How to install Plantex® Platinium
1. SITE PRPARATION
It is necessary to prepare the ground before installing the fabric
- Mark out the area to be covered; it is advisable to plan for a covered area at least 1 m larger than the contaminated area in question. (Recommendation: 2 m). Apply very strict rules to ensure any contamination plant material is not dispersed beyond this area.
- Cut the plants close to the ground, taking care not to disperse plants or plant material outside the treatment area. Indeed, in the case of the knotweed for example, even small stems or cuttings may produce new plants. It is very important not to dispose of plant material of any nature close to a contamination area or within compost sites or general garden refuse facilities. Follow local guidelines for either the destruction of, or controlled disposal of invasive alien plant material.
- Excavate the ground to a depth of 10 cm and create a level and smooth surface whilst removing any projecting or sharp wood matter and stones. Materials removed from this area should not be used again, so as to prevent secondary contamination.
- If the land to be treated is intended for future turf (or other plants with shallow roots), excavate the land to the desired depth (at least 20 cm for turf ) taking care not to disperse rhizomes or pieces of rhizomes. Ensure cleaning and decontamination of tools and equipment before removing them from the site.
Warning: the stripped earth could potentially contain invasive rhizomes and should be regarded as contaminated soil. If necessary, follow local regulations about handling contaminated waste.
- Use different buckets to handle contaminated soil and uncontaminated topsoil.
2. INSTALLATION ON HORIZONTAL SURFACE
- Always choose large roll widths to avoid joints between the strips. The weakest point of any installation is the joint area.
- Unroll the fabric on the previously prepared smooth surface. If using several runs, an overlap of at least 30 cm is advised between runs.
- Avoid driving with vehicles directly over the fabric covering. Walk on boards laid on the fabric.
- At the edge of a plot open a trench of at least 50 cm deep (recommended 1m) and fold the Plantex® Platinium downwards and press it into the trench. Fold the corners without cutting. Fill in the trench without damaging the fabric.
- There are several techniques for joining runs:
1- Folded covering following the diagram below The two runs are first placed on top of each other and fixed together to the ground using 20 cm x 20 cm metal staples, thickness 4 mm or similar. Then fold the upper run to cover the holes from staples. A butyl or acrylic double sided tape should be used to further secure the joint. . The covering of staples is very important because using only staples on doubled runs would leave invasive plants the possibility to pass through any uncovered holes.
2- Electrical / thermal welding (hot air) of adjacent runs This solution is possible and very efficient but requires special equipment. The handling and control of these devices require some experience to avoid damaging the fabric with too high a temperature. This is the best method to avoid piercing the fabric with staples, so it is the most effective long-term one. This method is also very useful when the required width of the sheet can be cut in advance in a workshop.
Caution: Never use welding flame.
3- Overlap bonded with the double-sided tape This avoids the fabric being pierced by staples as new plant shoots will try to grow through the holes pierced by the staples. Warning: this technique requires some very clean bonding surfaces, free from dust, oil and moisture. The outside temperature can also play an important role in good (or bad) bonding.
Step 1: Overlap two runs of Plantex® Platinium with a 10 cm joint spacing; apply a single and continuous run of double sided adhesive tape to the top run of fabric.
Step 2: Fold over the bottom run onto the adhesive strip of the upper run of fabric and press down firmly to seal.
Step 3: Now fold the upper run to form the letter ’S’ with the joint. To increase the strength of the seal, add a second, then a third piece of tape. Apply pressure to bond the two runs. A sheet of at least 30 cm wide can be slid under the seal to serve as a bearing surface. Move the board while making the joint. This system without staples can be used if the soil is very rocky.
- Thanks to its high resistance to sunlight and other weather conditions, Plantex® Platinium can be installed without covering it and remains effective for many years (see warranty conditions). However, to accelerate the decline of young regrowth of knotweed under the fabric, we would recommend to ballast the fabric with a layer of at least 10 cm depth of sharp sand, gravel or any other mineral material. Indeed, the young shoots will try to lift the fabric in the early years before losing their vitality. To return the covered land back to a natural looking environment, it is possible to cover the fabric with a good quality topsoil and plants with a limited depth of root development (eg: grass etc.). However, take care not to damage the underlying fabric while planting. Another benefit of covering the fabric, is to significantly extend the lifespan of the Plantex® Platinium.
- Take care not to damage the fabric with vehicular site traffic, for example during the installation of the ballast or topsoil. Always navigate vehicles on finished areas such as that already covered with gravel or topsoil.
- If possible always document or maintain a note for the position and installation of Plantex® Platinium in the given area, so that future planning or alterations of the land can take the product placement into account.
3. INSTALLATION ON INCLINED LAND OR EMBANKMENTS
For installation on slope, same advices as in point 2 can be applied DuPont™ Plantex® Platinium is the ideal weed control solution for steeply inclined locations or embankments alongside roads, highways or rivers, where it may be either impractical or impossible to cover the membrane with a layer of mulch or chippings due to the nature of migration or slip of the topping layer over time. Offering superior performance together with the aesthetic advantage of a natural colour, this product can be installed onto a sloping ground surface without the need for a topping layer, whilst helping to limit soil erosion during periods of heavy rain fall and delivering a chemical free solution to weed control.
If circumstances require the fabric to be covered, an additional anti-erosion grid can be installed over the Plantex® Platinium (e.g., a vegetal fiber grid plant) to retain the protection and ballast layer.
4. INSTALLATION ON RIVER BANKS
When Plantex® Platinium is intended to be installed close to a river bank area and near or in contact with flowing water, it is recommended to ballast the fabric to prevent the material from floating. As the material is made from high grade polypropylene and therefore lighter than water, it requires ballast to weight down the material in its final position.
5. INSTALLATION NEXT TO BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES
Often treatment areas are adjacent to structures or buildings (walls, foundations, etc.). It is then very important not to leave a space between the sheet and the structure. The best practice is to raise the fabric up onto the structure and to fix it by application of double sided tape and a steel plate or metal fixings to the wall.
6. LATERAL CONFINEMENT
Much of the plant mass remains in the subsoil. To confine the rhizomes network, it is recommended to install the vertical and waterproof root barrier Plantex® RootBarrier around the area to be treated, with the coated (green side) facing the interior of the zone. This vertical barrier should ideally be installed at least 1 m deep over the entire circumference of the contaminated area and extend at least 30 cm beyond the contaminated area.
Warning: on some soils, rhizomes can drop even lower and 1 m deep will not be enough. Possibly conduct probes to determine the required depth.
- Once Plantex® RootBarrier has been installed in the vertical trench, backfill the inner side of the membrane trench with fine sand, ensuring there are no sharp foreign objects. On the surface, fold the RootBarrier inward to the plot at right angles for at least 30 cm without introducing any cuts in the corners.
- Finally level the soil surface, then place Plantex® Platinium on the area to be covered ensuring a generous overlap (approx. 50 cm) over the folded part of Plantex® RootBarrier. Then fold and push Plantex® Platinium down in a trench similar as RootBarrier without cutting into the corners. Then backfill the outer side of the trench.
- Always weight down the fabric to counteract any future growth of plants, especially in the first and second year after installation. Fully covering with either gravel or soil also provides permanent protection against the UV radiation from the sun