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PREPARATIONS FOR HYDRO SEEDING

NEW SITE PREPARATIONS.

If you are preparing a new site for hydroseeding the preparation is the same as for seeding any other way. Hydroseeding can be a little more forgiving than other methods. If the seeding project is a lawn or turf type application the preparation should result in a smooth, rock-free, slightly loose soil condition that is at the desired final grade and contour. Tools such as a rock hound or rock rake work excellently. Other land working tools can also be used.

RE-DOING AN ESTABLISHED LAWN

If you are planning to re-do your lawn completely it is necessary to completely remove the existing turf before hydroseeding the new lawn. The best way to do this is to skin off the existing turf. If you are doing a small area a shovel or spade can be used. The best way to do a larger area is to rent a sod cutter. It is best to do this when the soil is dry. Moist soil is heavier and harder to handle. If you have a garden you can compost the old sod that you have removed and turn it into rich humus to build your garden.

Don't use a rotary tiller to clear a sodded area. Rotary tillers cause weed problems by chopping up plants and weed roots and spreading them through the lawn. You could end up with more weeds in your new lawn than you had in your old one.

You can also have the old lawn sprayed with a herbicide to kill all existing vegetation, then level and loosen the soil and have the lawn hydro seeded. You should wait about 3 weeks from the time the herbicide is applied before seeding.

CORRECTING pH

Overly acid soil is one of the easiest soil problems to fix. To determine your soil's acidity use a home pH test or send a sample to a laboratory for analysis.

To raise the pH, add ground limestone. If your soil has enough magnesium, use calcitic limestone, which is almost entirely calcium carbonate. If you have a magnesium deficiency, add dolomite lime, made of magnesium carbonate and calcium carbonate. The more finely ground the limestone is the faster it will work. If your soil is extremely acidic, don't try to raise the pH all at once. Instead, make several small applications.
It's somewhat more difficult to remedy alkalinity problems. The most effective material for lowering soil pH is sulfur.

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