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Extension > Garden > SULIS > Maintenance > Sustainable Lawncare Information Series > Establishing a New Lawn to Achieve Sustainability > Fiber Mats (Syn. Erosion Control Mats)

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Fiber Mats (Syn. Erosion Control Mats)

Fiber Mats and Seedling Emergence

An additional way to help protect against soil erosion and provide a more uniform growing environment for the turfgrass seedlings is to protect the newly seeded area with some type of erosion mat or seeding mat. These are typically made of a thin layer of clean straw (or other type of organic fiber) embedded between two layers of decomposable mesh.

The mats are laid down over the seeded area immediately after seeding has been completed. Staking the mats or 'blankets' according to product directions will ensure that they remain secured to the soil and will not blow away when it's windy. Mats are left on the area as both the straw and the mesh are decomposable. Trying to remove the mats once germination has begun can seriously injure or destroy many of the young seedlings and significantly reduce the amount of living plants remaining.

These mats work particularly well for sloped areas (see pictures below) but are just as beneficial when used in flat areas as their protection of the seed provides for more uniform germination and early seedling growth environment.

Fiber Mat on Sloped Area - Example 1Fiber Mat on Sloped Area - Example 2Fiber Mat on Sloped Area - Example 3
Fiber mats work well for sloped areas.

Germination is often faster under mat covers when compared to bare soil because of the more consistently favorable germination environment provided by the mats.

Growth Through Mat
Seedling growth emerging through mat.

Larger garden centers and certain other garden product retail outlets carry these mats, which usually come in a role, for homeowner use. They are readily available to the commercial industry through their various supply vendors.

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