Four methods of watering by capillary action

Choose a tray with raised sides and good drainage. Line it with polythene sheeting. Stab holes in the applied. To gain experience use a minimum number of pot types and sizes, and as far as possible stick to one compost formula so that experience of these limited conditions will improve watering technique.

Watering from above with a rose, attached either to a watering can or a hose, will give a light rate of application. This helps prevent severe caking of the compost and so enhances penetration and free drainage. Water little and often, allowing the water to drain each time it reaches the rim of the pot or seed tray.

Watering by a capillary system is usually an advantage to the gardener because it is difficult to overwater, although undue drying due to poor capillary contact may prove a problem until experience is gained.

Capillary systems depend either on a proprietary matting, usually made of felt or glass-fibre, or on a sand base. The former is easier to set up, but sand provides a more reliable contact. Line a tray that has raised sides with polythene sheeting. Puncture the polythene several times in a line around the sides within ^ in of the required surface level. Fill the recess with fine sand to the top, and

Choose a tray with raised sides and good drainage. Line it with polythene sheeting. Stab holes in the sheeting about \ in below the required surface level. Fill the recess with fine sand and water to the top. Set the containers firmly on the capillary bed so there is no air between the bed and the compost.

pour water over it. The holes in the polythene will ensure the water does not reach higher than | in below the surface level of the sand.

Make sure that any containers are set firmly on to the capillary bed so that the water can pass into the pot or seed tray without undue hindrance from air space between bed and compost.

If a compost is overwatered, allow it to dry out before watering again.

Should a peat-based compost dry out and prove difficult to rewet, then add a drop or two of soft soap to the water to improve water penetration. In many peat-based composts a wetting agent is incorporated and a rewetting problem should not arise.

WATERING FROM ABOVE THE COMPOST

WATERING FROM ABOVE THE COMPOST

Use a watering can with a fine rose. Start pouring the water away from the container. Direct it over the compost once

an even flow is attained. Move the watering can away from the container before stopping the flow of water.

Stand the containers in a shallow bath of water. When thoroughly wet, remove and leave to drain.

Push one end of absorbent tape into a bucket of water. Lay the other end on some peat under the plant pots.

Thread absorbent tape into the bottom of a container. Place with the tape hanging into some water below.

Stand the containers in a shallow bath of water. When thoroughly wet, remove and leave to drain.

Push one end of absorbent tape into a bucket of water. Lay the other end on some peat under the plant pots.

Thread absorbent tape into the bottom of a container. Place with the tape hanging into some water below.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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