What are Grass Seed Mats (and are they a good solution)?

Discover the benefits of grass seed mats. Are they the right choice for your lawn? Learn more about their efficiency and benefits.

5 MIN 07 Feb
Last update: 08 Feb 2024
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Do you want a new lawn quickly? Perhaps you’re looking to reseed a sloped area of your garden? Well, grass seed mats could be the solution you’re looking for. 

Sometimes known as grass mats, roll-out grass or even lawn fleece, the grass seed mat is a relatively new concept in lawn sowing. 

This blog explores grass seed mats, examining whether they offer value for money and a usable solution to restoring your lawn. 

Ready? Let’s get started!

What is a grass seed mat? 

A grass seed mat ready to grow

Lawn seed mats are made from a biodegradable textile impregnated with lawn seeds, meaning you don’t need to press loose seeds into the soil. 

The mat retains moisture around the seed, helping it germinate, and often contains a lawn starter fertiliser, offering slow-release nutrients. 

Additionally, the mat provides weed and bird protection while the seeds germinate, eventually biodegrading into the soil over the space of around 5 or 6 months. 

This makes the grass seed mat an innovation that rivals sowing new grass seed or laying turf. 

Are grass seed mats any good?

The manufacturers advertise a range of advantages, which at first glance seem appealing. Indeed, rolling out a mat is a little quicker than sprinkling grass seed and pressing it into the soil. 

However:

You must still prepare the ground similarly to when sowing seed or laying new turf. So, in practical terms, you’re really only exchanging one step of the process for another. 

A task comparison between sowing, turfing, and laying a grass mat

Laying turfSowing seedLaying a grass seed mat
Prepare soil by removing stones, weeds, and garden debrisPrepare soil by removing stones, weeds, and garden debrisPrepare soil by removing stones, weeds, and garden debris
Level the soil surfaceLevel the soil surfaceLevel the soil surface
Water the soilWater the soilWater the soil
Roll out the turf, cutting to size wherever necessarySow the seedsRoll out the mat, cutting to size wherever necessary
Press the turf into the soil with a rollerPress the seeds into the soil surface with a rollerWeigh down the mat with a sand layer
Keep the turf moistKeep the soil moistKeep the matting moist

The main advantage of seed matting is the ease of rolling it over your prepared soil. Otherwise, the process is essentially the same. 

Advantages of grass seed mats

Lawn mats are much lighter and easier to cut and handle than turf, which is heavy and requires a fair amount of physical exertion to lay.

Of course, sowing grass seed requires considerably less physical effort than laying turf, but you need to press the seed into the soil with a roller; otherwise, it won’t germinate. 

You can dispense with the garden roller when laying a grass seed mat, but it will require weighing down with sand; otherwise, the wind will blow the matting away. 

Protecting against wind

Even after you’ve pressed your lawn seed into the soil, the wind can still disturb it. And heavy rain can wash germinated seeds away from their intended germination spot. 

However, the grass seed stays in place with a grass seed mat, making it a good solution for sowing grass seed on sloped areas. 

Sowing on slopes

Slopes are notoriously tricky to sow because the seed is more likely to slip out of place, especially after rain.  As mentioned, grass seed mats help keep the seeds in place while germinating.  But the ground beneath the grass mat must be flat and well-prepared; otherwise, growth will be patchy.  We recommend pressing grass seed into sloped soil with your feet rather than a roller, as a roller can be heavy. 

Disadvantages of grass seed mats

The mat remains visible until it biodegrades and can look patchy and unsightly as it dissolves. But after six months or so, the mat will give way to soil, giving your lawn a more natural appearance. 

The wind can move the matting

One of the principal problems with matting is that it can be disturbed by the wind. And if the seeds have already germinated, the wind can rip the plant away from the root. 

So, matting does require some fairly substantial weighing down. 

Grass seed mats — quality is crucial

Grass seed matting laid over a slope

First and foremost, ensure your grass seed mat is entirely plastic-free because you don’t want threads of plastic polluting your soil, as it can harm wildlife and the water table. 

So, always check the green credentials of your grass seed mat.  

How much does a grass seed mat cost? A comparison

Now, we get to the crux of the matter. How much do they cost?

Well, between lawn seed, turf, and grass seed mats, lawn seed wins hands down at just 35p a square metre for premium grass seed. And with some care and attention, grass seed produces excellent, robust results. 

You’ll look at £7+ for premium turf and around £6.75 for grass seed matting. 

Of course, prices differ considerably according to quality — but we always think it’s better to spend a little more and enjoy better results. 

Are grass seed mats worth the money?

Grass seed mats are convenient, but the seed won’t germinate any quicker than seed sown by hand. You may get more consistent results the first time as the weather is less likely to disturb the seed with a grass mat, but grass seed is much cheaper, so you can afford to make a couple of applications, reseeding where there are any patches. 

For the price, we think grass seed is the best option, although turf provides a more instant lawn. 

Get more information about the great turf vs lawn seed conundrum. 

Any questions?

You might be wondering how to go about sowing your new lawn from seed, or maybe you want to lay down turf. Or perhaps you’re convinced that a grass seed mat is the best option. 

Either way, don’t forget to water and fertilise your lawn! 

Happy gardening!

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    5. E. Laying out a new lawn
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  • Describe your lawn:
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    3. C. I would like to have a decorative lawn
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