Spray-On Grass Seed: A New Lawn, Today!

Joseph Gilpin
By Joseph Gilpin • Last Updated: June 20, 2022

Smart Droplet is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Spray-On Grass Seed: A New Lawn, Today!

Calling all homeowners!

Is your lawn a massive, nude patch of bare dirt? Or has your once-vibrant lawn turned brown in the sweltering heat?

Don’t worry; We have the solution for YOU! Say hello to spray on grass seed, the only thing you’ll need!

We’ll be covering everything you need to know about spray-on grass seed, and we’ll also point you to some of the best spray-on grass you can get!

Here are the best spray on grass seed brands:

Hydroseeding, also known as hydro-mulching and hydraulic mulch seeding, is an EXTREMELY efficient, high-quality, and affordable method of seeding and feeding your lawn!

With these spray-on grass seed brands, your lawn will look HEALTHY, emphasizing green and brightness!

Best Overall

Hydro Mousse Liquid
Lawn

🔥 Easiest Installation

GroTrax Biodegradable Grass Seed Mat

Best Budget

Scotts EZ Seed Dog Spot Repair

The Roots Of Spray-on Grass Seed and Hydroseeding

This method of applying grass seed, also known as hydroseeding, has been around for quite some time.

In the 1940s, the Connecticut Highway Department’s own Maurice Mandell made the initial breakthrough. He found that it was possible to plant grass seed farther than by hand by mixing seed with water.

This was initially used to spray grass seed along Connecticut’s steep slopes and embankments but was soon improved in 1953. Charlie Finn brought Mandell’s mixture even further by adding heavy machinery.

This first “Hydroseeder” was an extremely bulky contraption and didn’t alter the original grass slurry formula too much.

Since then, both the mixture and its transportation have been refined and altered. The once-large scale operation has been miniaturized.

It’s now perfectly possible to apply spray on grass seed at home to give you a healthy lawn!

Just know that if you want to spray grass seed on larger areas, you should contact a professional lawn care service company.

Hydroseeding Slurry Ingredients 

Seeds And More: Hydroseeding Slurry Ingredients 

So what’s in spray on grass seed, anyway?

Water – The main ingredient, this is how the seeds go from the hose to the soil and keep hydrated the whole time.

Mulch – This natural shield protects the seeds and helps lock in soil moisture.

Phosphorus – Like in common lawn fertilizer, this element promotes root development in your lawn.

Tackifier – This ingredient is most effective in areas with steep slopes, and this ingredient helps your spray-on seed keep its grip on the ground. No tufts at the bottom of hills here!

Seeds – This is often a blend of different grass seeds. Make sure you look for the mix that will grow best in your local environment!

These ingredients may be a far cry from the early Mandell days, but they’re all inside your spray-on grass seed mix so you can grow your lawn quickly!

Our Top Picks For Spray-On Grass Seeds

Leave spreading grass seed by hand in the past, and let your garden hose do more of the work for you!

1) Hydro Mousse Liquid Lawn (Best Overall)

The hydro mousse liquid formula tops our list! Say GOODBYE to patchy lawns with this spray-on grass seed!

Don’t be turned off by this shocking green liquid because hydro mousse is the best spray-on grass on this list!

Hydro mousse liquid lawn is like makeup for your yard, so it’s best used for overseeding and touching up any worn-down areas you might have.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be used for brand new lawns!

This spray canister might fool you, but it can kickstart a decent amount of new grass with a single refill; it can cover THREE times more when used just for overseeding!

This pre-mixed liquid also packs a dark, green color called heavy seed mode.

This hydro mousse feature helps you stop guessing where you’ve already seeded, so you know EXACTLY where your spray on grass seed has landed.

This spray-on grass seed blend is formulated to sprout in all climates, so there’s no need to worry about your location.

If you somehow manage to come across “hydro shot,” that’s NOT what you’re looking for! That’s one of the older hydro mousse alternatives.

Pros

  • Hydro mousse grows no matter where you are
  • A simple attach-and-seed design eliminates the need for any special, additional equipment
  • Comes with plenty of refills to keep your lawn in top shape!

Cons

  • Not exactly an “instant lawn” as advertised; the Planting area still needs preparation
  • The hydro mousse WILL stain your clothes. Be careful when planting!
  • Consistency may vary depending on batch

2.) GroTrax Biodegradable Grass Seed Mat (Easiest Installation)

We know this isn’t strictly a “spray-on grass seed,” but it’s still an extremely CONVENIENT way to grow new grass, just like everything else on this list.

