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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Install and Flora Flow all in one Mat

I installed another flora - flow all in one mat.  Its a plastic mulch with pre-punched holes for plants and a low pressure drip line for irrigation installed in the mulch/mat.
Here are the step by step instructions with picture.

First - Prepare the soil.    The soil should be tilled if at all possible so its nice and soft.    The watering and planting area of the mat is 3 feet wide, so you need to build up the planting area into a mound.   this will allow the water to run down the sides of the mound so all plants will get water.   It will look like a long fresh grave when your finished.

Here is a picture of the mat as it arrived.  

Here is a picture of the bottom side of the mat showing the drip line that runs down the middle of the mat.   The Mat is 50 feet long which is how long I made the rows.   I received an email that Flora flow is creating a mat with multiple drip lines down the length of the mat.   I will try one as soon as they are available.

Here is the other side of the mat.  This is the side that will be facing up when installed.  The white stripe down the middle is where the drip line is located so you won't cut it when planting.
Here is the mat all rolled out down the entire row.  

Here is the end with the drip line sticking out.  This is where you will attach the water supply.   

Here is the mat with both side unfolded to the full width of 4 feet.

The mat is 4 foot wide, but the growing area is 3 foot wide.  The extra half foot on each side is covered with dirt to hold the mat down so the win doesn't blow it away.  The line that is covered with dirt is clearly marked on the mat which makes it very easy.

Here is the sides of the mat covered with dirt.  You have to make sure that its completely covered as if its a windy day and there is a spot for wind to get under, it will make it start flapping in the wind which will damage the plants or worse yet,  blow the mat away - ripping all the plants out in the process.

Here is the mat completely installed with both sides covered with dirt.   You can see the mound like appearance.

The mat has 3 holes on each side of the drip line - in rows running down the entire length.   You can plant all 3 holes or only one or two - depending on how big the plants will grow.   For example, when I plant cabbage,  I plant the top of bottom -  leaving the middle hole intact so no weeds will grow out of it.

Here is the mat with broccoli plants in the holes.  I will put a little dirt around the plant completely covering the hole - so no wind can get under the hole causing the mat to lift up.   There will be some dirt on the top of the mat around the holes, but the rain will eventually wash it down the sides and into the holes.