Hydromulch & Compost Study

Hi All

Time to blog the results of our, almost year-long, Hydromulch Study conducted at the Erosion Control Training Facility in Redding, CA.  

We were testing whether thick applications of Hydromulch would in fact “smother” or hinder seed establishment.

We used Nassella pulchra, Elymus Glaucus and I think 1/3 Leymus triticoides (these are relatively large grass seeds but widely used in No. CA.).  

We did uniform soil prep (trackwalking), put the seed down uniformly UNDER (not with) the hydromulch and then covered with all kinds of commonly used hydromulches – Soil Guard, Flexterra, TeraMulch, hydrostraw, and the cotton mulch (NAG).

We documented NO discernible ill effects from higher rates.  Actually just the opposite!!!  

This winter had such intense storms it was very unusual and the lower rates of hydromulch resulted in quite a bit more erosion – one more storm and I predict the seed and slopes would have been lost on the 2000#/ac applications.

What is most significant is that we also applied a compost blanket 2″ thick.  There was NO reduction of seed establishment, if fact the compost blanket grew the BEST grass, by covering seed with 2″ of compost.

This finding is consistent with all my experience in putting down compost blankets with the Compost Blower machine – Hilltop Burn Dump (2005), Alberta DOT Pembina River 2006 and 2008.

Hope you enjoy and hope this paper somewhat “lays to rest” the notion that Compost Blankets at 2″ will smother seeds.   

We must, as EC Specialists, find a balance between veg establishment and effective erosion control during the establishment period.  Good luck   




BUT:  What say you?  What’s been your experiences and/or opinions?  Leave some comments below and let’s get some conversation going!



Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar