Capillary Matting, also known as wicking fabric or spreader mat can evenly dispense moisture to the bottoms of plant containers that rest on it. This can be a terrifically easy way to keep seed starting media properly moist while the seeds germinate and until it is time to plant them out. All one needs is a water proof surface to place the wicking fabric on and a container of water that is a little bit lower than the surface the capillary matting is on. For example, one might cover a counter top with plastic to protect it and then spread out a piece of pre-moistened wicking fabric on it, hanging one edge down into the sink. Fill the sink with water and place your seeds on it and they will stay moist as long as there is enough water in the sink to be wicked up by the fabric (the capillary matting must be touching the water.)
Why not just place a container of water next to the fabric on the counter top and lift an edge of the spreader mat up into it? Well gravity would cause the spreader mat to siphon the higher container dry and the capillary matting would not be able to hold all the water so it would likely leak off the plastic causing a mess and then leave the plants to dry out once the water held in the spreader mat was used up. I’ve tried this and it is amazing how well the capillary matting does at siphoning but this doesn’t really help keep the plants watered.
The spreader mat can even be used in a bath to keep plants watered during a vacation. Wet the capillary matting and then spread out on the bottom of the tub. Place plants and then set the tap so it just drips on the matting enough to keep it moist but not so much as to waist water. The spreader mat will evenly distribute the moisture without over watering the plants.
I have been making use of Capillary matting in my aquaponics systems for starting seeds and keeping small container plants watered.
Here is a picture of a neglected raft in my aquaponics system that is keeping some small pepper plants watered.
The matting simply rests on the foam raft and hangs into the water on the edge, this also happens to protect the raft from the sun.
I have also used the matting on a lined shelf with the edge hanging over into a trough of aquaponic water for starting seeds in peat pellets or other small seed starting media.
|Capillary Matting must be soaked and completely wet/rinsed before being spread out to do it’s job and then must not be allowed to dry out or it will need to be re-soaked to work.|
NEW Smaller Size
48″ by 18″ for $5.99
S&H $5.60 (in continental US)
48″ by 36″ for $11.95
S&H $5.95 (in continental US)
If paypal charges too much for shipping in the continental US, I will refund you the difference, please let me know, I’ve found that I can’t enter a set price for shipping in the US and a different one outside the US so I have to go by weight and the calculator doesn’t give me enough choices so I generally have to let it over charge and I can refund back the difference.
I can cut other sizes. I keep 4′ wide rolls in stock and can cut to length. Contact me for a quote for custom sizes.
Capillary Matting Instructions.
Thoroughly soak matting and place on water resistant surface with the edge hanging in water no more than 2 inches below the surface.
If using in an Aquaponics system, rinse the matting well before using in the system to remove residues from the matting that might otherwise cause Bubbles in the system.
If you are interested in other sizes let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you.