Grass seed netting is a stabilisation barrier used to help protect newly planted grass seeds in actively eroding areas beside lakes or canals, or in windy regions. Stabilisation barriers are rolled erosion control products, or RECPs. The primary material in RECP netting is either man-made or natural fibres. In addition to choosing appropriate netting, irrigation and seed selection also play vital roles in successful grass seed cultivation.
Jute matting is made of biodegradable woven, heavy jute twine. Jute is durable and can stand up to most environmental planting areas that experience a continual flow of water, such as those coastal regions near side slopes. Jute matting should come with staples to hold the matting in place. This feature helps to counter heavy winds and water lifting. Since jute matting decomposes naturally, it is recommended for grass seed establishment--from seed to germination to seedling growth.
Straw and Coconut Fiber Netting
Bonded straw or coconut fibre mulch blankets with plastic mesh netting are made to last longer than jute types. They are used to establish plants as well as to provide temporary protection from soil erosion. Bonded fibre netting blankets work well on steep slopes that are prone to eroding, the side of canal banks, and irrigation or drainage ditch areas.
Open Areas Class Types
Netting class types are usually defined by the percentage of open area between the openings within the net. Type A netting has high open area of 65 per cent. Because of this, seeds can be planted before or after the netting is installed. After germination, seedlings will have a wide area to expand through and grow beyond the netting.
Type B has an open area of 50 per cent. The California Department of Transportation suggests this type of netting be applied to the soil after the seeds are planted.
Type C netting has an open area of 39 per cent. Seedlings may not emerge from the small area openings, so apply it after seedlings have broken through the soil.
Selection of Grass Seed
The University of Florida suggests grass seed be planted on areas showing between 0 and 3:1 maximum angle slope level. Choose grass species that have already shown a good adaptation to the planting location. Also consider planting perennials that have thick root masses, as these types can better hold soil in place. Some grass plants known to stabilise near waterways include common and scarified bahiagrass, hulled common Bermudagrass, and common lovegrass.
Before making your final decision on the selection of your planting area, think about what type of grass seed netting would best suit it. Take into account the environmental climate and the region around the planting area. It should be free of steep side slopes along the ditch bank, and easy to access and maintain. Measure the wave rate or water flow rapidity for accurate netting strength matching. A backup plan that includes an estimated cost of repair should be taken into account just in case soil erosion damage does occur.
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