The Interesting History Of Hydroseeding in North America

Feb 9, 2020 | Hydroseeding, Rapid Lawn Landscape Solutions | 0 comments

Rapid Lawn Landscape Solutions Ltd. is your best Regina landscaping company. We have helped many customers achieve the yards they have always dreamed of. In our latest article, we share the interesting history of Hydroseeding.

When Was Hydroseeding Invented and By Whom?

Originating back to the USA in the 1940s, Maurice Mandell from the Connecticut Highway Department discovered that by mixing seed and water together, the resulting mulch could be spread and sprayed over the steep and otherwise inaccessible slopes of the Connecticut expressways.   Charles Finn adapted that technology to a project he was working on for the West Virginia Turnpike.  He built and commercially marketed the “HydroSeeder”, a two piece machine that consisted of a 1000 gallon mixing tank and towed a spray platform, pump and engine.  The idea was to have two mixing tanks and one spray unit.  An ongoing process that did not have to wait for water to fill.

Those first machines had an agitator that had a “T” shaped paddle.  When International Paper created the first “Turf Fiber” in the early 1960’s they used  the sludge of a paper mill, dried it, dyed it green and packaged in in a bag that was quite hard and was difficult to break up and mix in the machines with “T” paddles.  Additionally, the closed impeller Gardner Denver Pump that Finn used would not pass the mulch material.  This caused a modification to a paddle blade and the open faced impeller on the Morris Pump.

Bowie Industries entered into the industry with their Rotary Gear Pump.  It worked quite well with mulch, but since Finn did use it on their machine, Bowie introduced the “Hydromlcher”. They offered the machine with a Rotary Gear Pump and added a “Mulch Shredder” to break up the hard packaged Turf Fiber.  Fiber sales were not as robust as International Paper had hoped and their project was canceled.  Weyerhauser Company and Conwed Corporation both picked up the pieces. Conwed produced their 100% aspen wood fiber “Hydro Mulch” in a tightly packed, 3 section bale, reinforced paper bag and shipped it in rail car quantities from their plant in northern Minnesota.  Weyerhaeused produced 100% hemlock wood fiber “Silva Fiber” in Washington and also shipped in rail cars.  Their product was loose packed in a paper bag and could be easily dumped into the hydroseeder.  Weyerhauser also produced a paper product “PFM” in New Jersey that was from ground cardboard.  This product was packaged in hard form and it had to be broken up in order to get into suspension.  PFM worked very well in Jet Agitated machines, such as the “Reinco”.  The Reinco “Hydrograsser” and their very successful “Power Mulcher” joined this rapidly growing industry about this same time.

A few highway departments adapted hydromulch to their specifications.  Probably the largest useage of hydromulch in the early 1970’s was for Surface Mine Reclamation.  The ability to spray slopes up to 200 feet and hose up to 400 feet from the machine was ideal for the Appalachian coal fields.  This market consumed large quantities of fiber mulch and brought many new producers of mulch products.

Today, Hydroseeding creates the ideal microenvironment for germinating seed because the slurry materials enhance the seeds germination process and stimulates the seeds to grow a healthy, deep-rooted system in the ground where moisture is at its greatest. In a typical Rapid Lawn hydroseeding application, one can fully depend on less than 3 men to accomplish what is would take 6 workers to fulfill given the same amount of work time using erosion blankets or sod.

Check out our other articles on Hydroseeding here : 

Our professional Trusted Regina hydroseeding and landscaping team offers innovative re-vegetation, grass seeding, dust control, reclamation, landscaping and erosion control solutions and hydroseeding for all types of residential, commercial, government, industrial and oilfield projects.


Rapid Lawn Landscape Solutions Ltd. Ltd. is your one-stop Regina landscaping company. In addition to landscape design, hardscaping and artificial turf, we also do conventional seeding and are suppliers of landscape supply products. We sell all types of turfgrass seed, native grass seed and low maintenance grass seed products.

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