Capillary benching

This is the term used to describe benching constructed so as to allow plants growing in pots to be watered automatically. The bench becomes in effect a trough of water, the level of which is critically controlled by the water being 'absorbed' into a matting covering or a layer of sand. The compost in the plant pots must establish good contact with this surface, so all crocks must be removed from the bottom of the pots. When setting out the plants press each one firmly on to the bench. If capillarity is not established, place a small "wick* in the base of the pot; this will draw up water into the compost.

Benching of this type copes satisfactorily with pots of different sizes and with plants requiring differing amounts of water, so it is a boon for the amateur gardener who is away from home during the day.

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