A planting mat is the accessory you need this spring for mess-free, easy gardening

It'll make all the difference

Repotting houseplant on planting mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Planting mats (also known as potting mats) are growing in popularity among gardeners, namely for their convenience in keeping a tidy outdoor space with all the many garden jobs to do in April.

Believe it or not, there are a lot more people out there who'd love to try their hand at gardening and learn how to grow their own fruits and vegetables than you might think. However, one of the biggest things barring them from taking the leap is the unpleasant idea of compost and soil littering their beautifully designed patio ideas

Luckily, investing in a planting mat can help curb this unpleasantry completely, irrespective of whether you're repotting tomato seedings or even figuring out how to repot houseplants for the first time.

Woven willow branch garden fence, French ladder, vintage fruit boxes and crates as open storage shelves, storing, flowerpots, wellies, turquoise enamel bucket, plants, wire baskets, recycled rubber tyre

(Image credit: Future PLC/Spike Powell)

What is a planting mat?

'Planting or potting mats are great products that can be very beneficial for plant care. They are designed for repotting plants of all varieties and help with mixing the soil more easily and watering the bottom of different pots,' begins Fantastic Gardeners' gardening and plant expert, Petar Ivanov.

Man with short brown hair
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is a gardening and plant expert who has been working at Fantastic Gardeners for 8 years. As one of the company's top-performing experts, he now manages over 6 teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

'A planting or potting mat is a mat that usually has slightly raised sides and tends to be made from waterproof fabric. It is designed for repotting and watering plants, as water does not leak through the fabric,' explains Craig Morley, gardening expert at Budget Seeds.

'Once you have finished using a planting mat, it will fold up to allow you to pour any excess or spilled soil back into the bag to avoid waste or mess.'

Repotting houseplant on planting mat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why you should use a planting mat

Springtime is definitely the most popular season for getting some gardening in, and there are several reasons why you ought to consider using a planting mat for your many garden jobs this season.

'Planting and potting mats are useful to have in your garden as they help to keep the mess that can be created when potting refined to a small area,' adds Craig. This, in turn, makes cleaning up after a garden job less taxing.

Repotting houseplant on planting mat

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Petar explains, 'Essentially, they're versatile trays that make gardening tasks a lot easier to perform because they reduce the number of messes and make cleaning afterwards easier.'

If you've previously tried to get some gardening done and ended up with mess everywhere, a planting mat is sure to save you from having to slave away at relentlessly cleaning paving slabs or the tedious task of cleaning gravel after the fact. We don't know about you, but this is a very desirable benefit for us.

While the biggest draw to planting mats for us is how they help keep our gardens clean, they can also assist in ensuring you avoid common watering mistakes. 'A potting mat prevents water or fertiliser from running everywhere out of the pots on the mat, preventing accidental overwatering or overfertilising of your plants.'

Closeup of watering can and plants on wooden decking of garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathon Jones)

As Craig mentioned above, planting mats are also easily folded and stored after use. This makes them perfect for small gardens because they can be as easily tucked away and non-disruptive if you're already navigating limited outdoor space.

'They are one of the best accessories for gardeners, overall simplifying the process and improving the organisation of your workspace,' assures Petar. 'Besides potting and repotting, you can also use planting mats for watering, adding soil, pruning  and cutting off any wilted leaves and flowers on your plants.'

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That said, we think planting mats are set to be a gardening staple this spring. Not only can you indulge in the many garden jobs on your to-do list, but you can also maintain a beautiful outdoor space for springtime hosting.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.