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I am going to Hydroseed this weekend and need to know how much to water so that it germinates correctly.

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"I am going to Hydroseed this weekend and need to know how much to water so that it germinates correctly. I have an automatic system and the soil is a sandy loam."

Hydroseed normally places a mulch-like carrier along with the seed. This material absorbs water and slows drying at the soil surface. However, frequent, small doses of water are still necessary to germinate the seed and carry young plants through the sensitive germination and establishment phases. After hydroseeding, irrigate once a day with a relatively small amount of water (0.1-0.2 inch) until germination occurs. Periodically check the hydroseed layer to insure it is remaining moist during the heat of the day. If you are in an extremely hot, dry area and the layer appears to be drying out, you may have to irrigate twice a day until germination occurs. After germination back off and irrigate once every other day with approximately 0.25 inch of water. Continue to irrigate every other day for about 1 month to allow the grass root system to establish. After 1 month gradually return to the normal irrigation cycle recommended for your area.

To determine how much water your system is applying use straight sided cans or catch cups available from your local County Extension office. Place several cans at different locations in the landscape. Turn the sprinkler system on and catch the output for 10 or 15 minutes. Measure the amount of water in each can and calculate the output rate in inches per hour. Use this output rate to determine how long you have to run your system to apply the desired amount of water.

Posted on 12 Sep 2006

Nancy Mesner
Program Leader, Water quality Specialist

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