Hydroseed, Irrigation, & Sod
Titan, LLC. provides a number of services aimed at growing grass within your yard. The most popular choices to start a new yard in Alaska are hydroseeding or sod installation. These processes are typically done shortly after topsoil installation and both have their advantages. Regardless of which you choose, the installation of an irrigation system with your initial landscape can save countless hours of maintenance.
What is hydroseed?
Hydroseeding is economical, fast, easy to care for, creates more resilient grass and is almost weed-free. The process of hydroseeding costs up to 80 percent less than installing sod, according to Finn Material Transfer Service, a company that offers commercial landscaping products. Hydroseed lawns tend to be healthier and have better coverage than other methods like sod. This is because the seeds are started in the soil where you want the grass to grow and establish deeper roots.
How do I care for hydroseed?
Watering your new lawn:The most important thing to remember about Hydroseeding is to never let the hydro-mulch dry out. Hydroseed still needs water to grow so begin watering immediately. It's important to keep the mulch moist, which may require watering up to 3 times a day in the driest part of summer. During this time, it is important to distinguish what wet mulch and dry mulch looks like. You want the hydromulch to remain a cool greenish blue, wet color and not a grey, dry color. The difference can be seen in the photo to the right. This is indicative of a dried lawn and will surely lead to thinner grass and a less than satisfactory product. It is also important to monitor the watering initially as leaving sprinklers unattended may lead to overwatering and puddling in certain areas.
Once the grass shoots appear after 10 to 21 days, depending on the weather, continue to water a minimum of once daily until after the first mow. Avoid puddling and erosion at all costs as it can wash away the seed. Excessive puddling could be a sign of overwatering and over saturation of the soil. After shoots appear, and until the grass blades are three inches tall, water once daily, preferably early morning or evening. In very hot weather, you may still need to water 3x a day. When the tallest grass blades are three to four inches tall, they are ready for the first mowing. After the first mowing, water every three to five days. To prevent root rot, allow enough time between waterings to allow the soil surface to dry. Increase watering in very hot weather, and decrease watering during periods of heavy rainfall. Grass will respond best to slow, gentle watering where the water has a chance to soak in well to a depth of about three inches.
Mowing your new lawn:The lawn is ready for its first mowing when the tallest shoots are three to four inches tall. It is normal at this time that the height of the shoots will vary from one to four inches. Discontinue watering one day prior to mowing to allow the soil surface to dry and stabilize. As with a mature lawn, no more than one third of the grass blade should be cut off. For the first two mowings, make sure to mow at the highest blade setting. To avoid damage to the lawn, keep your mower blade sharp and make sure to not make sharp turns in the grass that will tear up new growth or push to hard which will create wheel wells. We suggest that you use a bag with your mower to minimize the clippings and allow for the new seed still germinating to not be hindered or shaded. It's Titan, LLC.’s recommendation that you fertilize with 16-16-16 fertilizer after the first mowing, which typically occurs after 6-8 weeks. Water accordingly.
Sod Installation for new lawns or replacement areas
There are many advantages that sod has over hydro-seeding. Sod eliminates problems with erosion in the early stages of hydroseeding when there is no existing growth, improves mud and dust control, less risk of install failure due to misuse or watering, and very fast-stabilization and installation. A newly hydroseeded lawn has very thin grass blades that have not matured to their full strength. If you have large dogs, it is very likely that their claws will destroy the new grass blades shortly after install or in the winter or spring break up seasons from running around the yard. Installing sod instead of hydroseed will ensure that your dogs have a place to run around within a few weeks. As always, any heavy concentrated traffic, such as dog's running the perimeter of a fence, will be problematic for any type of new or existing lawn.