I spent the day near Ducor, CA helping a crew get started applying Priority Weed Mat Fabric to a 24 acre block of pomegranates and a 20 acre block of pistachios – both blocks approximately 3 years old.
When “retrofitting” weed mat material to existing blocks you take two 3ft wide rolls (or a 3ft and a 4ft for a bigger overlap) and apply them to either side of the row, overlapping and stapling down the center. The customer welded up a simple attachment to a trailer that spools out 2 rolls at a time. Workers followed behind with sod staples to secure the overlap and loosely staple the edges. In another pass they used berm-making discs to cover the edges of the weed mat with dirt to secure it.
The grower is not an organic grower. However, weed control has become increasingly difficult in these blocks. Where pomegranate branches droop nearly to the ground it is impossible to spray without damaging the trees.
The grower also expects to realize significant water savings – a critical consideration given the severe shortage of irrigation water in California and the expected slashing of allocations in 2014. The drip hose runs beneath the weed barrier fabric.