Flora Flow All in one Mats

plastic mulch and drip irrigation system

Flora-Flow All-in-One Mats combine plastic mulch and drip irrigation into a single packaged kit designed for hand installation and hand planting. This combination offers many benefits to home gardens and small farms. The mats are factory assembled standard drip tape type drip irrigation joined to specially pre-perforated and printed plastic mulch. For easy hand installation and shipping the mats are folded or rolled into a compact size. 

Benefits of treating your garden to Flora Flows All in One Mats system

Some points about the instant benefits for choosing to use our drip irrigation kit:

  • Simple, simultaneous installation of irrigation and mulch systems and preliminary plant layout
  • Built-in plant marking system
  • Accurate, even plant spacing
  • Lightweight, easily managed product sizes suitable for hand installation without heavy lifting or machinery e.g. Our 48 inch wide mats fold lengthwise onto narrow 15" wide cardboard cores.
  • Available simple connector kits for home gardens eliminate many design and assembly jobs.
  • Economically efficient: available in small quantities, or large.  Buy what you need.
  • Elimination of burning or cutting plant holes into plastic

All-in-One Mats are printed. The printing includes:

  • 1" centerline marking
  • aids in installation of straight beds
  • indicates position of drip tape (for single drip line products)
  • Perforation indicators
  • aid visualization of plant layout
  • aid in locating planting holes to be removed
  • Marking blocks
  • provide a location for marking plant information directly on the mulch
  • Edge lines
  • aid in even edge sealing/securing
  • Instructions
  • provide watering data, installation guideline directly on product.

Block Weeds

Unlike standard plastic mulch, All-in-One Mats are pre-perforated with planting holes. The 2 inch diameter holes are big enough for small seedlings and direct seeding and can be easily stretched, without tools, to accept larger transplants. The perforated plant holes block weeds when left in place and are easily removed by tearing when it is time to plant. Other benefits are;

  • Block sunlight and prevent weed seed germination without chemicals
  • Eliminate annual and most perennial weed competition
  • Used for more than 30 years in commercial agriculture

Opaque plastics block the sunlight that causes most weeds to germinate. This is extremely effective in controlling weeds. About the only plant that can grow under opaque mulches is nutsedge which stores extensive energy in its underground "nuts," and can germinate in darkness.

Here is a quote from Rutgers Univeristy:

Weed Control for Crops Commonly Grown on Plastic Mulch Plastic mulch, usually used with trickle irrigation, has many horticultural benefits for summer vegetable crops, and black plastic controls most annual weeds. Mulch does not solve all the weed problems in the field, and creates new challenges for the grower. Yellow nutsedge can poke through black plastic mulch. Yellow nutsedge pokes through black plastic mulch and thrives under mulch and trickle irrigation. Clear plastic is used to obtain the greatest advantage in earliness, but weed control under clear plastic can be difficult and challenging. Although black plastic controls many weeds, yellow nutsedge can pierce black plastic and thrives in the mulched and trickle irrigated environment. Nutsedge pokes through black plastic in the absence of light and day/night temperature changes which signal the weed to stop growing upward and to grow leaves. Fields with heavy nutsedge infestations should be avoided, if possible, when choosing fields for crops to be grown on plastic mulch.

Soil & Water Conservation

Drip irrigation systems save water. Targeted delivery points and controlled flow rates mean that water arrives at the point and with the volume needed for the plant and not elsewhere. Additionally, drip systems deliver the water close to the ground so there is not airborne loss to evaporation especially in hot, arid and windy environments. The result is water savings. More water gets to plants, less gets to non-plant areas such as potential weed locations or garden paths and less is lost to evaporation into the atmosphere. Water saving vary with climate but consumption can be 50-75% less than sprinklers.

Benefits of our combined All-in-One system

  • Improve on any drip irrigation system alone
  • Eliminate water waste due to overspray from sprinklers and soakers.
  • Protect soil from water loss due to evaporation
  • Protect soil from erosion and nutrient wash-out in heavy rains
  • Protect plants from over-watering
  • Eliminate crusty soil and maintain plant-friendly friable conditions
  • Good for water-saving rain barrels or other low-pressure water systems (with adequate filtering)

How much water does drip irrigation alone save?

