Arborjet Ecologel Hydretain

Newly released seeding study shows Hydretain increases seed germination

Arborjet | Ecologel announced the results of a seeding study performed by Dr. Shelby Henning, while at the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. The purpose of this trial was to determine if a single application of granular or liquid Hydretain at the time of seeding results in enhanced survival and establishment of newly seeded turfgrass.

The study reports that “maintaining optimum soil moisture is critical for optimal seed germination and establishment. This is particularly so for turfgrass as turf seed and seedlings are typically very small and therefore highly subject to moisture stress pre-and-post germination. With many municipalities under watering restrictions, a product that both successfully maintains optimum soil moisture during turf seed germination, and reduces water use requirements during establishment would be of great interest to turfgrass managers around the world.” 

Ecologel’s flagship brand, Hydretain reduces watering requirements of turfgrasses, trees, shrubs, flowers, indoor and outdoor plants and agriculture by as much as 50%. Hydretain has been used in major erosion control projects, golf and sports overseeding and landscape seeding for many years. This newly released university research affirms Hydretain’s ability to increase seed germination rates and coverage, especially under deficit irrigation.

There were two irrigation regimes in this study; a high irrigation rate of 1.5” per week and a low (or deficient) irrigation rate of 0.75” per week. Ratings were made on percent coverage. During the first three weeks, all Hydretain treatments had statistically significantly greater grass coverage versus the untreated. The low irrigation treatment had all Hydretain treatments achieving statistically significant greater grass coverage on all observations dates. Additionally, all three Hydretain formulas (liquid, Granular OC or Granular QD) tested performed similarly in achieving significant results. 

The main takeaways from this study are: Hydretain is effective in accelerating grass seed germination under many irrigation regimes; and under reduced or deficient irrigation situations Hydretain achieves greater seed germination and turf coverage at least for the first six weeks or longer after seeding. There is little difference between the performance of Hydretain formulas, meaning a turf manager can pick the Hydretain product that best fits into his / her program.

“For golf, sport turf, landscape managers and homeowners, being able to increase seed germination speed and rates while achieving faster turf coverage with less water is a significant win for both budget and water conservation efforts. In all regions, particularly drought stressed areas, the need to maximize seed germination rates with minimal water use is critical. This is amplified by seed shortages and price increases that are coming this fall and next season. Through this research, Hydretain has proven what we have already seen in the field, that it is an invaluable tool in achieving the best possible turf from seed while conserving essential resource,” said James Spindler, CPAg, CCA, CSS, director of agronomy, Ecologel Solutions, LLC.