Late spring, summer, and through to late fall are the seasons of growth and abundance here in our Province, which can be especially true for those working on construction sites if planned correctly. Specifically, sites with stockpiles, large areas of exposure, heavy traffic, sidehill slopes or hard to reach areas can all present conditions for sediment migration. With loose soil particulates in those areas, it can be daunting to find proper and safe sediment control that retains soil in place from wind and rain exposure. But stabilizing those areas isn’t impossible when you employ hydroseeding with mulch.
Hydroseeding with mulch is the process of using mulch, which consists of a combination of wood fibers, fertilizer, water and seed, to provide a temporary or permanent fix for sediment and erosion control. Most types of seed will do the trick in this combination, including grass seed and even some wooded vegetation, however we recommend using a specified seed mix suited for that specific site and soil conditions present. The wood fibers used in a hydroseeding mix can be extracted from any tree as long as it’s fibrous and helps thicken the mulch. A bonding material, or a tackifier, can also be mixed in.
This material combination is loaded into specialized hydroseeding equipment and sprayed on the desired area. Once soil has been tested for parameters such as salinity, hydrocarbons, PH levels and metals, it can be determined just what it will take to allow seeds to grow once introduced to that environment. Depending on the type of soil in your site, your mix and ratio of coverage can be determined, the products all mixed on site and ready to apply. Whomever you choose to cover your area should be qualified and professional; make sure to ask for all the seed certifications and application rates. Better yet, go to site, make sure what you’ve been quoted is what is being applied.
Equipment manufacturers have developed specific machinery to best suit the environmental terrain needs, the soil and area type which you intend to hydroseed. This equipment has the capability to cover large areas in a short amount of time or can be small to mobilize easier. They have hoses and reels to apply on foot, or, can be placed upon specialized 4×4 transportation for difficult to access areas. In the end, hydroseeding can save your company a lot of time and money in the long run if done correctly.
Now that you know the basics of what hydroseeding is, what sort of benefits does this form of erosion control provide? Hydroseeding with mulch acts to protect the top layer of soil and the seed that is being placed upon it, preventing the wind and elements from transporting newly planted seed off-site. This only provides a temporary fix for potential sediment movement as a result of erosive forces. Project planners choose seeds that are sometimes native to the area, that have specific nutrient uptake capabilities, or grow quickly based on climatic factors and project needs. The intent is to grow a strong and resilient root system that will continue to hold down that top layer of soil. Hydroseeding is meant to boost growth in a short amount of time to ensure the soil on your site stays where you put it until you decide to move it. This growth can happen in as little as a few days, depending on the quality of the soil and the seed used. It can be a much more environmentally conscious choice for erosion control, and this method also adds moisture and replenishes the soil’s nutrient content.
Sediment and erosion control are important not only on construction sites, but on commercial and residential properties alike. Hydroseeding provides a quick and more beautifying opportunity for sediment control than most other methods! If summer is the season of growth and abundance, hydroseeding is an excellent way to encourage new life on your site or location! If you want to know more about hydroseeding or if it’s right for you, give our friendly ECC team a call at either our Edmonton or Calgary locations. Let us help you make this season be one of growth!