For the home gardener, the benefit of saving water can vary.  In areas where water usage is restricted due to drought, drip irrigation can be the difference between having a garden and having none--a big value! For areas with costly water charges the value of water savings can add up. A typical recommendation for watering a garden is one inch of rain per week.

For a 400 square foot garden this is equal to 248 gallons per week (see this discussion: https://water.usgs.gov/edu/sc2.html).  In a six month growing season this amounts to 6448 gallons (26 weeks * 248 gallons), so 60% savings is 3869 gallons!

No other watering system comes close to it's effectiveness.

Simply put, plastic is a better water barrier than any other conventional mulch. It does not harbor disease or pests. It is lightweight and easy to handle. In the garden All-in-One mats protect and save precious resources and saves time for the gardener to aid in the production of healthy vegetables, cut flowers and berries. Finally it is reusable and it is recyclable.

 

Increase Yield

Higher Yields: All-in-One Mats Grow More Produce:

The drip irrigation design is a superior method of delivering plant moisture in the garden environment. It reduces moisture stress, reduces plant disease and increases yield better than other watering methods. Using the drip system delivers water where needed: directly to the soil and plant roots without wetting leaves and stems. Drip systems deliver precisely calibrated and even flow rates to avoid areas of over and under watering. Drip systems water gently and will not displace newly planted seeds and seedlings. The systems reduce moisture in non-plant areas, thereby reducing weed growth in those areas. The reduction of disease, increase in properly germinated seeds, and the ability to deliver even-watering, and the avoidance of weed
growth result in significant plant yield increases.

Research shows 3-5 times yield increases in melons, squash, tomato.(NC State reseach) Plastic mulch warms soil and extends growing season. Irrigated mulch creates ideal soil conditions under mulch to promote plant health above and below. Healthier plants fight disease and insect pests better Soil fertility does not wash away in heavy rain Red mulch increases yields 20% for tomatoes.

Examples of yield increases (from Saunders, https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-33.html)

Plant

Yield increase above North Carolina average

Eastern cantaloupe

4x

Western cantaloupe

5x

Cucumbers

5x

Pepper

4x

Squash

4x

Tomato

3x

Watermelon

4x

Commercial use of plastic mulch and drip irrigation is one piece of the green revolution. Improved soil and water conservation benefits combined with better growing conditions mean your plants are healthier and stronger. The provided temperature gains mean that growth starts earlier and produce is ready sooner too. Flora-Flow All-in-One Mats, in black for red, help you grow more produce with less work, or grow more produce in less space.

Save Time & Effort In The Garden

Weeding and watering wear out even the most avid gardener by mid-summer. Flora-Flow All-in-One mats virtually eliminate weeding and greatly reduce watering time and water use. Other fantastic benefits to using our system include;

  • Reducing early season weeding by >90%. Eliminate weeding of established plants
  • Unlike with sprinklers, water and work in the garden at the same time
  • Install weed protection and watering system in one step
  • Eliminate garden layout tasks: Easy tear-out plant holes provide quick, orderly planting
  • Unique plant-label areas let you record plant info directly on the mat
  • Grow a small weed-free productive garden in 3 Minutes-A-Day

With our mats you will spend far less time gardening and far more time enjoying the garden and your produce, whether it is vegetables, cut flowers or berries.

Extended Growing Season

Season Extension via Soil Warming

Moist soil covered with dark colored plastic heats up in the sun.  Plastic prevents moisture evaporation and evaporative cooling at the soil surface, and simultaneously absorbs solar energy that is transmitted to the soil.  Temperature measurements of soil at 2 inch depth under black plastic are 4-5 degrees compared to bare soil, and 8 to 10 degrees under clear plastic.  The net result is warmer soil earlier and later in the season.  This can add several weeks of productive growing.  Data from North Carolina indicates earlier harvest of 2 to 14 days for black plastic, and up to 21 days under clear plastic! (Note: clear plastic does not block weed growth) Season extension should be higher in colder climates.

