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Tips for using capillary matting

Written by Bonita van Ingen | Last update: 13-03-2020

Capillary mats distribute water from the soil so that plants are evenly watered. The advantage of watering from the bottom of the plant is better root development in the pot. Many companies that produce potted plants use these capillary mats or self-watering trays for irrigation. For the best result, it is important to place the capillary mats in the right position and are used correctly. In this article you will read some important tips from our product specialist about capillary mats.

Positioning capillary matting

It is important to position capillary matting next to each other in multiple lanes. Keep in mind to overlap the lanes with 5 to 10 centimeters to make sure there are no openings. Because the capillary matting are delivered on rolls, it is important to position them carefully. In this way, the plant will get sufficient amount of water and nutrition and you will effectively use the capillary mats.

Assortment capillary mats

Wetting the capillary mat in the beginning

Before using the matting, ensure that they are completely wet with water with a low surface tension. A low surface tension ensures the the water is absorbed well. You can test whether the surface tension is low enough pouring a cup of rain water over the mat. If the water is not absorbed quickly, the surface tension is too high. You can reduce the surface tension by adding a  wetting agent or soap based product to the water. 

After the mats have been wetted, they can be put into use. Note: new capillary mattting need some time to fully stabilize. So, please be aware that the results of new mats are not entirely constant and optimal in the beginning. 

Keep the capillary matting wet

Subsequently, you can use the capillary matting. Make sure that the capillary matting never dry out entirely. Chemical and other substances can extract from the capillary mat when it is dried out. This will impact the lifespan of the capillary mat. Make sure, that the irrigation mats are always moistoned in time.

Note: when the capillary matting will be used for multiple crops, we advise you to keep the mats wet enough during crop rotation. This will make it easier to start with a new crop, because the water distribution will be more stable.

Cleaning during crop rotation

When wetting the capillary mats during crop rotation, you will prevent the entry of harmful organisms from the old crop being transferred to the new plants. You can clean capillary matting as follows:
  1. Rinse the capillary mats with clean and pure water. Note: never use a high-pressure cleaner, as this will damage the mats
  2. Steam the mats
  3. Disinfect the mats with the desinfectant Menno ter Forte (please always check if you are allowed to use this agent in your country)
  4. Rinse the mats again with clean water

Cleaning during crop rotation 
  • If you use the capillary matting for multiple crops, make sure that you clean the watering mats during the crop rotation. This way you prevent damaging organisms from the old crop to be taken in by the new crop through the capillary matting.

    There are two ways to clean your capillary matting:

    Wash & disinfect:
    wash the capillary mat with clean and pure water (note: never use a high pressure hose, this will damage the mats) and disinfect them with a cleaning product like Menno ter Forte.

    you can also choose to steam the mats.

Storing capillary matting

When you have bought capillary matting and you don’t intend to use them instantly make sure to store them in a dry, cool and dark place.

Questions regarding the use of capillary matting

If you have any questions about the use of capillary matting or you want us to advise you please contact our product specialist Bonita van Ingen or use the form you find underneath. If you use this form to ask your question we will contact you as soon as possible. We'll respond within 24 hours on working days. 

About Bonita van Ingen

Bonita van Ingen joined Royal Brinkman in 2017 as internal product specialist Packaging & Design. She acts as a link between the sales department and suppliers. "Horticulture is a beautiful industry to me. Working with different products, contact with suppliers, the interaction with colleagues and the variety of work: every day is different. If the customer is happy with the products he has purchased, so am I."

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