Saskatoon and area has seen drought-like conditions for the past 3 years now, to the point that many of our ponds, sloughs, creeks, and dug-outs have dried up. The lack of natural seasonal moisture has had an adverse effect on the establishment of new – non-irrigated – grass seeding projects. Even though there are custom grass seeding methods that boast about their environmental effectiveness in establishing new grass, success of a project still comes down to a simple truth…..without proper moisture, food, and warmth, you will get poor grass seed development. So as we enter into the 2019 landscape construction season, customers will be presented with more than one type of grass seeding method in order to help them develop the best growth strategy for their project.
The methods listed below follow the theme of Good, Better, Best. For example, when we look at the commercial seeding methods that are available in the industry, and keeping the theme of good, better, best in mind, the listed hierarchy of methods would be: Drill seeding (good), Hydroseeding (better), and the combination of Drill seeding with Hydroseeding (best). You will notice that broadcast seeding never makes the list as an effective grass seeding method.
A final subcategory list of hydroseeding strategies has also been provided. This has been done for one important reason…..to deal with drought. When talking about “hydromulch” (hydroseeding), we are referring to the 100% wood mulch product that makes up the hydromulch or “slurry”. Grounds Master Inc. will only use a 100% wood mulch…..never the inferior paper, straw, or blended varieties. But within those high-end wood products, customers must educate themselves on the “shelf-life” of the wood mulch being used. This matters when there is drought conditions occurring and the newly seeded projects are non-irrigated.
Consider this example when picking your type of wood mulch: The standard wood mulch product (EcoFiber/TerraWood with Tach by Profile) has a shelf-life of 3 months. This means that after 3 months, the protective wood mulch will slowly start to break down or compost. The winter months do stop the break-down process. So in this example, if you were to hydroseed with EcoFiber/TerraWood with Tachifier wood mulch in June of 2019, the breakdown of the wood mulch would start to become noticeable around October 2019.
It takes a lot of water to properly develop any grass seed, regardless of its mature plant characteristics. If very little moisture occurred in that time due to drought conditions, seed development will be delayed. If we also add the challenges of having a short Saskatchewan growing season, the undeveloped grass seed would now begin to lose its protective hydromulch cover as the breakdown occurs. By June 2020 of the next year, the mulch will be gone and the remaining seed left unprotected to the effects of the environment. Hydroseeding will develop grass more rapidly than any other mechanical seeding method alone, but without the needed water, no type of seeding method will work. As already indicated, this becomes a concern for all non-irrigated grass seeding projects. For this reason, other wood mulch products are listed.
The three 100% wood mulch products provided have shelf-lives that vary from 3 months up to 18 months (excluding the frozen winter months when the breakdown stops).
Seeding Methods (options)
The following 3 hydroseeding (hydromulch) options outline the grass seeding methods that deliver the greatest success for commercial projects in the Prairie Provinces. A seed rate of 4 lbs/1000 sq. ft. represents the industry standard for most grass seeds.
Please consider the following seeding methods or strategies:
- A very strong hydromulch that also carries the label of “erosion control blanket”.
- Shelf life can exceed 18 months before natural breakdown occurs.
- Can be used effectively on aggressive slopes with grades of 2:1 (and 1:1 in non-sandy soil conditions).
- When applied by Grounds Master Inc., the Flexterra mulch is used in conjunction with the following products: Specified seed, water, added Tachifier, liquid slow-release fertilizer, granular slow-release fertilizer, and “Moisture Manager” additive.
- Pricing is approximately 3 times that of regular TerraWood with Tachifier/EcoFiber with Tachifier.
- A very durable hydromulch that also carries the label of “bonded fiber matrix / stabilized mulch matrix”.
- Shelf life from 6-12 months before natural breakdown occurs.
- Can be used effectively on slopes with grades of 4:1 (and 3:1 in non-sandy soil conditions).
- When applied by Grounds Master Inc., the Promatrix mulch is used in conjunction with the following products: Specified seed, water, added Tachifier, liquid slow-release fertilizer, granular slow-release fertilizer, and “Moisture Manager” additive.
- Pricing is approximately 2 times that of regular TerraWood with Tachifier/EcoFiber with Tachifier.
TerraWood with Tachifier / EcoFiber with Tachifier (most economical product)
- A 100% wood hydromulch with excellent erosion control potential.
- Considered as a mainstream hydroseeding product that delivers great results.
- Shelf life of 3 months or more before natural breakdown occurs. In the Prairie Provinces where rainfall has not been abundant, it is important to strategize the timing of the seeding project so as to maximize the shelf-life of the hydromulch with the available (seasonal) moisture. Early spring or late fall (October) are popular seeding times.
- Effectively used on grades that do not exceed 4:1.
- When applied by Grounds Master Inc., the TerraWood or EcoFiber mulch is used in conjunction with the following products: Specified seed, water, added Tachifier, liquid slow-release fertilizer, granular slow-release fertilizer, and “Moisture Manager” additive.
- This is considered to be the most economical and effective mulch product in its class. Along with a suitable application strategy and watering schedule, this product delivers excellent results.
For more information on your custom grass seeding project, please contact Grounds Master Inc., Ph: (306) 229-9964, or website: www.groundsmasterinc.ca.