Capillary Matting - what do you think

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julietmaria

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Capillary Matting - what do you think
« on: March 30, 2011, 22:46 »
Hi I have inherited a greenhouse and used it for 1 year so far.  I go away at weekends quite a lot and have lots of plants almost ready to go in and was wondering about capillary matting.   Does it work?  I have shelves or staging and these are about and inch deep, so last year I just poured water into the shelves but things did dry out.  I would appreciate any ideas.  I thought capillary matting was a good idea because it is not expensive.
Thnaks Juliet
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Paul Plots

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 22:50 »
I have used it successfully in the past but it does need topping up. Had you thought of combining the matting with some sort of drip feed reservoir?
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Ghost

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 11:50 »
I've thought about getting some for when I go on holiday for a week so post on here to let me know how you get on. They seemed to be quite expensive for what they are when I had a look.

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Paul Plots

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 16:45 »
I've thought about getting some for when I go on holiday for a week so post on here to let me know how you get on. They seemed to be quite expensive for what they are when I had a look.

Useful if you can't afford a part-time gardener while you are away and cheaper than replacing plants.  ;)

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Ghost

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 09:30 »
Do you just place your plants on this stuff and water the mat or do you have to place the mat in a tray of water then put your plants on that?

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Paul Plots

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 10:24 »
Do you just place your plants on this stuff and water the mat or do you have to place the mat in a tray of water then put your plants on that?

Without a tray the water will run away (gravity and all that).

Place the matting in a tray, plant pots (or seed trays) on the matting and then add water.

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colliebird

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 11:20 »
I use capillary matting under the pots when I sow seeds.  I pour water onto the matting so that it is really wet.  It's the best results I've ever had when sowing.

I put capillary matting into the plastic trays that hold a growbag.  I pierce the underneath and sides of the growbag to allow any superfluous water to drain.  When I go away for a weekend, I really soak the matting and leave about an inch of water as well.

But I also use these Growbag Pots:
http://www.selections.com/GF9810/growbag-pots-set-of-3/   
They can be washed and used every year.  I haven't had slugs since using them.

colliebird
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Paul Plots

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 23:40 »
Very nice colliebird - I use ring-culture method for growing tomatoes too but simply place a 12" flowerpot onto the grow-bag. I found this works as well as buying or making "rings" (bottomless pots) for planting into. It's cheaper as the ordinary 12" pots are re-useable.  ;)

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tiny50

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2011, 12:32 »
I LAY OUT TWO LONG CANES THE LENGTH OF MY BENCH AND TWO SHORT CANES AT THE ENDS TO FORM A RECTANGLE SHAPE ON THE GREENHOUSE BENCH, I LAY A SHEET OF PLASTIC ON THAT AND THEN LAY OLD BED BLANKETS OR COTTON SHEETS FOR  MATTING OVER THE TOP,  THIS FORMS A MAT RESERVOIR.  WHEN I SOAK IT I HAVE A PUDDLE OF ABOUT AN 8TH OF AN INCH.  THIS SOAKS INTO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEEDLINGS AND FORMS A STRONG ROOT SYSTEMS FOR THE PLANTS,  AND THE BLANKET STAYS WET FOR SEVERAL DAYS.  I'VE HAD GREAT SUCCESS WITH THIS MEATHOD AND COSTS NEXT TO NOTHING TO DO,
WIFE SAYS i AM THE BOSS IN MY OWN SHED

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GrannieAnnie

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2011, 12:41 »
Tiny, please don't shout!   ::)  Some people have trouble reading all upper case stuff, and it is deemed on the internet as shouting at people.

As to the capillary matting.  I don't go away much, but I keep looking at it, and there is one make, but can't remember where I saw it that has a deeper reservoir at one end that you fill with water, the end of the matting goes into this and it soaks water up as it needs it.

Should be easy enough to make someting like that or like mentioned earlier, a drip feed system.


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Paul Plots

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2011, 13:20 »
I lay out two long canes the length of my bench and two short canes at the ends to form a rectangle shape on the greenhouse bench, I lay a sheet of plastic on that and then lay old bed blankets or cotton sheets for  matting over the top,  this forms a mat reservoir.  When I soak it I have a puddle of about an 8th of an inch.  This soaks into the bottom of the seedlings and forms a strong root systems for the plants and the blanket stays wet for several days.  I've had great success with this method and costs next to nothing to do.

This sounds an interesting idea but how long does the blanket last? Do you re-use it from year to year?

Bought capillary matting usually has fabric/materials that resist the growth of mould. I'd worry about other fibres turning green or growing something nasty.


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tiny50

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 08:52 »
SORRY FOR THE CAPITALS GRANNIE BUT I AINT SHOUTIN JUST WISPERING IN BIG LETTERS,  I DONT DO TYPIN VERY OFTEN AND HAVE BIG FAT FINGERS,  IF I WERE TO CHANGE THE TYPE IT WOULD TAAKE ME HOURS TO WRITE ANYTHING.  SO YOU WILL HAVE TO FORGIVE ME OR IGNORE ME, SORRY!!!.

 AS FOR HOW LONG THE BLANKET LASTS LEARNER,  I USED THE SAME ONE LAST YEAR AS I USED THIS YEAR.  I WASHED IT WHEN I FINNISHED WITH IT IN AUTUMN IN THE WASHING MACHINE ON HOT WITH NO DETERGENT,  AND SPRAYED IT WITH A FUNGACIDE, DRIED IT AND STORED IT IN THE AIRING CUPBOARD UNTIL END OF FEB,  WHEN I SET IT OUT AGAIN,  SO FAR NO FUNGUS OR MOULD.  MAYBE I AM JUST LUCKY OR MAYBE IT IS THE RIGHT WAY.  ANY HOOTS I GOT THEM FROM THE HEART CHARITY SHOP FOR 2 SO ITS WELL CHEAP,  ITS MOSTLY A GAME OF TRIAL AND ERROR ANYWAY,  WORTH TRYING THESE DIFFERENT MEATHODS,  IF THEY WORK OUT GREAT,  IF NOT GO BACK TO A TRIED MORE EXPENSIVE MEATHOD,  AS LONG AS YOU DONT TRY ALL YOUR SEEDLINGS IN A NEW WAY YOU SHOULD BE OK.  REGARDS TINY.

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LivvyW

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2011, 18:45 »
I've used capillary matting before and found it very effective.  If the pots are well watered and left on the matting.

I love TINY'S idea. I reckon it would work just as well as the matting that you can spend quite a few bob on.  The matting is only an absorbent fabric after all.

I would have thought if your only leaving them for the weekend it would work perfectly.

Liv.

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Endymion

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2011, 23:49 »
I'm using some scraps of pond underlining as capillary matting. It's a bit like felt and holds water quite well.

I've used old towels too in the past, with a layer of very cheap and thin weed membrane over the top to stop the roots growing down into it.

If you haven't got big plant trays you can line seed trays with cut-open plastic bags, put the matting (or whatever you're using) on top of the plastic and soak it well.

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Paul Plots

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Re: Capillary Matting - what do you think
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 00:20 »
Thanks for the information TINY. I might give it a go next year.   :)

(Had you thought of typing everything in lower case and not bothering with capitals at all? I think people would find it easier to read.  ;))



xx
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