Growing Grass with Seed Blankets

November 12, 2009 | by Ethan (email) |

Fall is the best time to grow new grass. By September, the hottest months have past but the temperature hasn’t plummeted. The soil still contains a fair amount of moisture and there are plenty of good growing days. An easy easy way to plant grass seed is with a seed blanket. Seed blankets, also called erosion control mats or seed mats, offer several unique advantages compared to simply spreading grass seed.

I’m writing this post so late in the season because I wanted to show how effective these seed blankets are and share a time-line of when your grass will really take hold.

Benefits of Erosion Control Blankets

Planting grass seed with a seed blanket is a simple project. Most DIY stores carry all the necessary materials and it shouldn’t take too much time. By using a seed blanket you gain several advantages:

  • Too many seeds can prevent grass from growing well because there is not enough moisture and nutrients. Seed blankets have a uniform seed density preventing seed clumps from forming.
  • Seed mats lock in the proper amount of water, protecting the seed from sun and heat damage.
  • These blankets also hold the seed in place, preventing it from being washed away. The same is true for the soil. Rain can erode the soil but these blankets help hold everything in place.
  • Some mats are made from natural fibers that degrade over time meaning there is no clean-up.
  • Seed blankets also help prevent weeds from taking hold.

Do Seed Blankets Work?

The big question is how well these blankets work – how long before the grass is really growing. Check out this time-lapse photography showing how the grass progresses.

Grass growing

These pictures are taken over a period of 30 days, starting in early October. The big jump occurs when the mat really starts to disintegrate caused by some heavy rain. You can see for yourself that the grass is growing well but still has a few bare spots.

What do you think? Have you used a seed blanket? How do you plant grass seed?

7 Responses
  1. Deborah says:

    We have never tried these but may do just that. thanks!

  2. Yolanda says:

    Do you have any resources for seed blankets? Or can you make your own?

  3. Ethan says:

    @Yolanda, I don’t have a specific brand that I can recommend. Most DIY centers have these rolls available and I bet they are all pretty much the same.

    I’ve read about making your own garden seed blankets. Here’s a helpful article about it, but I’ve never come across anything for making your own grass seed blankets. If you try it out, you gotta! send pictures. It would be awesome to see how it works.

  4. Keith says:

    Ethan, I seem to do things the hard way all the time! This looks much easier than the conventional methods of planting seeds or plugs!

  5. HANDYMAN51 says:

    I can see where this would work well for a small to moderate- sized area. Killing a patch of Creeping Charlie, letting the spot “rest” for the allowed time before re-seeding, and putting this down might work pretty well. Do the blankets come in different seed mixes, or would you have to be satisfied having a patch that doesn’t look the same?

  6. Billy Reynolds says:

    Are you supposed to pull up the netting at some point if the netting is plastic? Looks to me like it would get wrapped up in the lawn mower if not removed. At what point should a person pull it up.

  7. Dennis says:

    My experience in real life is that these appear to be a waste of time. First, there is the problem of the wind catching the blanket and blowing it out of place (of course, when it is wet, it rips as you try to carefully readjust it… . Where that was not an issue, after 6 weeks, the grass was sparse and uneven. Immediately adjacent, ordinary seed/mulch mix seeded at the same time sprouted beautifully and consistently and gave me great cover. Maybe it was a bad batch. I see bad reviews on the store where I bought it. For my money, I would stick with seed/mulch fertilizer

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