Floating Islands Launching Instructions

planting-islandStep 1 Delivery

WE SUPPLY: (information on what we supply may be outdated)
- Floating Island:
~ In one piece (for islands under 90 sq ft)
~ In modules (for islands 90 sq ft and larger)
- For Modular floating island (MB), we supply the following in addition to the above:
MB.........
Bolts, nuts and washers
MB......... Strips of matrix for covering seams, approx 8" wide
MB......... Serrated pins

YOU SUPPLY:
Ranch-Launch- Anchor: Roughly half the size of the floating island converted to lbs (ie, 250 sq ft - 125 lbs anchor).
(NOTE: Concrete blocks work well as anchors - cover them if you have a pond liner)
- Anchor chain: 1.5 times the depth of the water, plus 2 ft for anchor wrap-around
- 2 x chain links, locking carabiners ('add-a-link')
- Plastic or slippery tarp: Large enough to assemble floating island on and launch from
- Hammer / mallet: For driving in landscape pins and serrated pins
- Scallop-edged knives: To be used for cutting sod, straight-edged knives are not suitable
- Plants
- Sod: Sufficient for covering the entire top plus 10% to cover edges
- Landscape flags: For marking position of planting pockets
- Labor: We recommend starting with one person and adding 1 person for every hundred square feet of floating island (up to about 10)
- Buckets or sprinkler cans for saturating plants & sod immediately prior to launch & for washing soil off plant roots (bare-rooting)
- Waders, gardening gloves, sun-hat etc
- Boat for towing flaoting island into place: A 1250 sq ft island has been readily moved with a row-boat; however, for larger flaoting island please contact us for advice.
- Wrench or impact driver to fit 3/8" bolts (modules only)
- Rigid right angled impact driver, 12 volt model # R82233 recommended (much faster than wrench)
- Garbage can for site clean-up
- Camera! We would love to see your pictures of the new island…

Step 2 PreparationIsland-unwrap

A) Gather materials and tools needed, as above.
B) Select a level location on shore, with easy access to water,
where floating island can be assembled, planted and launched.
C) Place a tarp at water's edge to work on.

Step 3 Attach

A) Attach bottom cinder block to anchor chain and secure with add-a-link / carabiner.
B) Pass additional cinder blocks through chain and clip chain to anchor attachment point with add-a-link / carabiner.

  Step 4 Assemble the Floating Island

A) Lay out floating island with numbered seams matching.
B) Align the joiner plates, lining up the bolt holes.
C) Insert bolts with a washer on each side of the plate.
D) Tighten with nut, using impact driver (recommended) or wrench (see below).
Step 4: Tightening the islands               Step 4: Tightening the island with a wrench             Step 4: Using the impact driver

E) Lay a narrow strip of matrix over the seam, trim ends to fit, then attach with serrated pins on both sides of the seam.

Step 5 Planting Preparation

A) Add soil into planting holes tightly filling holes to the brim, pressing down tightly to avoid air pockets. (air prevents water reaching plant roots).
C) Spread layer of soil (1/2 -one inch) over entire top of floating island.
D) You can also fill the access holes near the joiner plates, after the plates have been joined together, and use them for planting.

Adding Rockwool                                                                                   adding biomix

Step 6 Cover with Sod

Setting Flags into Planting PocketsBegin planting close to water's edge. You should edge the island into the water as that portion is fully prepped (Steps 6 - 8) to save you having to launch a heavy mass.
 
A) Roll sod onto floating island, cutting to fit, until the entire top is covered. Allow sod to overlap edges by half the thickness of the flaoting island (will be flush with waterline when launched). Finish neatly. Do not leave any floating island material exposed.
B) Pin sod into position with landscape pins as you go, about 2 pins per square foot.
Laying-SodC) Place landscape flags in sod above the holes to be planted so you can find the holes again later.

Step 7 Planting

Bruce-with-Bare-root-plantsA) If using bedding plants, shake or wash soil off roots. If using plugs, no need to remove the soil.
B) Locate planting hole; cut through sod, or cut it away to expose pocket, hollow out to allow space for plant.
C) Place plant in hole, with roots pointing downwards (they must be below the crown of the plant).
D) Add extra soil if needed and pat down firmly.
E) If desired, sprinkle wildflower or other seeds over the sod.
Remember, you want to have this planting completed before launching

Step 8 Launching

A) Pick up anchors and place them on top of floating island. You can also place anchors in boat and tow the island out using the anchor chain.
B) Push the floating island into watet & make sure plants are saturated with water.  Using buckets of water, or by pushing the floating island underwater momentarily, ensure plants and sod are saturated.  Be careful not to lose any soil as you do this.
C) Push or tow floating island to final location and carefully lower anchors.
D) The floating island should sit 2 - 4" above waterline when launched.
Adjust buoyancy if necessary - rocks, driftwood, deadfall are all suitable and add aesthetic appeal.
It is critical to overweight the floating island slightly at this point to allow the plants access to water for two weeks,
until the roots tie in to the matrix .The weights can then be removed if desired.

Step 9 The first 30 days

Garden-in-the-WoodsKeep the plants and sod damp until the roots grow down below the waterline. Remove rocks (if used to weigh down) after a week or two, if you wish.

Ongoing maintenance
It is your personal choice whether to tend your floating island like a garden or allow it to grow naturally. Your floating island may occasionally float low in the water after rain. Normally it will recover buoyancy on its own.