Navigation Links
Capillary mats labor-saving, economical alternative to hand watering
Date:2/17/2009

TUCSON, AZCapillary mats are popular in the retail nursery industry and with many home gardeners. The uniquely designed mats provide automated irrigation to a variety of plants, conserve water, and reduce the need for labor-intensive hand-watering.

Made with absorbent fabric lined with polyethylene film on the bottom and covered on top with perforated polyethylene or similar material, the mats help minimize evaporation while allowing water to move from the bottom of the mat up into the containers on top.

One advantage of capillary mats is that plants of different size and water requirement can be placed on the same mat without under- or over- watering individual containers. Other reasons mats are preferred to overhead sprinklers are that mats leave less water on the floor of the retail area, and staff don't have to spend as much time watering plants. The downside: capillary mats can be an expensive system to set up and maintain.

In a study published in the American Society of Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology, a research team from the University of Arizona used capillary mats and overhead sprinkler irrigation in a simulated retail environment to maintain annual and perennial plants in containers for various time periods during both summer and winter.

The researchers combined the results from both seasons and concluded that four species with dense canopies had larger canopy sizes when maintained on the capillary mats. Three species requiring more drainage had larger canopies with overhead irrigation, and five species were unaffected by irrigation systems. Additionally, substrate electrical conductivity was higher for some species in winter for plants on capillary mats, thus conserving fertilizer compared with overhead irrigation. Plants maintained on capillary mats required 71% less water in summer and 62% less in winter compared to the plants watered using overhead irrigation systems.

The study also included an economic analysis component comparing the investment required for setup and maintenance of plants in a retail situation using hand-watering, overhead sprinkler, or capillary mat irrigation. "The economic analysis indicates that capillary mats are a labor-saving alternative to hand-watering in a retail nursery and will compensate for the higher initial investment within less than one year", noted lead author Ursula K. Schuch.

Summarizing the research results, Schuch found that "overhead sprinklers were the most cost-effective system of the three because of less costly initial set-up and maintenance than the capillary mats", but added that sprinklers are not a true alternative to hand-watering in a retail situation because they interfere with customer traffic and retail workers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Team finds an economical way to boost the vitamin A content of maize
2. Economical, nonpolluting solutions to greenhouse growing found
3. Methyl bromide alternatives for California strawberry nurseries
4. A natural, alternative insect repellent to DEET
5. Methyl bromide alternatives indicated for North Carolina tomato production
6. Vidalia onions: Alternative to hand-transplanting proven effective
7. Parasite-resistant peppers green alternatives to chemical pesticides
8. During exercise, the human brain shifts into high gear on alternative energy
9. Alternative to burning: environmentally sound disposal for wood chips
10. CSHL team traces extensive networks regulating alternative RNA splicing
11. Researchers create safer alternative to heparin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today ... role of principal product architect and that ... of customer development. Both will report directly to ... The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its ... high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... PhUSE will build on the huge success ... Day Events (SDE) to organize a multiple-day US conference. The first annual US ... the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry will cover industry standards, data science, regulations ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, ... in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease ... Kenya,s Pharmaceutical Association members. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ... ... , , ... Kenya Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) to introduce the INSTI HIV Self Test to 350 pharmacy ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the Company") ... to announce the formation of EyGen, Ltd. a ... assets through proof of concept. EyGen,s lead asset ... Pharmaceuticals Limited and being developed for topical ophthalmic ... segment diseases. This agent has the potential to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: