Hydroseeding was developed in the USA in the 1950s as a means of getting vegetation to establish on difficult sites. The systems have come a long way since that time and we have developed systems that are suited to New Zealand conditions. The hydroseeding units are truck based in two, four and six wheel drive configurations.
Track based machines are also available for difficult or wet areas unsuitable for wheel machines. The hydroseeders have hose reels that can reach up to 100 metres from the machines and mounted water canons can shoot up to 50 metres vertically. These machines are designed to be extremely versatile and are able to supply a number of different systems.
The hydraulic seeder unit applies seed using water to areas that are difficult to access. It can apply a wood fibre product, including a tackifier, that allows the seed to be covered in mulch that sticks to steep areas, whilst the mulch cover allows extra moisture retention. We have several tackifiers that can be used in varying situations like holding the soil in place, through to being rain-fast.
There are a number of variations on this base system which includes the addition of soil flocculants, rain fast tackifiers, soil bacteria, and fungi. These extra products are added based upon the insitu site conditions. Generally, it takes between three to six weeks for the seedlings to fully establish and provide good stable cover.
Hydrobush is a native hydroseeding system which can prove very cost effective on sites that don’t require an immediate landscaped look. Seed from native species, generally localised to the site, is processed and hydroseeded. It generally takes between 6-18 months for the seedlings to establish on site. Hydrobush is also ideally suited to work in conjunction with our moss and fern systems.
Hydromoss is a system that hydroseeds moss, lichens and vascular plants onto areas to establish a base vegetation system. It is often used in conjunction with the Hydrobush system. It is particularly effective on rock faces, mudstones and any areas that have a low pH or fertility level.
The mosses generally establish quite rapidly and can give a good visual cover within 6-8 months. The mosses don’t necessarily require damp wet sites and can establish on north-facing full sun sites. Hydromoss is ideal to combine in with either our Hydrobush or Hydroferm systems. It is ideally suited to mine and quarry sites and areas that are difficult to plant.
Hydrofern is a system that hydroseeds fern spare, gametophytes and rhizome material onto a site. It is ideally suited for papa banks and areas where ferns will typically grow. HydrofernTM has been developed to run in conjunction with our Hydrobush and HydroMoss systems.
Over the past four years we have developed a native hydroseeding system. This system uses species such as Coprosma, Hebe and Pittosporum to establish native vegetation.
It is ideal for establishing on heavily disturbed sites that don’t require immediate cover as the natives are initially slow to develop. Typical plant densities of 3-4 plants per square metre are generally achieved. Other native species can be used and are generally eco-sourced.
Used for establishing road verges, by establishing the low-growing legume-based road shoulders, a number of maintenance issues can be addressed. Often, the road shoulders are left to re-establish themselves following resealing or road improvements. Over a 3-4 year time frame it allows the fine material on the shoulder to be disturbed by passing traffic. Which in turn can start problems with low shoulder and edge break.
We have established Vergebinder, a mix of small leaf legumes and grasses that establish well on the road verge, do not tend to invade the seal and grow to a maximum height of 100mm. These types of species only produce about 200 kilograms of dry matter per kilometre of road.
With the level of dry matter production significantly reduced, issues such as high shoulders, and blocked and over-grown water tables can be reduced. This means mowing frequency can be reduced to approximately one-two mows per year. The weeds can be controlled in the first year by using a low rate of weed killer which will need to be repeated every second year.