Matt & Rose at Hydroseeding

Hydro-seeding Trial

Research & Monitoring – With Descriptor

About the project

Planting riparian margins with low lying native vegetation is a well-known and beneficial technique used to stabilise banks, shade water and reduce nuisance weed growth. Unfortunately, many retired land areas (e.g. land next to wetlands and drains/waterways) are steep, difficult to plant and difficult to maintain. Living Water is trialling direct hydro-seeding native sedge seeds in riparian zones to determine if it is a successful and cost effective restoration approach compared to conventional planting. If the trial proves that hydro-seeding is successful it could be rolled out regionally and/or nationally, significantly accelerating riparian restoration efforts on and off farm.

We know that planting, particularly native planting, around our freshwater environments is really important. This is a way to speed up the process and hopefully make it easier for everyone.

Matt Highway


  • Potential cost savings and greater efficiencies
  • Increased riparian planting resulting in contaminant reduction and freshwater ecosystem improvements


  • First hydroseeding trial in 2017 not successful due to nonviable seed
  • Hydroseeding trial repeated in May 2018
  • Monitoring ongoing with stage 1 to finish in September 2019

News updates

  • Vlog showing hydroseeding in progress here
Spraying process

Native plants around freshwater bodies provide bank stability, shade, habitat for insects and fish, but also other things like leaf litter. It basically tricks the stream into thinking it's surrounded by native forest.

Matt Highway

Hydroseeding trial at Waikato Peat Lake, May 2018

Why are we spraying black stuff over a patch of land on a dairy farm? This rich composty liquid is filled with carex seeds - we're testing whether this is an economic and easy option for planting difficult sites, to capture sediment and effluent. Learn more in our timelapse about this trial at Ruatuna, a Waikato Peat Lake, New Zealand. Thanks to Erosion Control Ltd.

Matt looking at earth