Home Blog Hydroseeding vs. Broadcast seeding – Which method proves best?

Hydroseeding vs. Broadcast seeding – Which method proves best?

by Jackson White

A beautiful grass lawn begins from planting – when the seed is cast into the ground. Broadcasting has long been used as the most common way of propagating grass on lawns. New methods have since come up, but are they better?

If you have had the chance to look at any grass seed, you have noticed that they are generally small and somewhat delicate. Unlike most larger seeds that get planted in the soil, grass seeds are often times left on the surface of the soil to germinate since they are quite small and the shoots are too delicate to penetrate a thick layer of soil. Recently, the art of hydroseeding has been introduced to help establish grass lawns faster and more effectively. So, which way should you lean?

What are the differences between Hydroseeding and Broadcasting?

Comparison feature
Broadcast seeding
Demands low labor, highly mechanized
Demands intense labor, moderately mechanized
Seed germination time
Less than 7 days
7 – 14 days
Nature of surface
Can be applied on any terrain – flat, uneven, hilly
Ideal for flat surfaces
Size of lawn
Ideal for large lawns
Ideal for small to medium sized lawns
Type of seed
Ideal for all seed types – all shapes and sizes
Ideal for pelletized seeds

Hydroseeding vs. Broadcasting – How do they compare?

Application method

The most common type of seeding grass on a new lawn is by broadcasting it. The actual broadcast of the seed is preceded by a preparation process that follows a three step procedure. You have to begin by choosing the right time of the year, and this is dictated by the type of grass you would like to plant. Warm season grasses ought to be planted during the warmer seasons of spring and summer while cool season grasses germinate faster and thrive in the fall. Once this is done, go on and choose a good seed that is verified for a high germination rate. After this, you will be required to prepare the land by tilling it, correcting its pH and adding fertilizer. When this is done, broadcast the grass seed evenly on the prepared patch of land, and be certain to populate the seed as stipulated for your chosen grass type. Using your chosen seed spreader, spread the seed evenly. The two most common types of spreaders are drop spreaders and rotary spreaders. Spreading is followed by raking in, a process that entails using a rake to lightly rake the seeds into the soil to a maximum depth of ¼ of an inch.

Hydroseeding involves a more mechanized and faster application method that is a lot more efficient than broadcasting. The thing about this method is that the lawn does not particularly require as much preparation as does the other. In hydroseeding, you will need to mix up all the hydroseeding material in a hydroseeder. The required material includes mulch, fertilizer, lime, trackifiers (binding agents), biostimulants, moisture retention polymers and water. Once all these are mixed together, the hydroseeder blasts them onto the surface where you want your lawn to grow.

The fact that you do not need extreme preparation for your patch of land when hydroseeding makes it a more practical seeding method than broadcasting.

Application surface and Germination time

The broadcast method is a very by-the-books mode of grass seed application that could cost you an entire lawn of grass if not done right. Additionally, it is best suited for lawns that are not too large. Covering wide acreage using this method can be extremely expensive and time consuming. This is why it is recommended for smaller lawns. On top of this, the broadcast method proves ideal for flat surfaces and for patches of land that have only a slight gradient. Seeds that are planted using this method take an approximate 7 to 14 days to germinate.

Hydroseeding is not just quick and easy, it is also quite economical and practical. This method is excellent for all lawn sizes, whether small or extremely large. Additionally, it can be used for terrain that is flat, uneven and even hilly. When it comes to germination, the seeds take less than 7 days, and the lawn becomes fully grown and ready to mow in just three weeks.

Hydroseeding makes a faster and more economical seeding method than broadcasting since it can be used on large and hilly surfaces.

Hydroseeding vs. Broadcasting – A comparison Overview

Hydroseeding has established itself as one of the quickest, most practical, most economic and certain methods of creating grass lawns for homes. One of the characteristics that makes it stand out is that you can use all types of seed without fearing massive losses.

When all the components are mixed together, there will not be much else for you to do since the mix is inclusive of fertilizers and other organic matter that is ideal for sustainable seed growth. Additionally, the filler material is bio-degradable and does not adversely affect the environment.

The only downside to this grass seeding method is that you have to hire a hydroseeder, but on the flip side, it is not expensive.


  • Practical and economical
  • Seeds germinate quite fast
  • Takes a short time to create a full lawn
  • Ideal for all lawn sizes and terrains


  • You have to hire a hydroseeder

Broadcasting overview

Even though time consuming and tedious, this method has proven efficient and reliable over a long period of time. With this method, you have to exercise great care and pay attention to detail such as soil type, pH, nutrients and other aspects.

Even though it is labor-intensive, it rarely fails. However, a slight mistake could easily cost you an entire lawn. It has in the past been used for massive lawns, but it has been replaced by newer methods such as hydroseeding. Additionally, germination takes an approximate 14 days, a period within which a hydroseeded lawn has already germinated and grown substantially.


  • Ideal for small and medium lawns
  • Allows for proper soil care
  • Ideal for flat surfaces


  • Germination and growth are slow


Hydroseeding has revolutionized the way we create and develop grass lawns, and it has proven quite effective. For this reason, it makes a great alternative to broadcasting which is labor intensive and time consuming.


Can I hydroseed on a lawn that already exists?

Yes, you can.

Is drill seeding more effective than broadcasting?

Yes, the drilling method is more efficient that broadcasting.

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