Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food
If you’ve ever done any form of lawn care, you’ve heard of Scotts Turf Builder. The product aims to make it easier and simpler for you to get a lush lawn by including the seed in an easy-to-use spray.
Just like the previous example, it uses a blanket method of appealing to a large assortment of people by including a premium grass seed blend. The high-quality seeds ensure that your lawn achieves a thick and vibrant appearance.
Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food demonstrates compatibility with various climates and soils. It’s formulated to cater to various environmental conditions, from hot and dry regions to cooler climates. The fertilizer contains essential nutrients beneficial for new grass growth, irrespective of the soil type.
When it comes to the cost of hydroseeding, I think you get a little more bang for your buck with Scotts Turf Builder. It’s more affordable and covers more grass as well.
What I Like
One thing you can’t argue with is a good review, and this product has a lot of them compared to some of the other options here. It’s one reason you go with a trusted brand over the unknown. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food has a lot of great results and positive feedback.
What I Don’t Like
The main thing that’s different about this product compared to the Hydro Mousse is that you’re not actually spraying seeds here. It’s more of a liquid fertilizer designed for when you have seedlings already growing. You can’t spray this on bare dirt and expect grass to grow.
So, long story short, there aren’t a lot of options for spray-on grass seed, and while this might not magically sprout grass, it’s a great option if you can lay down some seed and get it to sprout. This product will do the rest.
Hippie Green Grass Spray
Lastly, let’s look at another spray-on grass seed that actually uses seed and can start from soil. The Hippie Green spray doesn’t have the reviews and reputation to back it up, but I’ve seen this used occasionally and heard a handful of people recommend it as a good option.
It’s a concentrated liquid formula, and it comes with a sprayer, so for one, you really get your money’s worth. For two, you can spray it on bare spots of your lawn caused by lack of attention, dog urine, or dryness; within 2–3 weeks, you should have greener grass.
What I Like
Again, it’s super simple to use. The only thing that makes it more complicated than some of the other options is that you must mix the concentrate yourself. The upside is that you get more bang for your buck because the concentrate will stretch further.
What I Don’t Like
There’s a lot of unknown to products like these, especially because there’s a lack of positive results, reviews, and customer experiences. Another major downside is that this product will stain the heck out of anything you get it on.
It’s designed this way on purpose so you can tell where you’ve sprayed, but be very careful around driveways, patios, decks, vehicles, landscaping, and anything else you don’t want to look green.
How Should You Apply Spray-on Grass Seed?
The steps in hydroseeding aren’t any different from planting grass seed the traditional way, except for the spraying. Whether you’re hydroseeding, using conventional seeding, or laying sod, you want the seed or grass to go on welcoming soil, so you must prepare the ground.
While aeration is definitely optional, I think it’s a helpful first step toward getting yourself the beautiful lawn you want. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to do this step. Let’s get into it:
- Till the ground and remove rock and debris.
- I also recommend dethatching the ground to remove any loose grass from recent mowings.
- Amend the soil with organic matter to help hold moisture and add nutrients.
- Smooth the soil to grade with a rake and lightly firm the soil.
- Apply the seeds. With hydroseeding, the slurry ingredients are mixed in the hydroseeding machine, with the grass seeds added last, just before the mixture is sprayed on the ground. The hydroseeding machine pumps the liquid through a hose to a spray nozzle.
While prepping the ground is important, I wouldn’t dwell too much on this step. Large commercial companies don’t go around and pull out every rock before hydroseeding, so don’t let information overload prevent you from getting your lawn up to par.
Once the seeds are on the ground, you need to follow the same watering regimen you’d follow for traditional methods of seeding grass. You may need to water the area two or three times a day, but water lightly and don’t let puddles form. The goal is to keep the site consistently moist to promote seed germination.
Make sure you don’t use your spray-on grass seed with impending heavy rain in the forecast. It can wash away the seed or cause everything to pool in one area, limiting your results. If you’re concerned about rain, add a straw layer over the seed to help keep everything in place.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroseeding?
Liquid grass seed is usually used for areas with exposed, steep slopes or large areas of soil with little to no vegetation. For proper application, hydroseeding can be very beneficial to the successful growth of a lawn and a valuable tool in soil management. Some of the essential benefits of spray-on grass seed include the following:
- It offers erosion control from sudden heavy rains.
- The mulch in the hydroseed promotes the natural retention of soil moisture.
- Depending on the size of the application, hydroseeding can be more cost-effective than other methods.
- It produces highly uniform grass growth.
One of the main disadvantages I see with spray-on grass seed is the need for more consistency between products. Not to mention the lack of “products” in general. Hydroseeding is something generally reserved for professionals with large tankers and sprayers that can coat a 5,000-square-foot yard in 10 minutes.
Many of the products designed to replicate this process either don’t work or might help but will never live up to the expectation of a professional job.
Hence, my next point.
DIY Hydroseeding Vs. Hiring a Professional
If you’ve made it this far in the guide and have been maintaining your lawn for a little while, you can probably tell that DIY hydroseeding has a few limitations. Product availability, lawn size, effectiveness, and reliability are all concerns that I would have.
I want to give it to you straight without beating around the bush.
Should you consider a spray-on grass seed or just hire someone for it?
DIY Main Takeaways
- Much more affordable than hiring someone
- It will be challenging to cover more than 5,000 square feet
- Designed more for spot applications
- Lack of reliability in terms of performance
- Very limited product offerings for residential applications
Hire Out Main Takeaways
- Comprehensive service guarantees results
- Can offer additional services to help you
- Will be more expensive than DIY
- No limitations on yard size
Based on this information, I would use a DIY hydroseeding product if I had a few bare spots throughout my yard.
I wouldn’t do it myself if I was trying to grow an entire yard or even a large section of grass. In that case, I would highly recommend hiring a professional. There will be fewer headaches, and the results will be much better and faster.
How Can You Care For Your Grass After Hydroseeding?
There are a number of things you’ll want to do after hydroseeding your grass. Here are some of the most important tips:
Water: Proper watering is essential for germination, so you must keep the soil wet without waterlogging. Decrease the water you supply because it will encourage the grass to develop deeper roots.
Mowing: Don’t mow the new grass until it’s 4 inches high. Don’t cut it too low because it can stress the newly germinated grass. Gradually lower the cutting height over time to your desired level.
Fertilizer: After about six weeks, when the grass has established a strong root system, you can apply a slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for new lawns and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Weed control: Make sure you’re using a spreader to prevent weed growth in large areas where you’ve hydroseeded. You can easily find weed control spreaders at a local home improvement or lawn and garden store.
So, What Is the Best Spray-on Grass Seed for Your Yard?
Seeding your lawn is only the beginning of enjoying a lush, beautiful backyard. Once your grass has matured, you’ll have to maintain it properly to continue enjoying it.
If your lawn looks dead on arrival, you might need more help from TruGreen. While TruGreen doesn’t offer hydroseeding, it provides full-service seeding and year-round maintenance to give you a lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood.
Its team of licensed, bonded technicians provides expert lawn care service across the country, with localized teams providing care specialized to your region. Get a free quote by filling out this online form.
FAQs About Hydroseeding or Spray-on Grass Seed
Is spray-on grass seed any good?
Yes and no. There aren’t a lot of good hydroseed products out there for residential use, but I still believe they can work in the right conditions.
When should I hydroseed my lawn?
If you live in the North, it’s recommended that you hydroseed your lawn in the late summer or early fall. If you live in the South, you can do it in the late winter or early spring.
How long does hydroseed take to grow?
Germination will take about one week, and you can expect to wait 2–3 weeks to see results.