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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I'm experimenting at my allotment with a recycled version using a wooden pallet, tin cans, capillary matting and a water tank.
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.
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.
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.
Alternatively, invest in some strips of capillary matting tucked into the compost at one end and a bucket of water at the other, which should provide enough moisture for the fortnight you're away.
Set up a watering system using a big container of water and pieces of capillary matting as a wick.
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.
For those with a greenhouse, capillary matting provides an effective reservoir for plants.
It looks like old capillary matting but contains copper which slugs won't cross, even if the best juiciest shoot is only inches away.
If you haven''t invested in automatic irrigation systems you can set up a temporary automatic watering system by submerging strips of capillary matting in a trug full of water and then running the end of the strips to your containers.