Before you start
To use the calculator effectively, you need to know your yard’s size and the cost of the materials you plan to use. Measure your yard and research pricing for:
• Grass Seed
• Tackifier – if needed
• Additives – if needed
• Hydroseeder rental costs in your area
It is an excellent idea to have your soil tested before seeding your yard. Soils can vary widely. To give your new yard a healthy start, you need to know what your soil needs to support seed germination and growth. Depending on where you live and what services are available, the soil test can be free or cost up to $50. Just Google “Soil Test” and you will see plenty of options.
ENTER YARD SIZE
Input your data, starting with the Yard Size. There are four sections to this.
Enter the cost of the seed per pound and the recommended amount of seed per 1,000 SF. You can find this on the seed label or ask your retailer. The calculator will add 10% for waste and calculate the total cost of seed.
Enter the cost of the hydromulch for a 50 lb. bale, and the application rate per acre. You can find this on the label or ask your retailer. This calculator will do the math and let you know how many bales you need based on the square footage of your yard. Naturally, round up as you can’t buy a partial bale.
Use this formula to determine how much fertilizer is required for your lawn. Your soil test and the results it recommends are a vital resource here, so be sure to use it.
The key ingredient for new grass is phosphorus. It is best to buy a starter fertilizer with a high percentage of phosphorus. The recommended amount is 2 pounds of phosphorus per one thousand square feet for a new lawn. By entering the ingredients, N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) in the correct fields, the calculator will determine how much fertilizer is needed based on spreading two pounds of phosphorus per 1,000 square feet.
Appply two pounds of phosphorus per 1000 square feet of yard
Understanding fertilizer labels (Simplified)
1. Lawn fertilizer ingredients are listed in a ratio of Nitrogen (N) – Phosphorus (P) – Potassium (K), and each number is the percentage of that ingredient.
2. For example, a fertilizer with a 15-30-15 label would be:
a. 15% Nitrogen
b. 30% Phosphorus
c. 15% Potassium
3. For planting a 5,000 square foot lawn, you would need:
. 10 lbs of Phosphorous (2 lbs/1,000 sf) x 5,000
a. Our example has this ingredient label (15-30-20)
b. It is 30% Phosphorous, so each pound of fertilizer has .3 lbs. phosphorous.
c. Since we need 10 pounds of phosphorous for our 5,000 SF yard, we divide the 10 by .3 (the amount of phosphorous in each pound of fertilizer, to calculate how much total fertilizer is needed.
d. 10lbs/.3 = 33.3 lbs. of fertilizer for 5,000 square feet
IMPORTANT: If you don’t want to add fertilizer based on the phosphorus content, skip the fertilizer section here, and add your fertilizer in one of the “Additive” areas in the calculator.
Tackifier is essentially glue that holds the hydromulch in place, especially on steeply sloped ground. If your land is very flat, you may not need any tackifier; if steeply sloped, you may need to add it to your mix. Explain to your hydromulch supplier how steep your lawn is, and they can make a recommendation for tackifier.
If your soil test recommends that you need to add other materials to make your soil ready to support new grass, the additives sections are where you add them. Additives include lime, humic agents, bio-stimulants, and others.
TOTAL MATERIAL COST
Now that you have all the data entered, the calculator will return the total material cost.
RENTAL EQUIPMENT COSTS
Get estimates to rent a hydroseeder from a Finn dealer or other rental agency. A 600-gallon hydroseeder is a typical rental size, and the calculator shows the approximate rental fee. If you rent a smaller or larger hydroseeder, no worries, just enter the cost the same way.
The calculator will add the total material costs with the rental fee and return the project’s total cost. It will also convert the price to the cost per square foot for comparison to hiring a professional.
Keep in mind that this figure is your estimate for out-of-pocket costs for the project. Your labor and time in getting the soil tested, researching, picking up materials, renting equipment, cleaning it, and returning it, should be factored into whether you do the work or hire it out.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Hiring a professional is the easy way. Find a landscape company or two and call them for an estimate to hydroseed your yard. They will do all the work, and you are just left with the watering, care, and maintenance of the yard.
The calculator provides price ranges to give you an idea of what it may cost. Keep in mind that your area, labor rates, soil condition, proximity to water, and many other factors could significantly impact costs. Use the provided numbers only as a general guideline. If you receive a price that falls outside of this range, it does not necessarily mean you are over or undercharged; it could merely be a reflection of costs for your market.
We recommend two or three estimates to ensure you are comfortable with your contractor.