Season Extension via Soil Cooling

Some plants do not like hot soil. While all plants benefit from relative warmth early in the growing season, others go to seed, or bolt when temperatures rise.  Season extension for these crops comes in the form of mulches or additions of other materials that serve to keep soil temperatures low. Some gardeners and growers use white plastic mulch to achieve this opposite effect. White mulch reflects away solar heat to help cool weather crops growing longer.  Other cooling techniques include covering dark plastics with light colored materials such as straw.

Small farms, in hoop house and green houses

There is never a shortage of work in a commercial growing operation. Plastic mulch is effective at balancing the work-load.  You will spend slightly more time early in the season with bed preparation and planting, significantly less time during the height of the growing season beating back weeds, and slightly more time at the end of the season cleaning up.

Compared to other Watering Methods

Sprinklers vs Drip Irrigation

Sprinklers deliver several problems along with water.  They deliver water overhead with wild distribution variation and with significant force. The soaked area near a sprinkler contrasts sharply with much drier edge of the wetted zone.  Sprinkler-wetted leaves and fruits promote and spread disease. Sprinkler water delivered is strong daylight can magnify the sun's energy and burn plant leaves.  Water delivered to non-plant areas encourage weed growth.  The moisture variation, leaf wetting, and time-of-day issues associated with sprinkler use result in lower yields.

Soaker Hoses vs Drip Irrigation

Soaker hoses overcome the leaf wetting issues of sprinklers but are still prone to large variations in water delivery along their length. More moisture is often delivered near the water supply, and less at the end of the soaker.  Water flow from soakers can be high enough to displace seeds and wash out small seedlings before they are established. Soakers deliver plenty of water in between-plant areas thereby encouraging weed growth there.  Pulling weeds near  soaker hoses is a nuisance as they overlap.  These factors combined reduce plant yields compared tp our system.

Technical Info

We have laid out below the technical aspects of our product;



Attributes:

  • Plant hole diameter - 2.25 inches
  • Between hole spacing - 6 inches
  • Plant holes are perforated, so you can leave in place or remove as needed
  • Plant label blocks (2 inches by 4 inches, approximately every 2 feet)
  • Center guideline aides in installation alignment and indicates position of drip irrigation line.
  • Additional markings and instructions printed on edge guide in securing edge.
  • Product can be cut to length & width as required (except for 3 Minute A Day mats which can not be cut to length)
  • Drip Irrigation Specification (All Mats)
  • Netafim Typhoon 630 Series, 0.25GPH Emitters @ 12" spacing
  • Plastic Film Specification (All Mats)
  • 1.5 mil thickness
  • 48" width
  • Standard lengths: 50, 100, 200 foot
  • Black and Red agricultural grade plastic with UV inhibitors
  • Product Configurations


50, 100, 200 Foot Rolled Products

Packaged in polyethylene jacket, products are rolled onto 15" long cardboard core. Available in Red and Black plastic.
Fittings are not included with rolled products. They require a connector kit or standard drip tape fittings and pressure regulator for operation.

3 Minute-A-Day Products

Packaged in polyethylene jacket which is also available in cardboard box retail pack. The product can be cut to width but cutting length is not recommended. Fittings are included with the 3 Minute-A-Day products.

Recycle Details

January 3, 2014

Mr. Keith Williamson
Flora-Flow, LLC
5401 Kennedy Boulevard
Suite 751
Tampa, FL 33609

Dear Keith,
The purpose of this letter is to express the willingness of the Southern Waste Information eXchange, Inc. (SWIX) to enter into a sustainable recycling venture with Flora-Flow for its' All-in-One Matts, Drip Irrigation and Plastic Mulch garden products.

SWIX is delighted to serve as the coordinator of your TakeBack initiative and commends Flora-Flow on developing a sustainability initiative.

Please have products to be recycled be shipped to:
Southern Waste Information eXchange, Inc. (SWIX)
1608 Metropolitan Circle
Suite B
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Phone: 850-386-6280

We look forward to working with you on this endeavor.|sec

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