capillary matting

capillary matting

An water-absorbent mat that draws water by capillary action from a reservoir. Container-grown plants placed on the mat can draw water as required.
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A quick way to get a water supply to plant pots is to position them on capillary matting in the greenhouse or home.
Some more thirsty specimens in pots may benefit from being placed on a tray lined with capillary matting, which soaks up the water and then delivers the moisture to the roots gradually when it's needed - handy if you're going away on summer holidays and don't have someone to water the garden for you.
I'm experimenting at my allotment with a recycled version using a wooden pallet, tin cans, capillary matting and a water tank.
Place your patio pots together in a shady spot, to slow down evaporation, then give them a thorough soaking and place them on a large tray housing soaked capillary matting, which should feed the roots with enough moisture until your return.
Just fill the reservoir and the fibre capillary matting will draw the water up.
Or use strips of capillary matting tucked into the compost at one end and a bowl of water at the other.
For future years, it might be wise to line the base of your basket with capillary matting, which holds in moisture and releases it gradually.
It looks like old capillary matting but contains copper which slugs won't cross, even if the best juiciest shoot is only inches away.
Also part of the Tex-R line is "capillary matting," a synthetic agrotextile product capable of absorbing water and soluble nutrients and redistributing them evenly to plants by sub-irrigation.
Cut out strips of capillary matting (available from garden centres and DIY stores) to create a wick for each pot, placing one end of the matting in the bucket and training it down and inserting the other end into the compost, which should keep it moist when you're away.
Alternatively, place one end of a strip of capillary matting in an elevated bucket of water and the other end in the compost in your pot and it should hopefully filter through over a prolonged period.
By using its unique T-junctions it can even be used for specialist purposes such as creating a bog garden or to irrigate sand beds or capillary matting in a greenhouse.