How do you choose the right irrigation mats?

How to choose the right irrigation mats?Many pot plant nurseries use irrigation mats to water their crops. There are different types of irrigation mats available. The best mats to use for your crops, depend on multiple variables, such as water absorption, capillary action, substrate, method of watering and usage time. Our specialist explains more about choosing the right irrigation mats in this article.

Water capacity

Water capacity is the amount of water the irrigation mat can retain per square meter in litres. The greater the mat’s water capacity, the more water it can buffer. The water capacity plays a large part in choosing the mats; after all, you are choosing the amount of water under your plants. But you are also choosing the buffering function that can offer results during a disruption in the watering system, for example, with a defective pump.

There is a relation between water capacity and capillary action. The more water the irrigation mat retains, the slower the capillary action is (as there are larger amounts of water to be processed). Therefore mats with a low water capacity will distribute water faster thanthe same kind of mat with a higher water capacity.

Lately a trend towards lower water capacity combined with higher frequency of watering has emerged. By doing this the relative air humidity can be decreased, which, in turn, decreases the chances of disease and algae growth.

Capillary Action

Capillary action is the extent to which the irrigation mat evenly distributes the water over the entire surface of the mat and the circulation speed it has. The greater the capillary action, the faster the water can distributed throughout the mat.

Type of Watering

The irrigation system plays a very important role in choosing the right irrigation mat. For example, during cultivation when watering can only be done from the bottom good capillary action is of great importance, but when watering can be done from above during cultivation (for example a watering cart) capillary action plays a much less important role.

Usage time/Lifespan

Usage time is also a factor in choosing a mat. If you want to use the irrigation mats for multiple crops quality is of greater importance than if you are using the mat for one time cultivation only.

Substrate

Finally substrate also plays a part in choosing certain irrigation mats. This does not merely concern the substrate (e.g. metaal, sand or concrete), but also, for example the grade of the substrate (slope).

Ground cover and algae film

During production you can also choose to rest your irrigation mats on ground cover and/or agae film. This prevents roots from growing into the mat. You will also prevent the irrigation mat from becoming contaminated by the growth of weeds, roots and algae, which will benefit the mat’s lifespan. Finally, you will prevent unnecessary vaporization and you will protect the irrigation mats from mechanical influences, such as fork lifts and (cleaning) sweeping machines.

Custom Advice

Let someone advise you properly when choosing irrigation mats. Do you want custom advice? Fill out the form below. Indicate for each point what your situation or application is. Our specialist will then contact you as soon ass possible with custom advice – on work days even within 24 hours.


Sonja Buurman
Questions regarding irrigation mats?
Do you have questions about (the choice of) irrigation mats? Contact our product specialist Sonja Buurman, or ask your question using the form below.