Streambank Revegetation and Protection: A Guide for Alaska
Plant Care and Preparation
Propogation of Vegetative Mats
These mats are created in a controlled environment in a greenhouse or outdoors. Generally at least one growing season is required to create a vegetated mat.
A vegetated mat can be made to any size. A biodegradable fabric made of coir (ex: North American Green's C125BN) and biodegradable twine is cut to the appropriate size and covered with a light layer of soil. If the mat will be grown outside, a bed can be created on the ground, framed with 2x4's and lined with an impervious liner. These beds will retain water. Mats grown in a greenhouse should be placed in trays that do not drain.
The mat is then sprigged with small wetland plants or seeded with stratified wetland seeds. Many of the wetland species have complex dormancy requirements to overcome and the seed is stratified (treated to enhance germination) prior to seeding. Check this website for germination protocols http://nativeplants.for.uidaho.edu/network or call the Native Plant Nursery at 907-746-7241.
The mat must be kept moist throughout the growing season. If the mat has been seeded, it must not be flooded until the seeds germinate. As the plants grow, their roots and rhizomes replace the structure initially provided by the coir fabric.
When the planting site is ready, the mat can be rolled with the plastic liner or folded and transported to the site. Keep the mat moist while transporting. Once the mat is installed at the planting site, with the plastic removed, it can be staked in place and allowed to grow. These vegetated mats provide instant plant cover and protection to a site.