The Pre-Vegetated Blanket Process
Our custom trays are embedded in a pea gravel substrate which act as the “cradle” for our pre-vegetated blanket. The tray is essential in keeping our pre-vegetated blanket protected and easy to transport.
The foundation of our pre-vegetated blanket is key. We double up the biodegradable coir fiber erosion control mat which allows for a sturdy product matrix in which seeds can germinate, root and grow.
Nutrients and Seeding
A mixture of growing media, enzymes, and fertilizer provides a bed of nutrients for desired seed mixes. Although this sounds simple, it is one of the most important steps in creating a healthy pre-vegetated blanket. Having the right mix can determine whether a blanket will be successful upon installation. Newly germinated seed needs nutrients, but as plants grow, they look for a permanent source of nutrients. Too much nutrient availability creates weak plants that will perish in the field.
Seed selection is important as the plants are the lasting aesthetic and component of a project. Proper seed selection will determine how successful the blanket will be, so choose plants that are native to the site and appropriate for site conditions.
Germination is dependent on consistent soil temperatures and adequate moisture.
Temperature is an important environmental factor in plant growth and development. Consistently higher soil temperature produced in a greenhouse environment helps promote germination and growth. Temperatures which are too high, or constantly fluctuating, will cause the seeds to remain dormant.
Applying the proper amount of water at the correct time is critical for achieving optimal moisture levels in the soil. There is a balance that needs to be achieved – not too little and not too much water. Since natives use so little water compared to many ornamental perennials, they will grow too fast or succumb to root rot if overwatered because they are not using the water and the roots will be deprived of oxygen. If watered too little, the seeds will not germinate.
The visible vegetative coverage ultimately depends on the mix and species of native plants selected for the blanket. Keep in mind that plants with narrow, grass-like foliage will not appear as full as a blanket containing more broadleaf forbs. Each type of plant species has its own germination and growth rates which are determined by seasonal changes, so some species in a seed mix may appear right away while others will need more time to develop.
Transportation is the customer’s responsibility. Trays of pre-vegetated blankets are watered, pulled from the greenhouse, and stacked. The trays are then loaded onto an enclosed (recommended) semi or flatbed truck or a tarped semi or flatbed. Side loading or tarped trailers work too. If you are transporting outside of the Midwest, we recommend using a temperature-controlled truck set at 53 degrees to keep the pre-vegetated blanket from drying out.
Installation time will depend on several factors – size of the project, weather conditions and site conditions (i.e., slope, mud, etc.) including how well the site has been prepped. We provide an Installation Guide that walks you through installation and maintenance. Don’t worry – if you ever have any questions, we are here to help! Simply give us a call.
Part of your contract contains a returnable/refundable tray deposit. After installing the pre-vegetated blanket on your site, it is your responsibility to return the trays to us. The deposit amount is based on quantity of trays and is refundable given all trays are returned in good, reusable condition; meaning the metal floor is free of kinks, broken welds and secured to the wood frame, the wood frame shows no sign of stress such as cracking or separation, spacing blocks are all attached and evenly spaced, separation of wood frame panels, or any other broken parts. Trays must be returned within three business days from date of pick up to qualify for 100% refund.