Do Biodegradable Grass Mats Work?

When you’re ready to give your lawn new life, you might start looking around for ways to make sure it ends up as healthy and full as you’re hoping. 

You might come across lawn seed blankets and grass mats in your search. 

Do biodegradable grass mats offer you a fuller, healthier lawn? 

Grass seed mats help increase the chance of success for your lawn. When you roll them out over grass seed, they help lawns sprout faster and more effectively. They help keep seeds in place in the face of erosion, help boost the soil temperature, and protect them from wildlife.

If you’re interested in a full, green lawn, keep reading!

We’ll cover exactly what a biodegradable grass seed mat is and how it can help your lawn.

biodegradable grass mats for protecting new seed

Do Grass Seed Mats Have Seeds in Them? 

The idea behind grass seed mats isn’t a blanket with seeds. Instead, it’s a blanket meant to go over your choice of seed types. 

A grass seed roll cover serves a few purposes. For example, it reduces the chance of seed clumps and the risk of soil erosion washing your seeds away.

However, these mats do not have any seeds of their own in them. You’ll have to purchase and lay grass seed separately before laying down one of these mats. 

How Do You Use a Grass Seed Germination Blanket? 

Lawn seed blankets can work well! However, you’ll need to apply them correctly to maximize their potential. 

Comparing them to other methods of seeding your lawn, grass seed blankets are less likely to lead to clumps of seeds in your lawn. 

When these seeds clump, it can lead to uneven coverage, giving you a pattern of lush and sparse spots in your lawn. 

Measure Your Lawn

The good news is that you won’t have to break a tiller and tear up your lawn to use these. 

Before you get into it, though, you’ll need to purchase your grass seed germination mats.

The first goal is to find out how many germination blankets you need. 

These are offered in sizes of 4′, 6′, 8′, 12′, and 16′ feet across. The length of the mat can vary as needed from 20 to 200 yards or 60′ to 600′ feet. 

Carefully measure your lawn to calculate how much coverage you’ll need from a lawn seed mat. 

Use Fertilizer

To give your grass the best chance of success, start by sprinkling grass fertilizer over your lawn. 

This should go wherever you’re laying down grass seed. Much like the grass seed, the mats will also help keep suitable fertilizer in place. 

Lay Down the Grass Seed

measure lawn to get enough grass mats

The next step is to evenly spread your grass seed where it’s needed. This is also where your grass seed mats will go.

It’s possible to do this as a treatment for yellow patches or to rejuvenate your entire lawn. 

Tackling the whole thing at once will often lead to a more uniform lawn, especially in the early growing stages. 

Further Reading: Spreading grass seed on top of soil

Lay Out the Grass Seed Germination Blankets

Now, take your rolled biodegradable mat and position it, so the side with the thicker netting is towards you. 

This is where the roll begins, and all you have to do is lay it down flat and unroll it as you move forward. 

If there’s any access mat when you lay it out, carefully cut any excess away. 

Continue this step as needed until any dead grass patches or your entire lawn is seeded and covered. 

For side-by-side mats, let them overlap by about 3″ inches. 

Stake It In Place

To keep your grass mats secure and in place, you’ll need to fix them to the ground with strong stakes. 

To ensure everything will break down on its own, it’s best to pair biodegradable mats with biodegradable stakes. 

This way, you won’t have to worry about digging those stakes up later. 

Water Your Grass Mats

Now, you want to thoroughly wet the blankets with water. Dampening them here isn’t enough. 

You’ll want to water these until you see runoff. Remember, these also work as erosion control mats, so you won’t wash your seeds away. 

Since you need so much water, a garden hose or sprinkler system is best here. 

You’ll also want to up how much weekly water you give your grass until it sprouts. 

Until you see seedlings poking through the mats, it’s best to keep them saturated with regular watering.  

Wait to Mow

Your lawn is ready to mow again once you have about 2-3″ inches of grass growth. 

If you’re only repairing sparse patches in your lawn, carefully mow around them until the patch of seeds starts to flourish enough for mowing. 

Do Grass Seed Mats Disintegrate? 

If you choose a biodegradable option, grass seed mats will disintegrate on their own. 

However, it takes time. 

If the mats disappeared immediately, they wouldn’t offer much help to your vulnerable seedlings. 

You’ll notice your mat breaking down about 90 days after you roll it out. 

It’ll take some time beyond those 90 days for them to fully disappear. In the meantime, they’re often designed to blend well into your lawn. 

This way, they aren’t such an eye-sore to fully disintegrate. 

If you have biodegradable stakes, they should also start to break down after a while. 

Yet, to see these results, you’ll need to apply the biodegradable stakes in the ground completely rather than leaving them sticking out. 

How Well Do Grass Seed Mats Work? 

Grass seed mats are a great tool when you’re refreshing your lawn. For one, they’ll immediately help by keeping any seed or fertilizer in place by protecting them from erosion or the wind. 

In addition, the mats help to warm the soil, encouraging growth from grass seedlings. Best of all, they’re relatively easy to use as well! 

There are some similar options to using grass seed mats. For instance, some homeowners protect their growing lawns with hay. 

Yet, if you do this, there’s still a chance for the hay to blow around with the wind. This would leave your lawn vulnerable and potentially make quite a mess of your yard.