Flexible Growth Medium – A Hydroseeding Contractors Perspective

For many hydroseeding contractors and erosion control specialists the development of Flexible Growth Mediums could just be the next big innovation; hydroseeding contractors can now hydraulically apply an erosion control solution that outstrips the performance of other techniques, offering superior results whilst achieving major labour savings.

FGM’s are at the cutting edge of soil erosion technology, bettering the performance of high quality Bonded Fire Matrix products and erosion control blankets. This has strengthened the position of specialist hydroseeding contractors in the soil erosion marketplace, who can now use the hydroseeding equipment they already own to carry out market leading erosion control works.

For hydroseeding contractors and clients the major benefits of this new technique include.

• Effective application-bonds directly to the soil
• Stellar erosion control-99% effective in major testing laboratories
• Rapid turf establishment-vegetation can grow eight times faster than bare soil and twice as fast as blankets
• Quicker to lay and lower installed costs than blankets
• Seduced soil preparation required
• Safe for wildlife-no nets, threads or staples to snare wildlife or become caught in mowing equipment

Once a hydroseeding contractor has applied FGM it effectively acts to seal off the soil from the impact of rain and concentrated flows, to out performing erosion control blankets in rainfall simulation tests. Once applied the FGM is able to hold on to water and maintain air space, this results in superior and accelerated growth.

A combination of Thermally Refined® wood fibres, crimped man-made fibres and performance-enhancing additives form an interlocking matrix that creates air space and water-absorbing cavities to accelerate germination, reduce the impact of raindrop energy and minimize soil loss once hydroseeding is complete. After hydroseeding Water-resistant tackifiers and flocculants chemically bond the matrix to the soil surface, absorbing water and enabling superior vegetation establishment. Some FGM’s are able to achieve 98% effectiveness just 2 hours after hydroseeding and are proven to be 99% effective once cured.

As with BFM’s, Flexible Growth Mediums hydraulically using a range of hydroseeding equipment. This hydraulic application carries all of the cost saving benefits of hydroseeding and BFM products by keeping labour and ground preparation requirements minimal.

Recently Profile Products has introduced the new Flexterra high-performance, flexible growth medium (HP-FGM). This is designed to be used by hydroseeding contractors and is capable of achieving 600-percent greater initial seed germination and more than a 250-percent greater biomass than its predecessor, whilst being totally biodegradable.

The original Flexterra FGM, initially set the standard in the market and it was widely used by hydroseeding contractors; It led the march towards hydraulically applied techniques that could be delivered using hydraulic machinery.

Tests following EPA protocol concluded the product is completely safe for aquatic and terrestrial life forms and after hydroseeding it immediately bonds to the soil surface to reduce turbidity of runoff for up to 18 months.

These products have revolutionised the market and changed the direction of erosion control solutions from blankets towards hydroseeding and has strengthened the position of the hydroseeding contractor in the market place.

Oliver Brown, Managing Director of Oliver Brown Ltd, Specialists in Hydroseeding and Erosion Control

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