This seed mat needs to be rolled out onto a prepared surface like a more standard spray on grass seed. Don’t throw it straight onto a bare garden!

GroTrax also offers two different kinds of seed blends, depending on your location. Year-Round Green should be fine for almost every state, but homeowners living in more southern regions should get the Bermuda Rye mix instead.

Any new homeowners looking to skip (most of) the initial hassle of setting up their lawn will LOVE this seed mat! Get tilling first, then unfurl the seed mat where you want your grass to grow.

Water the mat regularly (Soak it so that it can stick to the soil better), and you’ll have a healthy lawn in no time!

If you only need a few patches, you can also just cut out the right-sized pieces and lay them down!

Pros

  • All-in-one mat of rollable grass seed
  • Faster germination than sod
  • Comes with a deal for up to two 110-square foot rolls

Cons

  • The mat itself is flimsy and may tear
  • The mat is extremely light and prone to being blown away by strong winds
  • Fabric may be left behind even after the mulch and seed mixture has been absorbed

3.) Scotts EZ Seed Dog Spot Repair (Most Flexible)

We dare say that this spray on grass seed is almost a match for a hydro mousse. It’s great for various situations and general lawn maintenance, making it perfect for (almost) everything you need!

But like the pup in the photo suggests, Scotts EZ Seed is the BEST for more active homeowners with pets!

So if your new puppy has been mangling your lawn with his business, this will help bring your lush greens back!

This is a soil amendment, not a hydroseed, if you’re being strict. But the idea is the same and then some. This (almost) all-in-one lawn booster is SURE to rejuvenate and resurrect your patches of bare dirt!

Prepare any patches that your pet’s ruined (or that you’ve trampled on; no shame there!) by loosening the soil. Add in Scotts EZ Seed and spread it evenly.

The mulch in the mix will puff up to cover the seeds and provide better nutrient coverage. Scotts EZ Seed takes the worries of uneven fertilizer coverage OUT of the picture!

Remember to water the spots two times a day for three weeks. For now, keep your pets away from their favorite marking spots!

You can kick back when your lawn is 3 inches high and full again!

Pros

  • Perfect for pet owners with patchy lawns!
  • Grows extremely fast when cared for properly
  • Features an all-star blend of cool-season grass seeds (Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass)
  • Grows no matter how hot it is (Take that, summer!)

Cons

  • Most effective in northern states, Pet lovers who live elsewhere should look elsewhere!
  • Grass growth might be a little thin at times
  • Quite thirsty even when compared to other sprays on grass seed brands

4.) Gavin 3-In-1 HYDROSEEDER

This monster tank is the closest thing on this list to a professional hydroseeding company but is completely usable at home!

The Gavin 3-in-1 is the ideal hydroseeding tool for the handy homeowner! If none of these mixes seem right for you, this tank gives you the perfect option: Make your hydro mousse from scratch!

This seeder also takes out the perils of seed drift, so you don’t have to worry about any grass seeds accidentally landing in the wrong areas. With Gavin, your baby grass and pesticides can get along perfectly well!

Since Gavin’s attaches to your garden hose anywhere, your grasslands will also be automatically watered, plus it’ll spread FAST! Think of it like a gentler hydro shot, especially for your seeds!

When your (not so) dry seeding is done, simply turn the head upside down, and it’ll drain itself. Say goodbye to seeding stains!

Pros
  • Most customizable hydroseeder (Match your grass blend to your soil!)
  • No need to spend on labor costs!
  • It can cover almost 10x as many square foot on your lawn as hydro mousse
Cons
  • Bulky and cumbersome container
  • Lacks the “Seed” and “Fertilizer” parts of spray on grass seed

5.) Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food

We’ve already had a Scotts item on this list, but this incredible garden fertilizer is too good not to feature!

This turf builder is an all-in-one spray-on lawn fertilizer. All it’s missing are the seeds!

Not content with simply being one of many hydro mousse alternatives, this seeder works on all kinds of lawns! Is your grass from sod or dry seeding? How about those plugs you’ve just put down? Doesn’t matter!

This turf builder will beef them all up!

But when used on new grass, Scotts Turf Builder truly shines. It also has a very easy guide on how to use it. Ready? You…connect your hose and spray it on your new lawn.

