Architectural Green Wall System for Professional Plant Wall Installations
The Florafelt Pro System is an extremely robust vertical garden system designed for rugged locations. This guide will show various methods the grids can be mounted to walls or freestanding frames. The support system consists of architectural grade stainless steel 304 wire grids that have life spans beyond 100 years.
Florafelt Pro System Details
Each grid is 3 feet wide x 2 feet high x 4.25 inches deep. Grids can be cut down easily with bolt cutters for custom sizes. Grids can be overlapped and saddled on to the adjacent panels to fill in areas less than 3 feet wide.
Each 3ft x 2ft grid requires one 15-yard roll of 6 inch wide grow strip for adequate coverage. Openings are slightly less than 6″ so the felt fits in snug.
Openings are sized to receive root wrapped plants. A full 6″ potted plant will fit in nice and snug. Or you can use two of the 4-inch potted plants per pocket. But also, you can add a cup of soil and use just one 4 inch plant per pocket. You can save a lot on cost if you start with seeds, cuttings, or bare root.
- Mount the Wire Grid
- Slide in the Plastic Water Barriers
- Weave in Florafelt Grow Strip
- Install the Irrigation System
- Wrap the Plants
- Plant the Wall
- Ongoing Maintenance
Florafelt Pro System Installation Instructions
1.1 Mount the Wire Grid – For Small to Medium Sized Installations
Attach wire grid units to the wall using the provided stainless clips. Use appropriate fasteners for your wall.
Our wire grid system is easy to install and can be modified to fit any size wall. Made from high quality 304 stainless steel, they offer a pre-engineered solution for architects and engineers.
Stainless Steel Clips
Stainless steel metal clips are included with the Florafelt Pro System. Use them to attach the wire grids directly to the wall surfaces. Use this method for smaller installations in protected areas.
The Florafelt Pro System can be mounted directly on walls that do not require an air gap. Stainless grids are simply mounted using easy-to-use Tapcon Concrete Anchors or other concrete anchors. Grids can be installed with stainless steel clips on moisture tolerant masonry walls or smaller installations where moisture accumulation behind the system is not a concern.
If you install on wood you can use horizontal cedar or treated lumber to every 24″ to create spacers, then attach the wire grids with stainless clips using Treated Deck Screws.
Stainless clips are lightweight and have limited holding strength. If you require an engineered high-strength attachment solution see the Unistrut Mounting Method below.
Free Standing Post Structure
The Florafelt Pro System Kit can be installed as a freestanding installation. Pro grids can be attached directly to standard fence framing using the supplied stainless clips. Or use horizontally mounted galvanized Struts bolted to the vertical posts with the wire grids secured in place with strut clamps. Wood support posts should be spaced and sized for local wind and seismic loads in accordance with local building codes.
Create Custom Sized Grids
Grids can be cut with bolt cutters and custom sized. It’s best to stick to the 6-inch grid so you’ll get full sized pockets. Plants fluff out so it’s not visually crucial to completely fill the area with grid.
Corners Can be Finished with a Seamless Open End
Finish external corners with an open grid end. Plants can be guided to grow out and fill in the corners.
How to Cut Stainless Steel Grid
Stainless Steel Wire Grids can be easily cut with a 36-inch bolt cutter. Use extreme caution and use heavy gloves when using tools and handling cut grids that will have extremely sharp edges once they are cut. Use a grinder and/or file to smooth sharp metal edges because they will easily cut you during installation and may harm others once installed.
1.2 Mount the Wire Grid – For Large Installations
Pre-engineered Strut Systems
If your installation is very tall or in a public place consider a more robust mounting method.
Struts are a very versatile and pre-engineered construction material. Large and stable structures can be quickly bolted together. The Florafelt Pro Grid System is designed to easily integrate with standard strut design. This makes it easy to create free-standing structures or wall mounted installations. Explore the various strut manufacturer catalogs to learn how you can integrate pre-engineered strut materials into your architectural design.
Pre-engineered strut systems are used to support the grids. Strut pipe clamps secure the edges of the grids using bolted connections. Larger P1000 Strut series can span up to 6 feet and provide support for the structure. Smaller P4100 Strut Series can be used where a continuous wall structure allows for attachments every 2 feet.
For most residential projects of moderate height, attach the struts to your walls using heavy duty deck screws and fender washers. For exterior conditions use waterproof caulk. Also provide washers against the wall to keep the strut away from wall surfaces. When in doubt check with a local licensed building contractor or architectural engineer to advise on safe attachment.
Commercial or Tall Installations
For commercial or very tall installations use ½-inch lag bolts to attach the strut to existing walls. Locate and attach to structural members within the wall. Consult with your local building department to maintain standards for safety.
Strut System Detail Drawings
Unistruts are a pre-engineered solution that can easily be applied to large scale projects. This means they can be specified for tall buildings where wind loads or marine environments. The grids are attached with Unistrut pipe clamps that also have pre-engineered specifications which help with building department approvals.
Pre-assembled Grid Units Make Installation More Efficient
Pre-assemble grids and struts on the ground first. Then bolt the assembled units to the posts. This will save time and ensure a perfect alignment of the struts.
Galvanized Struts Can Be Used in Most Locations
Florafelt Wire Grids and provided strut clamps are made from stainless steel. However, it is fine to use Electroplated Galvanized struts for your project. Galvanized struts are about 1/4 the cost of Stainless Steel 304. You can use Galvanized struts in most weather exposure areas, and it has a 50-100 year life span, longer for interior locations. For seaside or commercial building applications consider Stainless Steel 304 strut systems.
