Method of application depends on the size of the area and the terrain. On small areas, broadcast seeds evenly either by hand or by use of a drop or cyclone spreader. It is helpful to mix a carrier such as clean, dry sand with the seed; sand adds volume and aids in even distribution. We recommend using a ratio of 1 or 2 parts sand to 1 part seed. Rake in lightly, covering seeds to a maximum depth of 2-3 times their thickness. Or drag the area lightly with a piece of chain link fence to mix the seed into the surface of the soil. For seeding large areas, i.e., over one acre, specially designed drills are most effective. Drill to a maximum of 1/4 inch and firm soil with a cultipacker; this maximizes seed/soil contact. Hydroseeders are also effective, especially for steep slopes, rocky terrain and other areas where conditions make it impractical for other methods of seed application.
Hydroseeding is the application of a slurry of seed and water to soil. The slurry may also contain mulch (hydromulching), a tackifier and fertilizer. Mulches are made of wood fiber, paper or excelsior, and their purpose is to hold seeds in place, help retain moisture and provide protection from erosion; mulches are usually dyed green as a visual aid in even distribution. Rates of application for most mulches are between 1500 and 23 00 pounds per acre. In general, hydroseeding/hydromulching is most successful in moist climates or in irrigated areas.
Most authorities agree that germination is better when seed is applied first with 5-10% of the mulching fiber–the balance of the mulch being applied separately as a second step. This approach ensures optimal seed/soil contact; otherwise, many seeds are wasted because they become suspended in the fiber.
It is important that proper procedures are followed to minimize the amount of time that seed is circulated through pumps or paddles prior to application. Over-circulation may damage the seed.