The Hydroseeding Industry is ‘Blooming’
Hydroseeding, first utilised in the 1950’s, is an extremely popular seeding technique in the UK due to its ability to quickly establish landscapes, at extremely reasonable prices. Hydroseeding is a technique and planting process that involves a liquid medium containing seeds and a carrier mulch. The mulch used can vary depending on the location and often includes materials such as wood, paper or even in some cases denim. The seed mixtures added to the carrier range widely, from trees, grasses and wildflowers
Hydroseeding is often used as an erosion control technique on hillsides and sloping surfaces. It provides a cost effective way of establishing trees, grasses and seeds on inaccessible locations that would prove impossible to plant by hand.
Across the UK many industries favour the technique of using hydroseeding to plant wildflowers. Since the 1930’s Britain has lost almost 97% of its wildflower meadows. An increase in the demand for mass production of food has meant that farmland, which traditionally supported diverse wildflower ecosystems, has now been turned over to the highly mechanised and land intensive process of growing food. An increase in arable farming, pastoral farming and mixed farming has seen the area dedicated to wildflowers rapidly diminish. This is worrying as wildflowers provide key habitats for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Bees, particularly, have seen a huge decline in numbers over recent years as they rely solely on flowers for food. Wildflowers can also support a whole ecosystem from fungi, small birds, mammals and even birds of prey.
Wildflower seeding is now popular for clients looking to increase biodiversity whilst also preventing erosion and reducing ground subsidence on slopes. Many local Councils have embraced the concept of wildflower hydroseeding on road and motorway verges.
There are over 251,000 of rural road verges, not to mention hundreds of miles of motorway verges, which are home to over 700 species of wild plants, 87 of which are facing extinction. These roadside wildflower havens are becoming increasingly valuable to our native plants and animals. There are, however, many other applications for hydroseeding with a wildflower mix. Under pressure from environmentalists to provide areas of biodiversity to comply with conservation friendly policies, many organisations are now turning to hydroseeding using wildflowers to transform previously desolate ground into thriving areas of wildflower meadow.
Areas such as spoil heaps and landfills that were previously devoid of any vegetation area perfect locations for this process. Here at Oliver Brown Ltd we have overseen many hydroseeding projects involving wildflower seeds. A recent scheme involved a two-stage hydroseeding project to establish pure wildflowers at a quarry, establishing 30,000m2 of butterfly and bee habitat creation.
As the focus on the future of native plants and biodiversity intensifies, both in private and public arenas, hydroseeding provides a feasible, cost effective solution, transforming areas of desolate and inaccessible land into beautiful havens for wildlife. With proper management this will hopefully slow and ideally halt the extinction of many plant varieties, whilst also providing the perfect environment for many species of wildlife, in particular the endangered bee.
At Oliver Brown Ltd we are experienced in wildflower hydroseeding. We have an in-house agronomist and seed specialist to ensure that we receive the best germination rates, ensuring long term success For further information on hydroseeding please contact one of our team at Oliver Brown Ltd.