Hydroseed can be a cost effect option for vegetating the Envirolok system. Apply by machine for large-scale projects or with by hand with a slurry mix for small-scale projects. Hydroseeding is recommended for dry, sunny sites that are not prone to flooding or high winds. When properly applied, vegetative cover should be nearly 100% within the first growing season. Here are some tips for successful hydroseeding:
In most cases a native seed mix of 70% grasses & sedges / 30% wildflowers work best. Focus on species 3'-4' in height or less. For slopes greater than 2V:1H, use a mix of ground cover and/ or shorter grasses and sedges. Be sure to select species that will thrive in site conditions. Limit mixes with high content of Annual Rye Grass or standard roadway seed mixes.
SEEDING RATES & APPLICATION
For hydroseeding steep slopes, we recommend increasing the seeding rate 3-4 times the normal rate per acre. In addition to increased seed rates, be sure to increase the tackifier rate or use a steep slope tackifier per the manufacturer recommendations.
When applying the hydromulch mixture, continuously run the agitator while spraying the hydroseed to keep seed mixed consistently.
For best result, redirect any surface flow away from the slope until establishment. To protect the hydroseed from washing off or being disturbed by geese or other birds, place a wood fiber erosion mat over the bags. The mat will also help retain moisture during germination.
WATERING & CARE
If a water source is available, watering until establishment is recommended. Do not use a high pressure water source, as it may wash the seed from the bags. Inspect vegetation in late June of the second season. Any bare spots can be treated with a hand slurry mix or a dry seed application. If needed, weed removal can be done by hand or with selective treatment.
LIVE PLANTING TIPS
PLANT PLUGS. LIVE STAKES. BARE ROOT
Live plant plugs, bare root stock, or live stakes can be mixed with a hydroseed cover and work great for shady areas and slopes that are prone to flooding. In comparison to seeding, live planting helps control species location and aesthetic. For robust cover during the first season, we recommend 2-3 perennial plants per unit. Bare root or live staked shrubs can be placed at a rate of 1-2 per bag. Plant plugs with pot sizes of 2.5" or less work best, however pot sizes up to 4" can be used if planting is done while installing the Envirolok bags.
While we encourage the use of native plant species, there are many traditional landscape species that will thrive in the Envirolok system. When selecting species, remember fill and backfill soils will consist mostly of sand. Be sure to consider light conditions, moisture, and stick to species under 4' in height. For slopes steeper than 2V:1H, use a mix of ground covers, short grasses, and/or sedges.
We recommend that 1 plant species account for more than 30% of the total plants. This helps limit large scale damage from diseases or pests. Choose a mix of deep rooting and creeping root species. When working with a native plant pallet, grasses and sedges should account for at least 70% of the species for the best coverage.
PLANTING DURING INSTALLATION
Live planting is easiest if completed during installation. After each course of bags is compacted, simply set the plants on top of the bags in the desired location. The soil level or root node should be set so it will be even with the bag above. Place a handful of soil around the roots prior to setting the next course of Envirolok. DO NOT cut bags.
PLANTING AFTER INSTALLATION
Live planting can also be completed after the Envirolok system is completed. Plant material is installed between bags. This can be done by slightly lifting the edge of the bag with a planting or tire spoon, then sliding the plant between the bags until the soil level or root node is even with the bag above. Pack any void spaces with a handful of loose soil. DO NOT cut bags.
WATERING AND CARE
For best results, water plantings for the first season until established. If possible, watering is also recommended during extreme droughts. A low pressure water source or irrigation is typically the best way to water.
Upon establishment, weed removal can be done by hand or with a selective treatment.
SOD, SEDUM MATS, & AGRECOL NVM TIPS
Prior to placing, sod, sedum mats or NVM, all void spaces between bags should be filled with soil. On-site or bagged soil works best. Moisten the soil or the Envirolok bags to help keep soil cover in place. Soil can be placed by dumping it over the bags from the top of the slope and smoothing it by hand or packing it in by hand.
NEAR VERTICAL APPLICATIONS
For near vertical applications, sedum mats are recommended. Be sure the mat is well connected to the soil and bags. This will likely require additional stables. Sedum mats can also be cut in 6" wide strips and applied between courses of bags. While it takes longer to achieve full vegetation, it eliminates the challenge of trying to pack soil between near vertical bags.
Staking the sod or mat ensures that there is solid contact between the roots and soil. This will eliminate the potential of dieback due to air gaps. Use 4-6" landscape staples, circle-top staples or stakes as recommended by the grower. Place staples at all corners of the mat and space between as needed to ensure a tight fit.
WATERING & CARE
Sod, NVM and sedum mats require watering for best establishment. Watering can be done through temporary irrigation, sprinklers or hand watering. The equvelant of 1" of water per week for the first 6 weeks is recommended.
These planting applications provide full vegetation when installed and reduce the need for any weed removal.