DIY – Garden Mats

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Peter Comart  |  12 comments

Customers continually ask if they can burn their own holes, make their own patterns or add holes to the patterns we already sell.  The answer is absolutely!  And now, with Garden Mats 3″, 4″, 6″ and 8″ steel templates, a torch and blank material, we made it easy to Do It Yourself (DIY).

Place our blank material on a concrete floor or get some HardieBacker cement board, which is available at any lumber yard or Home Depot (it is used for tiling).  In a pinch, you can also use an old sheet of plywood.  The idea is to have a flat fire retardant surface under the material.  Once that is accomplished, lay our 16 gauge steel Garden Mats Templates on top of the material and cut your holes with a Blazer Stingray torch.  Everything is neat and easy.  All you have to supply is a fire retardant surface underneath the material and a ruler.


A word of caution, when cutting your own holes make sure you do not touch the metal templates or the melted plastic until they are completely cooled. They’ll be hot!  And welcome to our world, making your own holes.



The Mat Man

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  1. naturemyth says:

    Thanks PeterI’ll try that out when the weather allows me to do it outdoors.You might want to mention fumes in your next missive.Best,BB

  2. Joanne says:

    Would it be ok to use these for shrubs? Will you ever have round mats for this purpose?

    • Peter Comart says:

      Honestly, you are better off using bark mulch, and use plenty of it. In our experience people only put a couple inches and it should be more like 5-6 inches to keep weeds from germinating.

  3. bryce pinnow says:

    I’m getting ready to add strawberries to my garden. What mat pattern do you think I should use or would the plank mats be a better way to go and make my own holes?

    • Peter Comart says:

      We use Mat #5 for strawberries. Every couple of years we pull up the plants, put fresh manure in the soil, put our mats back down and replant. Works like a charm.

  4. Jan Neiges says:

    Are the matts best for use with transplants vs starting seeds in the garden? It seems that there is not enough room in the holes to prepare the soil for the transplant.

    • Peter Comart says:


      You can use starter plants or seeds. For transplants we recommend using our Plug Planter. It lifts the dirt out of the hole so you can easily transplant your starter plants. If you plant by seed we recommend you plant a few seeds per hole and then thin as needed. You do not want to overcrowd each hole. You can also plant a bunch of seeds in one hole and then when they are big enough to transplant, pull up a bunch and transplant very delicately. You do not want to damage the roots.

  5. Laura Halvorson says:

    Can the mats be used in a perennial flower bed, specifically with peonies? Mulch is not recommended around peonies.
    I see I could cut/burn to holes to the sizes I would need.

  6. Cheri Farmer says:

    How would I use your mats if I wanted to build an arch with big panels for my cucumbers

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