How Much Does Hydroseeding Cost in 2022?

The national average cost of hydroseeding is $1,000 overall, while the typical range is around $515 – $1,910, materials and labor included.

The cost of hydroseeding will vary depending on the size of your yard and the type of seed being used. A typical project costs homeowners around $0.05 to $0.20 per square foot. The national average cost of hydroseeding is $1,000 overall, while the typical range is around $515 – $1,910, materials and labor included.

Hydroseeding is a quicker, less labor-intensive method of planting new grass in which you spray a mixture of grass seed, water, fertilizer, and mulch across the area that needs to be seeded. This method is often used for new lawns, erosion control, or to re-seed an existing lawn. 

Table of contents:

Average hydroseeding costs in 2022

National Average Cost$1,000
Typical Price Range$515 – $1,910
Extreme Low End Cost$335
Extreme High End Cost$1,910

The average U.S. yard size is 10,000 square feet, and most American yards are 5,000 to 20,000 square feet. Given that yard size is one of the principal factors affecting cost, we based our prices on a typical American yard.

Hydroseeding cost estimator by lawn size

The typical American yard is between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet. The project cost estimates in the table below are based on this size range and the average per-square-foot cost to have hydroseeding done by a professional. 

Keep in mind that these are just estimates, and prices will vary depending on the location, the type of seed being used, and other factors. But this will give you a good starting point for your budget.

Yard Size Average overall cost 
1,000 square feet$150
5,000 square feet$750
10,000 square feet$1,500

Hydroseeding Estimate = Square Footage of Yard * $0.15

Yard Size = Property Size – House Size

Other factors that affect cost

Aside from the size of your lawn, other factors that can affect the cost of hydroseeding include the type of seed mix used, the rate of application, the method of application, and aftercare needs.

Type of mixture

Different types of hydroseeding mixtures have different costs. The most common mix is a combination of seed, water, fertilizer, and mulch, and you can get this kind of basic mix for about $20 per bag.

For comparison, the more specialized Erosion Control Spring & Summer Seed mix is one of the most expensive options at around $180 for 50 lbs. Talk to your hydroseeding pro about what kind of mix you want to use on your lawn, and you may be able to cut back on your costs. 

Rate of application

The rate of application will generally be determined by the size of the area that needs to be seeded, as well as the desired results. If you want a quicker germination process, you may need to pay a higher price for a higher rate of application.

For example, a high-pressure hydroseeder will typically cost more to hire than a low-pressure one.

Method of application

The most common methods of applying hydroseed mix are:

  • Hand-held sprayers
  • Hydraulic pumps
  • Mechanical rotors

Hand-held sprayers are the least expensive option, while hydraulic pumps and mechanical rotors are more expensive to use. The method of application that can be used on your property depends on the type of soil, the slope of the land, and the size of the area to be seeded.

Aftercare

If you want to ensure that your hydroseeding project is successful, you need to be prepared to water and fertilize regularly. Otherwise, you may end up with a patchy lawn or even bald spots.

Aftercare is the process of maintaining and caring for a newly seeded lawn. This includes (but is not limited to) watering, mowing, and fertilizing. Depending on the size of the lawn, aftercare can be a significant expense.

Planting the seeds for your new lawn is only the beginning. You’ll need services such as lawn mowing, fertilizing, and aeration to keep the grass healthy in the future. There are also alternatives to hydroseeding for you to consider. Let’s explore the cost of some of these related lawn care services.

Artificial grass cost vs hydroseeding cost

Artificial grass cost per square foot$5.50 – $19.75
Hydroseeding cost per square foot$0.05 – $0.20

Instead of planting live grass seeds, you might consider installing low-maintenance, water-saving artificial turf. 

The cost of artificial grass varies depending on the quality of the materials used. The average cost is between $5.50 and $19.75 per square foot, which is a big jump up from hydroseeding’s low cost of $0.05 to $0.20 per square foot.

Sod cost vs hydroseeding cost

Sod cost per square foot$0.90 – $1.80
Hydroseeding cost per square foot$0.05 – $0.20

Laying sod is another option if you want live grass in your yard. The average cost of sod installation is between $0.90 and $1.80 per square foot, which is more than hydroseeding but still a lot less than artificial grass. 

