Matt & Rose at Hydroseeding

Hydroseeding 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 hydroseeding of native sedge seeds at a trial site next to Lake Ruatuna to determine if it is a successful and cost effective restoration approach compared to conventional planting. 

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
  • Trial repeated in May 2018, plants established at this site. Research thesis on this trial will be available in 2021
  • Completed second trial in 2019 at a differenst site near a farm drain/waterway (not on the steep slopes) but due to drought conditions plants were not able to establish
  • No further trials will be carried out by Living Water
  • Enquiries for further information on hydroseeding can be directed to DairyNZ

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