Okay, jokes aside, the schedule of application IS simple! Once you start seeing your first wisps of grass, give the lawn a once-over with the Turf Builder.

A week after that, break it out again, and a week after that. Then you’re done! Nice and quick, right? Thicker and quicker lawns, indeed!

Pros
  • Complete no-fuss application (No need to go shopping for extra equipment!)
  • Handheld and easy to carry
  • Perfect for ALL types of grass, no matter your location!
  • Works even on non-hydroseeded lawns
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with seeds
  • The amount of square foot it can cover is limited by the feeding guide

6.) Pennington One-Step Complete

If you were thinking of sodding a small area on your lawn, but the cost makes you wince, then this bag is for you!

Though it may cover a smaller area than the other seeds on this list, Pennington is a much more budget-friendly option.

Got any bare patches of dirt? Throw this on and watch that brown turn into a lovely green!

Pennington’s absorbent seed blend helps keep the seeds hydrated, and its chunky wood chip mulch retains moisture after watering. Don’t mistake it for sawdust!

Cast your seasonal worries aside because you’ll be glad to know that this mix will grow a proven combination of cool-season grasses. Expect to find Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass on your lawn.

Remember that Pennington’s will grow best during early spring and fall. Plan your planting accordingly!

Pros
  • Works in both sun and shade!
  • Grows really quickly (1-2 weeks!)
  • Guaranteed refund from Pennington, if your lawn is still thin after 60 days
Cons
  • Covers only a small amount of square foot (75 sq. ft.)
  • Grows a little slowly

Sow The (Hydro) Seeds Of Success 

Hydroseeding is an attractive prospect for starting a new lawn because it works. You just have to prep your dirt, spray your soil (or contact a professional to spray it) then leave your seeds to sprout!

Add the grass slurry is an all-in-one package, and you can see why it’s become so popular. Every little drop in your mix is another thing you DON’T have to buy!

Just remember the four things your hydroseed will need to grow properly:

  • Solid seed propagation through soil contact
  • High-quality Fertilizer
  • Locked-in hydration (Thanks to the mulch)
  • Seed defense (From birds and the environment)
How Do You Properly Hydroseed

How Do You Properly Hydroseed?

Hydroseeding is just like spreading your own grass seed. There’s just one main difference between planting grass seed and using spray-on seed. Your garden hose plays a much bigger part with spray-on grass seed.

Applying spray on grass seed might make you look like you’re spray painting your lawn, but it’s not quite so simple.

How else do you expect your seeds to get from hydro mousse to the ground? Via hose, of course!

Your first step should always be a soil test. This is so that you know which mix of spray on grass seed will work best for your lawn.

If you want to see thick grass on your lawn, make sure you’ve prepared the ground properly. Spray-on grass seed will always work BEST in newly tilled soil!

Loosen up any compacted, bare dirt and remove obstructions like loose roots and stones.

Apply your spray on grass seed, and finally, water the areas until they’re well hydrated. You want to soak them but not absolutely flood them.

Seed germination doesn’t happen overnight. You still need to regularly water where you’ve sprayed for a healthy lawn!

You probably won’t see your local highway crew going through all these steps all the time, but for your lawn, it’s a bonafide requirement!

Most of what we’ve covered is pre-mixed liquid, but you can make your own special spray blend on grass seed if nothing else matches your lawn’s needs.

Pros of Spray On Grass Seed

Here are some things that make spray-on grass seed worth looking into!

It’s great for soil management. Remember how hydroseeding was first used for steeper hills? It’ll help with inclined lawns as well!

Sprayed on seed comes with extra defense against diseases, owing to their blended nature. Even if part of the mix might not work, the remaining seeds should pick it up and grow in their place! Hydro mousse, in particular, comes with a packed combination of ryegrass and Bermuda!

Spray-on grass seed will result in highly uniform grass growth. This is because of everything inside the slurry. You don’t have to add extra fertilizer or nutrients when everywhere you spray gets the same treatment!

It also protects soil from erosion, especially on embankments located in flood-prone areas. Having seeds spread around means you don’t need to worry about your lawn growing clumps.

Sprayed on seed is like mother nature’s touch gracing your lawn!

Cons of Spray On Grass Seed

Mother nature can get moody, and in this case, she can even bring extra expenses!

As we’ve mentioned before, Spray-on seed NEEDS to be applied to freshly tilled soil. It’s easier than other methods, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely hassle-free.