The benefit of sodding instead of seeding is that you don’t have to wait for the grass to grow. For about $1.00 – $1.50 more per square foot, you get an instantly lush lawn.  

Soil testing and topsoil analysis

On average, soil testing and topsoil analysis cost between $7.00 to $10.00 per sample. You should always test your soil before planting new grass (or anything else). The test will show you which essential plant nutrients your soil lacks so you can choose the optimal fertilizer to keep your grass healthy. 

Lawn fertilization cost

The cost of professional lawn fertilization typically falls between $120 and $480 total. Once your hydroseeded grass matures, it’s best to have it fertilized 3 to 4 times per year for the healthiest and thickest lawn possible. 

Leaf removal cost

The cost of leaf removal (having leaves picked up from your lawn in fall) varies depending on the size of the area to be cleared and the type of equipment used. Generally, the cost is somewhere in the range of $155 to $460

Too many leaves in your lawn can suffocate your grass and invite pests or lawn diseases. Clearing leaves diligently is especially important for young, newly seeded grass. 

Lawn dethatching cost

Dethatching is an essential but oft-forgotten part of lawn care. The cost of dethatching will vary depending on the size of your lawn and the severity of the thatch, but you should expect to pay between $160 and $225 for professional dethatching services.

Dethatching is stressful for grass, so you’ll probably want to wait a few seasons after hydroseeding to dethatch your lawn. Give the grass enough time to establish deep, strong roots so it doesn’t get ripped out along with the thatch. 

Lawn aeration cost

Professional lawn aeration typically costs $75 to $225 total. It’s a good idea to have your lawn aerated before hydroseeding. Aeration loosens up your soil, which makes it easier for young grass to establish roots and access water and nutrients. 

Lawn mower cost

To keep your new grass looking fresh and clean, you’ll need a lawn mower. A new lawn mower can cost anywhere from $115 to $3,070 on average, depending on the type of mower you want. A large riding mower is the most expensive option, while a simple reel mower is the cheapest.

Lawn care cost

When you hire a lawn care service to take care of your new lawn, what you get is usually mowing and edge trimming. This basic lawn care typically costs $30 to $70 per hour or $50 to $190 total, depending on the size of your lawn. 

Cost of DIY hydroseeding

On average, DIY hydroseeding costs between $0.25 and $0.35 per square foot.

The cost of hydroseeding a lawn yourself depends on the size of the lawn and the type of hydroseeder you use. Total costs for equipment and materials should come out to about $300 to $650.

DIY cost breakdown

Equipment/materialsAverage cost
Grass seed$40 – $60 for 20 lbs
Paper mulch$20 – $30 for 40 lbs
Fertilizer$20 – $30 for 15 lbs
Garden rake or hoe$20 – $30 
Hydroseeding machine $200 – $500 per day for rent 
Total cost of DIY equipment and materials:$300 – $650

How to hydroseed your lawn DIY in 6 steps

These are the basic steps that go into hydroseeding your own lawn

Step 1: Choose your seed mix. Depending on your climate and the amount of sun and shade in your yard, you’ll want to choose a seed mix that’s appropriate for your area.

Step 2: Prepare your soil. Loosen the top layer of soil in your yard with a rake or hoe. This will help the hydroseed mixture adhere to the ground.

Step 3: Mix the hydroseed product. In a large container, mix together your grass seed, water, mulch, fertilizer, and any other additives according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 4: Apply the hydroseed. Fill the hydroseeder you rented with your hydroseeding mix and apply it evenly over the prepared soil.

Step 5: Water the hydroseed. Water the new grass seeds daily for the first 2 weeks, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 6: Fertilize the lawn. After the grass has germinated and is starting to grow, fertilize according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

DIY cost vs. professional cost

You’ll typically spend $300 to $650 to rent or buy the equipment and materials needed to hydroseed your own lawn. Compared to the cost of hiring a professional to hydroseed, you can save more than $1,000 by going the DIY route.

The problem is that your lawn might not turn out as good if you hydroseed it instead of a professional. Here are some drawbacks of DIY hydroseeding to consider before taking on this project:

  • Hydroseeding requires specialized equipment that may be challenging to operate without a professional guide.
  • It can be difficult to get the mixture to spread evenly over the ground, which can lead to patchy growth. 
  • If the mixture is not applied correctly, it can wash away easily, leading to wasted time and money.
  • You run the risk of damaging the seedlings if the hydroseeding process is not carried out correctly.