2. Slide in the Plastic Water Barriers
Insert Water Shield
Water shields are slid in from the top or bottom. Fold in the side edges and slide into place. Be sure to overlap the shields toward the front so water will flow into the system. Open the side flaps to lock them in place.
3. Weave in Florafelt Grow Strip
Use a Depth Gauge to Make all Pockets Consistent
Make a depth gauge from a small rigid plastic card to create even pockets throughout the wall. Use the card as you insert the felt. Pull even tension as you create the pockets. All pockets’ bottoms should align horizontally across the wall. This will ensure even watering once planted.
- Locate a piece of rigid plastic and cut it to 4″ x 8″ size.
- Create a mark on the card at 5-inches.
- Use this depth gauge to make all pockets 5″ depth.
- Apply tension to the felt evenly as you create the pockets.
- Use the depth gauge as you insert the felt to ensure all pockets are even.
Weave in the Grow Strip
Florafelt Grow strip is woven into the grid using our patented pleated method. Make a guide marked at 5 inches to make pocket depths consistent.
6-inch grow strip is woven into a 6-inch by 6-inch metal grid. The patented system directs moisture inward and keeps the front dry and drip-free.
- Use 6-inch Grow Strips with custom 6 x 6-inch stainless steel 304 with 1/4″ wire grids to create extremely robust vertical gardens.
- Or use the pre-assembled Florafelt Pro System Modular Unit to make any size living wall.
- Engineer mega-scale plant walls.
- Discover unlimited possibilities.
4.1 Install the Irrigation System – Drip Irrigation System
Install a Standard Drip System Only Across the Top
Install a standard drip irrigation system with a drip line only across the top. Water will wick down to water each plant. Provide a hose timer with mesh filter inline. Or you can connect to a larger irrigation system. Provide an independent zone for the living wall for custom timing.
- We typically recommend using 2 each of the 1/2 gallon drip emitters per pocket column.
- It’s best to leave the drip system visible to allow for visual inspection and replacement.
Do not install drip system at each pocket row.
Pressure will favor the lower pockets and leave the top dry. Water will always wick downward and reach the lower levels. Florafelt walls usually tend to be more moist at the bottom.
If you wall has multiple exposures to sun or wind or there are very long runs, consider adding multiple zones.
How It Works
- Drip lines at top
- Water wicks down
- The entire wall is typically irrigated from the top only with drip emitters that slowly add moisture to the wall.
- Water wicks down to each root-wrapped plant where roots begin to grow from their original soil into the felt.
- Water is efficiently absorbed throughout the wall to water each plant.
Install a drain tray at the base to collect excess water. Direct this to a drain or elsewhere in the garden.
Plant Food Injector (option)
Improve long term plant performance by using a plant food injector.
Water Filtration (option)
Further optimize plant health by using an inline carbon hose filter.
4.2 Install the Irrigation System – Recirculating System Option
Water Tank at the Base
A tank at the base will act as a water reservoir. Water will be recirculated using the pump below. A timer is located out of sight. Provide a hole behind the system is large enough to fit the submersible water pump’s 3-prong cord
Size the tank to 1 gallon per square foot of living wall, or larger.
- Provide a pump with a pumping height (pump head) of 2 to 3 feet higher than the installation.
- Connect to a grounded exterior rated timer to customize the watering schedule.
- Conform to all local building codes regarding electrical connections to make sure they are grounded and safe. Consult with a licensed electrician and provide grounded GFCI pugs that will cut off power in case of a short.
Irrigation Tubing with Open Holes
Irrigation tubing is attached to the top of the grid using zip ties. For this recirculating system, 3/8″ holes are drilled into the tubing. One is located above each grid column.
Install ⅝-inch irrigation tubing across the top of the installation with ⅜-inch holes for each pocket. Build and test the system to ensure adequate flow. Larger systems may require multiple pumps or larger tubing.
Do not use drip emitters with recirculating systems.
The small openings in the drip emitters will quickly clog. Always use open hole tubing with recirculating systems.
Recirculating System Drain Tray
- Similar to the drip system, you can provide a drain tray at the base to collect the runoff to be directed to a tank below.
5. Wrap the Plants
Use 16-inch Wraps
Use 16-inch Florafelt Wraps to contain the roots of each plant. Use the method recommended on our website.
Pre-Wrap Plants Off Site
16″ root wrappers to accommodate larger sized plants that can simply be wrapped and inserted into the pockets. Root Wrapped plants done off-site also make for an extremely rapid and tidy installation on site. Plants can easily be changed by pulling out the wrapped plant cleanly.
6. Plant the Wall
Insert the Wrapped Plants into Grid Openings
- Place wrapped plants into each grid opening.
- Press in firmly to make full contact with the felted interior.
- Start from the bottom and work your way up.
- Use a hose to water the wall when planting is complete.
- Run the irrigation system to make sure the wall is fully saturated.
7. Ongoing Maintenance
The First Week
- Monitor the living wall to confirm moist pockets.
- Observe distressed or wilting plants and make adjustments.
- Plant to visit the wall frequently at first to make sure all systems are working properly.
- Inform those on site to contact you if they notice anything unusual.
- As a professional installer offer monthly visits as an ongoing service for optimal performance of your living wall installation.
- Some homeowners may want to take care of the living wall themselves.
- On-staff gardeners can be instructed on how to maintain the living wall.
- Walls can be allowed to grow wild with little to now maintenance.
Remove Moisture Sensing
Visit our guides pages at florafelt.com/guides or give us a call at 770-406-6330 EST M-F 9am-5pm