Netting for Grass Seed
Grass helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion; the network of stolons, tubers and grass roots bind the soil in place. Steep slopes make it tricky to establish healthy turf because rain can wash the soil away before grass seeds germinate. Erosion control netting installed on a slope holds soil in place until healthy grass with strong roots becomes established.
Erosion control netting is used to prevent erosion on steep, bare slopes that are freshly graded with bare soil or with minimal grass. The netting may be installed before sowing the grass seed or after planting the grass, depending on the coverage between the weave. Netting is especially beneficial if you have light, sandy soil, which tends to erode more quickly than heavy soil. Additionally, rocky slopes can benefit from erosion control netting, but the netting must be installed tightly against the soil to prevent rocks from eroding under the fabric.
Grass seed netting can be made of synthetic or natural materials, including jute netting, burlap coir, monofilament or multifilament. These materials are all either biodegradable or photodegradable, which means they will eventually decompose instead of remaining permanent fixtures on the slope. Depending on the thickness and type of material used, the grass seed netting takes about three years to decompose — plenty of time to establish healthy grass that prevents erosion on the slope.
Erosion control netting open-space percentages come in three basic types: type A, type B and type C. As a general rule, the greater the open-space percentage, the easier it is for grass to grow through the net. Consequently, wider gaps means more space through which soil can erode, so these larger nets are better for more gradual slopes. Type A has the largest open area percentage at 65 percent and is ideal for slopes with a grade of up to 3:1, that is, 3 feet of horizontal run for every 1 foot of vertical rise. Type B netting has 50-percent open space and works for steep slopes up to 1:1. Seed can be sown before or after installing type B netting but works better if seed is sown first. Type C is a tightly woven netting with 39-percent open space that provides superior erosion control on steep slopes. Seed is sown before installing the type C netting, but grass might have difficulty growing through the open spaces.
Erosion control netting is sold in rolls that you unroll on the hill and cut to fit. The netting should roll from top to bottom on the hill instead of side to side. The sides of each strip of netting should overlap the previous strip by about 6 inches to prevent soil from eroding through the joints. Additionally, when more than one roll of netting is needed to extend from the top to bottom of the slope, the adjoining ends of each piece should overlap by 3 feet. Extend the netting at least 3 feet beyond the bottom of the slope. The netting is secured to the slope with pins or staples made from heavy galvanized wire, using one pin or staple every 5 feet along the slope and every 1 foot at each end of a roll of netting. J-shaped hook pins should be about 10 inches long or longer for sandy soils; U-shaped staples should be about 6 inches or longer for sandy soils.
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: Erosion Control Netting Fact Sheet
- Granite Environmental: Netting for Erosion Control
- University of Washington: Erosion Control
- California Department of Transportation: Rolled Erosion Control Product (Netting)
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.
Netting for Grass Seed. Grass helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion; the network of stolons, tubers and grass roots bind the soil in place. Steep slopes make it tricky to establish healthy turf because rain can wash the soil away before grass seeds germinate. Erosion control netting installed on a slope holds …
Netting For Lawns – How To Use Landscape Netting
Grass and other ground covers planted on erosion prone areas or unprotected windy sites need a little help sticking around until germination. Netting for lawns provides this defense and shelters the seed until it sprouts. What is lawn netting? There are several types of netting for landscaping, which are designed to safeguard the seed. Whether you chose jute, straw or coconut fiber coverings, knowing how to use landscape netting helps ensure success when straight seeding a large area that might be compromised by vigorous weather.
What is Lawn Netting?
Erosion prone areas benefit from plant covers that help hold soil and preserve the landscape. Landscape netting for grass and other seeded plants safeguard the seeds as they germinate, increasing the number of plants that will grow. It is important to prepare the seed bed as the manufacturer recommends and provide adequate moisture, but all your hard work will be for naught if you don’t shield the seeds and they blow away or irrigation rinses them off. There are natural fiber varieties and plastic mesh which offers more durable and longer protection.
Types of Netting for Landscaping
Jute – The most commonly used netting is jute. Jute is a natural fiber with strength and biodegradability. It is a ropy material woven in a grid-like pattern that you stake across the seed bed. It makes natural landscape netting for grass and decomposes within a season.
Coir – Coir or coconut fiber is a popular choice. It is the basis for some soil amendments, pot and planter liners and other garden uses. The fiber is sometimes bonded to plastic mesh as a longer lasting alternative.
Straw – Another type of netting for lawns is straw. This common material has long been laid over compromised sites to help prevent erosion, protect plant roots, enhance moisture retention and prevent weeds. When it is combined with other materials in a web-like structure, it allows plants to peek through as they grow but stabilizes the soil to prevent seeds and baby plants from blowing or flooding away.
All netting is classed by the size of the grid opening. Type A has a 65 % open area, while Type B has an opening 50% of the grid size. Type C has the smallest, opening at only 39 % and is used after seedlings have emerged.
How to Use Landscape Netting
Most exposed sites will benefit from landscape netting. Once you have prepared the seedbed and sown the seeds, you simply drape the fabric or mesh over the exposed area. Start at one end and roll it out evenly, using soil staples or stakes to hold it into the soil.
In some instances, you will seed after you have used the mesh to hold the prepared soil in place. To do this, shovel 4 inches (10 cm.) of soil over the mesh and rake out evenly. Then plant your seed as usual.
Compostable lawn netting will disappear after a while. Most plastic mesh is left in place as a permanent protection on hills and cliff areas. Not all sites need netting for lawns but it is a useful tool in exposed areas.
Grass planted on erosion prone areas or unprotected sites need a little help until germination. Netting for lawns provides this defense. Read more in this article.