Why Use Hydromulching?
If you have a steep or barren site that needs seeding, you may want to consider the sustainable, fast and affordable seed propagation system, hydromulching.
What is hydromulching?
When people talk about hydromulching, they're referring to planting seeds via a slurry of mulch made up of recycled paper or fibre, and the seeds of grass or native plants. This mixture is usually sprayed from a tank fixed to a truck or trailer, and can be applied from the air when large areas need to be covered quickly.
How is hydromulching used?
Because hydromulching, or hydroseeding, is much more affordable and efficient than traditional methods of planting such as laying down sod, it is often used to control wind erosion on building sites and sand dunes, revegetate embankments, rehabilitate mine sites and restore the stability of soil in areas destroyed by bushfires.
Why does it work?
Hydromulching owes its success to its capacity to completely mix the seeds to be propagated with mulch, to which all sorts of compounds can be added including soil improving chemicals, fertilisers and dyes to mark the path of spraying. The addition of dyes to the mulch also enables users to colour code an area of work, which is useful for repeat spraying.
Similar in appearance to paper mache, the mulch itself also draws in water, minimising the erosion of the underlying soil and reducing water loss in the soil due to evaporation. By keeping the seeds moist for a long time, hydromulch provides an ideal environment for them to germinate, protecting them from interference by animals or the activities of humans.
The paper materials within the mulch will begin to degrade during rainy periods, lasting on the ground for 6 to 12 months, and proponents suggest distributing hydromulch in the drier seasons, allowing the seeds to germinate and begin to put down roots before wetter weather commences.
Hydromulching and the environment
Although hydroseeding has been a recognised method of propagation since its inception in the USA during the 1940's, hydroseeding is steadily growing in prominence due to widespread recognition of the devastating effects of erosion on the environment. Hydroseeding offers a cost-effective and sustainable solution to the environmental problems of poor soil quality and dust and wind erosion, weighing in at less than the cost of laying sod, and more than the price of sowing seed, although with a much higher rate of germination.
Hydromulching offers the perfect solution to degraded or hard-to-seed sites. Highly efficient, affordable and environmentally sustainable, it's no wonder hydromulching is quickly rising to prominence.