Frequently Asked Questions about Garden Mats

  1. Which mat should I use?
  2. Should I move my mats and rotate crops from year to year?
  3. What is the best way to lay out the garden mats?
  4. Should I bury the edges of the Garden Mats in the soil to keep it from blowing away in the wind?
  5. At the end of the season, how do I store my Garden Mats?
  6. My garden mat got damaged and is beginning to fray around the holes and on the edges. Is there any way I can fix this problem so it will last longer?
  7. What do you recommend for weed control between rows?
  8. Are the materials in the mats safe to use on a garden?
  9. I'm a retailer, do you offer wholesale pricing?
  1. Which mat should I use?

    Consult our mat specifications and planting tips pages for the best mats to use for specific crops.

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  3. Should I move my mats and rotate crops from year to year?

    Absolutely. It is an ancient practice to rotate crops. It is based upon the fact that too long an occupancy on one site of a single crop is neither good for the crop nor the soil in which it grows. Rotation helps equalize the drain on the nutrients in the soil. Rotation is especially important for certain “night shade” plants like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. They should be moved around in your garden every year.

    This practice helps prevent over-wintered diseases or insect pests from having the same crop or type of crop upon which to feed the next season. For example, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli should not follow each other since many of the same diseases attack all of them. Likewise cucumbers, muskmelons, watermelons and squashes and pumpkins should not follow each other.

    A good general practice is to follow foliage crops, celery, cabbage, lettuce, spinach and others, by root crops, such as beets, carrots and parsnips, and to follow these by fruit and seed crops, such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, beans and peas. In a small garden it is hard to follow an ideal system of rotation because of the large variety of crops grown and the difference in the size of the area devoted to the various ones. It is important, however, to keep in mind the general principals of rotation, especially in case disease becomes a serious problem.

    For example, we had both a tomato and potato blight last year. We are moving both crops and starting all over with our potatoes. We are not using any of last year’s crop from the root cellar. We are purchasing them from a very reputable source to ensure that they are disease free.

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  5. What is the best way to lay out the garden mats?

    We till our soil well before we lay out the garden mats. Once that is done we start at one end. We use Garden Mats staples and pin the mats down in each corner. We then unroll the mat all the way to the other end and pin the far two corners down using two more Garden Mats staples. We then place a staple on each side every three feet. So, for a 6 foot mat you will need six staples, two in each corner and two in the middle on each side. For a 12 foot mat you will need 10 staples. For an 18 foot mat you will need 14 staples.

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  7. Should I bury the edges of the Garden Mats in the soil to keep it from blowing away in the wind?

    If you bury the edges in soil it will promote weed growth, especially with tenacious weeds like witch grass. We recommend that you just lay your garden mats on top of well-tilled soil and pin them down in the corners and every 3' or 4' with our Garden Mat staples.

    Rocks work, but are not nearly as convenient. You can also just use old coat hangers, cut and bent, but they won't last as long as our 8" staples made from 9-gauge galvanized steel. If you have strong winds you will not want to use a smaller staple. We have seen our mats blow away with a standard 4" staple, and they don't last. We found that they rust out in one year. Trust us, we wouldn't sell our Garden Mats staples if they didn't work.

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  9. At the end of the season, how do I store my Garden Mats?

    Once the growing season is over, simply cut the stems of the plants that remain. Pull up the staples and shake your garden mats so they are free of dirt. If you want you can hose them down, but this is usually not necessary. Once the mat is free of dirt roll it up. Do not fold it since this will affect the weave. Once the mat is rolled up, either store it standing up or laying down.

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  11. My garden mat got damaged and is beginning to fray around the holes and on the edges. Is there any way I can fix this problem so it will last longer?

    Yes! If you notice that the garden mat is beginning to fray, either around a hole or on an edge, this is easy to correct. We use a heat gun or soldering iron. Simply hold the heat gun near the frayed edge or touch the frayed edge with a soldering iron and slowly melt the material. The material melts quickly so do not hold the heat gun or soldering iron in one place for too long. Even though your repair may not look pretty, it should fix the problem so your mat will last. If you have a severe problem contact us and we'll try to assist you.

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  13. What do you recommend for weed control between rows?

    We overlap our mats 1" just as you see it in the pictures, so there is no in-between row weed-control worry. No additional mat is needed. We walk where the mats overlap., and it actually creates a shallow “trench” for excess water to wick away from your plants so they never get soaked.

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  15. Are the materials in the mats safe to use on a garden?

    All of the polypropylene fabrics that organic farmers and vegetable gardeners use are safe. Some are felt (cheap) and some are poly. It’s things like black plastic or blue tarps that should be avoided. That’s because those materials have no UV stabilizers so they break down and begin to crumble after being out in the sun for even one summer. The issue is mainly about waste since those other materials last only one season. Also, unlike our garden mats, none of those fabrics breathe, i.e., they do not let air and water through.

    What many consumers don’t know about when they pick up commercial organic vegetables at the supermarket, coop or even from many large growers at farmer’s markets, is the waste generated by the growers' use of plastic fabric. The plastic ends up in a landfill after just one season. That’s why we developed a fabric that lasts up to ten years. We have mats going on a full decade of being outside 365 days a year and they're still in great shape.

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  17. I'm a retailer, do you offer wholesale pricing?

    I am sorry.  We do not sell to retailers.  Whenever we tried that in the past it ended up driving up the price.

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