What is the best time of year to install Enviromat sedum matting? In this article, we look at the pros and cons of each season.
Installing Enviromat Sedum Matting in winter
We Brits don’t seem to be great fans of winter gardening. But winter does have its good points. So long as you have some warm gloves and a woolly hat.
There’s no reason why you can’t install Enviromat in winter. Provided of course that the production fields are not so frozen that it can’t be harvested. In winter, the shelf life for rolled or stacked Enviromat is considerably longer than in summer.
Any outdoor activity in winter is great for your personal wellbeing. It’ll get your blood circulating, oxygenate your muscles, burn off calories and lift your mood. Installing Enviromat is an active job and you’ll definitely feel the benefit.
If it’s a living roof you’re making. You’ll also feel the benefit inside the building – Enviromat starts to insulate from the moment it is installed.
Home, shed, stable or kennel, a green roof provides great insulation. Plus it protects the waterproofing from the freeze-thaw effect of winter weather.
During the winter months sedum plants will have their cold weather colour (ruby red coloured foliage). And some will be hiding from the winter chill. That means that you will have the pleasure of seeing how the plants react to warmer weather when spring finally arrives. It also means that come the spring, you will have time to concentrate on other outside jobs safe in the knowledge that your green roof/groundcover is in place.
Sedum foliage tends to take on a reddish colour in winter
Winter precautions: Don’t even think about trying to install a green roof when it’s windy or freezing. It’s not safe! Take precautions against wind uplift. Be ready to feed the sedum plants as soon as the days start to get warmer and longer.
Installing Enviromat in spring
Spring. My favourite time of year. It’s when I actually want to be outdoors as much as I possibly can be.
This is the time of year when sedum plants start to increase in size and prepare to bloom. To get the full benefit from your sedum matting, aim to install before the end of April. That way the plants are really settled in their new home before the prime time for flowering.
Once the air temperature starts to rise, the shelf life for rolled Enviromat will get shorter. Be sure to install your Enviromat within 24 hours of delivery. If you can’t install it straight away, unroll it and water it.
Feed the sedum plants with Enviromat Natural Green Roof Feed as soon as you have finished the install and be sure to water well.
Watering: you must water your Enviromat as soon as it is installed and then check the mats every other day to ensure they’ve not dried out. Sedum matting needs to be kept moist until it has established but be very careful – too much moisture will encourage weeds (particularly grass) to appear between the maturing plants.
Installing Enviromat in Summer
Enviromat can be installed at any time of year. As with any of the seasons, summer brings its own set of challenges.
Three things to watch out for when installing Enviromat in summer
- Short Shelf Life
In hot weather Enviromat will not tolerate being rolled or stacked for more than a few hours at a time. The plants need good ventilation, adequate sunlight and water if they are to survive. Make sure your site is ready before your sedum matting is delivered and unroll those mats as soon as they get to you.
The sedum plants will be stressed after their journey. Keep them well watered for the first week after installation and keep the growing medium moist (but not soggy) until the mats are really well established. Ie you can no longer see the joins between pieces. If the leaves on the plants start to lose their turgidity and look like deflated balloons, the plants are definitely dehydrated. You need to avoid that at all costs.
- Your own health
As with any outdoor job in hot weather, drink plenty of water, wear a hat and slap on the sunscreen. Remember, if you’re working on a roof it will be much hotter than on the ground so be careful.
Installing Enviromat in autumn
The gardeners of yesteryear saved many of their biggest planting jobs until autumn. Hedging, tree planting and turfing were all traditionally done from October onwards and there was good reasoning behind that.
Plants tend to slow their metabolism down in autumn but they’re not completely dormant. This is the time of year when energy is concentrated on developing roots rather than leaves, flowers or fruits. Logically then, most things that are planted in autumn will be have strong root systems to support spring growth.
Creating a living roof in autumn means that you will benefit from the insulation all winter long.
Only one thing to look out for – falling leaves. If nearby trees deposit their leaves on your nice new (or well established) sedum matting, be sure to sweep them off ASAP. Debris on top of sedum plants deprives them of light and it will kill them. Be vigilant.
So, when is the best time to install sedum matting?
Any time! Just be aware of the season and the challenges it poses for the plants and for yourself. Then adapt your management accordingly.