Hydromulching Vs Instant Turf
With the vast demand on governments and site developers to establish and maintain large areas of lawn, it can be difficult in deciding which method of lawn production is the most effective and efficient. Arguably the two most common forms of lawn development are delivered in the following two processes: Hydromulching and instant turf.
But which has more benefits?
Hydromulching is an all in one formula blending water, seed, fertiliser, cellulosic mulch, tracking dye and binder together in a scientifically designed hydroseeder truck. The formula held within the tanks is continually agitated whilst a cannon from the top of the truck disperses the mixture beyond in excess of 100 metres at a time. This ensures an even coverage of product whilst also allowing the mix to reach the most difficult areas of both flat ground and varying gradient slopes. Hydromulching is arguably one of the most efficient methods for batter stabilisation and erosion control. However, in order to achieve optimum results it is important to choose the most suitable hydromulching solution. Flexible Growth Mediums (FMG) can be used on slopes up to a gradient of 45 degrees and other options, such as Flexterra which would be required on the much steeper gradients.
The cellulosic mulch used acts as a protective blanket and moisture retainer for the seeds as they begin to germinate. The blanket also stops other containments (birds, animals) from disturbing the seed in its crucial first stages. Both the binder and mulch lock down to the earth which enables a short-term solution for erosion control, whilst also ensuring the wind and rain do not pick up the seeds and wash away. The interlocking wood fibres of Hydromulch retain water which requires less frequent watering after application and assists in improved plan germination.
Depending on the chosen seed variant, germination time will also vary…but you know what they say; good things come to those who wait. In the meantime however, the green tracking dye used in the mix acts as both as an identifier and spreads a visually appealing ‘green grass’ look to the spray site.
Instant rolled turf is often seen as the most desirable lawn growth method because it is what the name indicates; instant.
You can take a vast, brown dirt landscape and have it looking like a lush green countryside in no time. However, the cost, labour and ease of initial maintenance of instant turf must be considered when planning for lawn development. One of the biggest criticisms of instant turf is the cost. Fresh cut lawn is expensive and consequently would be exceptionally costly for large scale areas such as parklands or even mine rehabilitation. Turf is also a living organism; therefore, it must be rolled out shortly after being cut as it will start to discolour, deteriorate and die.
It is also a more labour-intensive procedure both in the rolling and maintenance phase. Rolls of turf are heavy and would require a significant level of man power, along with vehicles large enough to carry the load require for a large-scale site. After the turf is laid, the entire area is then required to be rolled over with a weighted roller which would be difficult, and in some cases, impossible to do on gradient surfaces. After all this, maintaining the rolled turf is tedious for the first month after laying. In comparison to Hydromulching, turf requires much more frequent watering (almost 3 to 4 times a day in warmer conditions) and fertilization to ensure the lawn does not dry out and die.
Although hydromulching may not require the immediate ‘wow’ provided by turf, it is more cost effective with not only a faster application rate on all area types and gradients, but a single application as opposed to the high maintenance of freshly rolled turf. Erosion control, batter stabilisation, long term dust suppression, and work site rehabilitation and remediation are all further indicates that hydromulching can arguably be crowned the go-to for lawn development.