This seeding method is extremely water-intensive, even compared to other lawn care methods. Both the initial hydro mousse (or whichever brand you choose) application and the regular maintenance afterward require constant watering.

Where And How Else Is This Used? 

This seeding method has been used for highways almost since it was invented. Outside of that, spray on grass is also used to rehabilitate large areas after being devastated by natural disasters. Think like landslides or wildfires.

Residential lawns looking into spray-on grass seed will want to hire a professional hydroseeding company. Just make sure your lawn is large enough to make it worth it! You don’t want to call the pros for just a few square foot of dirt!

Grass Sod vs Grass Seed

Sod, Seed, Or Spray-On Seed- Which Will Give You The Best Lawn?

Unlike sod, which grows on transplanted soil, spray on grass seed relies on the soil you have right at home. So if your planned lawn area is large, bare, and nutrient-rich, go for hydroseeding.

Traditional seeding offers homeowners the most choice for the grass seeds they decide to plant. Just be aware that weed control problems are more likely with regular seeding. It’s also the cheapest method since it can be done completely by hand!

Like sod, spray-on grass seed doesn’t improve underlying soil exactly. Any batch of store-bought or homemade hydro mousse needs to rely solely on the topsoil already on your lawn.

How Will I Know What’s Best For My Lawn Setup?

When it comes to spreading grass seed, there are many different things to consider. Before anything else, remember to test your soil at home to know what’s in it.

Once you’re fully aware of the nutrients making up your soil, you can decide which method to choose for applying grass seed.

Remember to check your main ingredients. That means your soil, grass, seeds and the season!

If you’re going to hydroseed for a high-growth lawn, install tilled soil.

On the other hand, if you already have an existing lawn and just need to fix up some dog spots, we recommend grass seeding. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of broadcast seeding your lawn, you could pick up a spray-on lawn seed, like hydro mousse.

Dry seeding grass is the classic method for new lawns, but it’s also the most work for new homeowners and prone to errors. If you want a batch of new grass but don’t want to hire a contractor, dry seeding can be done solo.

If your soil has several layers, deep seed is the way.

Installing sod is like growing an instant lawn, but it’s also the priciest method. Laying sod is the fastest (and most expensive!) installation method.

Grass seedlings need LOTS of care no matter which method you use. Keep that in mind.

Wrapping Up

A thick, lush lawn is practically a conclusion with spray-on grass seed.

Store-bought hydroseed is fine for smaller areas, but for anything over half of an acre, please, hire professional help.

Don’t forget to try hydro mousse liquid lawn for your grass!

FAQs

Check here for any additional concerns you may have with spray-on grass seed!

What’ll Happen To My Spray-On Seed When It Rains?

It’ll take MORE than a typical rain storm to wash away your spray on grass seed. That’s what the tackifiers are for!

At most, you’ll lose the clear green liquid marking the ripped-up strip you’ve sprayed, like with hydro mousse.

But the grass seed itself should remain where you’ve spread it. In the unfortunate case that a heavy rain storm runs across your lawn, then you might see some issues.

Does Spray On Grass Seed Work On Steep Slopes?

If your lawn happens to have any slight inclines, don’t worry! Spray-on grass seed will work anyway.

That’s why the grass slurry includes tackifiers. It’s so that if you spray grass seed on an angled surface, it won’t slip down too far.

Now that being said spray on grass seed has its limits too. If your lawn incline is too sharp, you might find any grass you grow bunches up at the bottom.

How Do I Keep Birds Away From My Spray On Grass Seed?

We hear your concerns. Imagine using hydro mousse on your yard, only for birds to eat all the grass seed inside!

Fortunately, spray on grass seed takes that into account.

A properly applied spray-on seed doesn’t just sit on the surface of your lawn, waiting to be eaten by birds.

It’s driven deeper into the underlying soil, making it tough for birds to get to it.

And for any birds who make it underneath, the mulch included with spray-on grass seed turns them off. The mulch is an inedible shield, keeping your baby grass safe against birds!

Will Spray On Grass Seed Cost A Lot? 

We haven’t mentioned the cost yet, because we saved the best news for the end!

As difficult as it might be to believe, spraying grass seed onto your lawn is CHEAPER than having sod installed!

You can expect to pay $0.08 to $0.2 per square foot for your spray on grass.

Meanwhile, sod installation will run you $0.3 to $0.83 per square foot, even more, if you hire a professional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.