Cost of hydroseeding by location

Hydroseeding is typically less expensive in urban areas. For example, if a project is located in a remote area, the cost of transportation may be higher.

Projects that are located on hilly or mountainous terrain may also be more expensive due to the increased difficulty of working in those conditions. In addition, the cost of materials may be higher in some areas than others.

Climate

In areas with hot, dry climates prone to drought, hydroseeding services may be more expensive and require more frequent watering to keep the seedlings alive. Conversely, in cooler, wetter climates, hydroseeding may be more effective and require less frequent watering.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the cost of any irrigation system that may be necessary to supplement rainfall.

Topography and soil condition

If the area to be seeded is large and has a lot of slopes or hills, it will be more expensive than a flat area. The same is true for soil conditions: if the soil is very sandy or has a lot of rocks, it will be more difficult to seed and will therefore be more expensive.

A soil that is particularly hard or compacted can be more difficult to break through the surface, which means more time and effort (and thus, more money) to get the job done right.

Hydroseeding costs on difficult landforms with poor soil conditions will generally be more pricey than hydroseeding on flat or level ground with good soil conditions. 

FAQ

1. What are the benefits of hydroseeding?

Hydroseeding is a fast and efficient way to seed a lawn or garden. It’s less labor intensive than traditional methods, and it produces a thick, green lawn. It’s also more affordable than sodding or traditional seeding.

2. How does hydroseeding work?

Hydroseeding is a process in which a slurry of seed, water, fertilizer, and mulch is sprayed onto a prepared seedbed. The slurry forms a thick mat that protects the seeds from erosion and provides nutrients for germination and early growth.

3. What are the advantages of hydroseeding over traditional seed planting methods?

Some of the benefits of hydroseeding instead of traditional lawn seeding include:

  • Faster and easier than traditional seed planting methods
  • Provides better coverage and results in a more even distribution of seeds
  • Less likely to result in seed loss due to wind or other factors
  • More effective in areas with difficult growing conditions, such as steep slopes or areas with high amounts of clay in the soil

4. Is hydroseeding expensive?

Hydroseeding is not expensive when you compare it to other methods of planting a new lawn, such as traditional seed sowing ($680 – $1,815 on average) or laying sod ($4,780 – $8,050 on average). 

5. What are the different types of hydroseeding?

There are three types of hydroseeding:

  • Dry hydroseeding is the most common type and is simply a mixture of seed, mulch, and fertilizer. 
  • Slurry hydroseeding is a mixture of water, seed, mulch, and fertilizer. 
  • Emulsion hydroseeding is a mixture of water, seed, mulch, and fertilizer that has been emulsified or mixed so that it can be sprayed more evenly.

6. What are the best practices for hydroseeding?

For best results when hydroseeding:

  • Use the right mix of seed, mulch, and fertilizer
  • Properly blend the mix before application
  • Ensure that the application rate is correct and the hydroseeder is properly calibrated

7. What are the most common mistakes made with hydroseeding?

Some of the most common mistakes people make when hydroseeding a lawn include:

  • Over- or under-watering 
  • A disproportionate amount of seed
  • The wrong type of seed for soil type
  • An inaccurate concentration of seed and mulch
  • Too much fertilizer on the hydroseeded area
  • Unbalanced pH levels

8. How long does it take for hydroseeded grass to grow?

It takes about 7 to 10 days for hydroseeded grass to grow. After 4 to 5 weeks, the grass will be 3 to 4 inches tall.

9. Can hydroseeding be done on any type of terrain?

Hydroseeding can be done on most types of terrain, but it is not recommended for areas with a lot of rocks or steep slopes. If there are too many rocks or the slope is too steep, the hydroseeding mixture can wash away before it has a chance to take root.

Final thoughts

Hydroseeding is a specialized process, and it’s best to hire a professional lawn care service to ensure that your lawn is properly hydroseeded. The average cost of a professional service is between 5 and 20 cents per square foot.

Main Photo: ex landscaper guy | FlickrCC BY 2.0

Jude Omoregie