Long Island Hydroseeding

Lawn Choices for Long Island Area
Hydroseeding Grass Seeding Choices and Explanations

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass has a fine to  medium leaf texture and a dark green color. Its tendency to spread by the formation of rhizomes (underground stems) allows for good sod-forming characteristics. Tolerance is high for cold and wear, and moderate for heat and drought. The grass becomes semi-dormant during extended hot and dry conditions. It will recover quickly in cooler temperatures and moisture provided the drought was not severe. Kentucky bluegrass is best grown in well drained, sunny areas. It requires a higher amount of N fertilizer (2-4 lb. N/1000 sq.ft. per growing season) than other cool season lawn grasses and may produce a significant amount of thatch. Kentucky bluegrass is particularly susceptible to such diseases as leaf spot, dollar spot, stripe smut, necrotic ring spot, and summer patch. Some newer cultivars do show some disease resistance.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass has a fine to medium leaf texture and tends to be dark green. It germinates rapidly and is quick to establish, making it suitable for overseeding. It may be competitive with other grasses, however, and so is sometimes used either alone or in combinations of about 20% perennial ryegrass mixtures with Kentucky bluegrass or fine fescues. It is wear and heat tolerant but will not withstand shade and drought well. It is susceptible to ice cover injury. Perennial ryegrass does best on well drained soils with moderate fertility. The nitrogen requirement for perennial ryegrass is approximately 2 - 4 lb. N/ 1000 sq. ft. per season with little thatch accumulation. Perennial ryegrass is most susceptible to diseases such as brown patch, Pythium blight, dollar spot, red thread, and rust. Several cultivars of perennial ryegrass contain beneficial fungal endophytes.

Tall Fescues

Many new, finer textured, darker green “turf-type” varieties now make tall fescue an option for lawns. It is slow to establish and has only a fair recovery potential but is heat and drought tolerant. Tall fescue performs best in well drained soils in open, sunny areas but can withstand moderate shade.

Overall, it is more shade tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass but is less so than the fine fescues. Tall fescues require 2.5-3 lb. N/1000 sq. ft. per growing season with minimal accumulation of thatch. Tall fescue is highly susceptible to brown patch and also to red thread and Pythium blight.


Fine Fescues

Creeping red fescue - Chewings fescue - Hard fescue

These narrow-leaf, medium to dark green grasses can be used both alone and in combination with other grasses. Each species varies somewhat in terms of growth characteristics but all are ideal for low maintenance situations. They are very tolerant of low pH and fertility, and of drought and shade. However, fine fescues do not perform well under hot, humid conditions and with high levels of fertility. Fine fescues become semi-dormant in heat and drought but recover quickly. These grasses require 1-2 lb. N / 1000 sq. ft. per growing season with a minimal production of thatch. Fine fescues are susceptible to leaf spot, red thread, and dollar spot.


Hydro-Seeding Wild Flowers

wildflower hydroseeding long islandWildflowers can provide an excellent, low cost alternative in large-scale, high main­tenance situations, as well as a satisfying change from traditional urban landscaping. However, during their initial establishment period, wildflowers require as much maintenance as traditional plantings. A smooth, weed and vegetation-free planting bed is important for good seed-soil contact and prompt germination. Avoid seeding more than the recommended rate since overseeding can result in crowded conditions the first year and poor establishment of perennials. Cover seeds lightly to protect them from drying out during germination, and to prevent them from being eaten by birds. Consistent moisture is important for 4 - 6 weeks after planting. A wildflower planting requires the same weed control measures as traditional land­scaping. Effective measures include site preparation prior to planting and a post- germination maintenance program. Most of our wildflower mixes contain annual, biennial and perennial species. The annuals, which may not be native to your area, are included to assure maximum color during the first season and to act as a nurse crop for the slower-growing perennials. Annuals germinate quickly when conditions are favorable, providing a quick ground cover and competition against weeds. Annuals may come back to a limited degree the second year but generally will not be as dense as first year plantings. Natural reseeding of annuals ranges from significant to minimal, depending on the species, cli­mate, soil texture and other factors.

Most perennial and biennial species begin to bloom the second season, but not as profusely as annuals. Therefore, wildflower plantings will look noticeably different after the first year. Perennials do not normally bloom the first year. Sometimes it is desirable or even necessary to sow seed in second and subsequent years. Reseeding may be necessary if establishment of wildflowers is spotty or poor. It is possible to reseed bare areas with the original mixture. Loosen soil of bare areas and provide adequate weed control and supplemental irrigation as needed. Where natural reseeding of annuals is minimal, sowing annuals each spring can produce a magnificent annual and perennial display throughout the growing season. If desired, wildflowers may be mowed in the fall following seed set. Mow to a height of 4-6 inches, and leave the residue on the ground because it is a reservoir of viable seeds.

Mixes and Blends

A grass seed mix is made up of two or more different species of grasses. For instance, a typical home lawn seed mix may be made up of varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and creeping red fescue. A mix is generally more adaptable to differing site conditions (shade, full sun, dry, moist). Most lawns should be made up of a mix of grasses, appropriate for the particular site. A blend is made up of two or more cultivars or varieties of the same species of grass. For instance, a blend of perennial ryegrass might be made up of three or more varieties of perennial ryegrass. Blends are often used in highly maintained lawns where extremely uniform appearance and performance are required, or for overseeding established lawns or play areas.


Species  (% by weight)

rate (lbs/1000ft2)

Athletic Fields

80% Kentucky bluegrass*
20% perennial ryegrass*
(new fields)

3 to 4

100% perennial ryegrass*
(overseeding key wear areas)

6 to 8**

Lawns - sun (med to high maint)

65 to 75% Kentucky bluegrass*
10 to 20% perennial ryegrass*
15% fine fescue***

3 to 4

Lawns - sun (low maint)

65% fine fescue*
10 to 20% perennial ryegrass*
remainder Kentucky Bluegrass

4 to 6

Lawns - shade (well drained)

80 to 90% fine fescue*
10 to 20% perennial ryegrass*

4 to 6

80% shade tolerant K. bluegrass*
20% perennial ryegrass*

3 to 4

Lawns - shade (wet)

70% 'Sabre' rough bluegrass
30% shade tolerant K. bluegrass*

2 to 3

* Two to three improved cultivars recommended
** Recommended rate when more than 50% of the area is bare soil
***One or more improved cultivars recommended

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