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Capillary mat?

Posted by carol_MI z6 MI (My Page) on
Wed, May 11, 05 at 11:04

Trying to figure out how to cheaply duplicate those fancy seed starting systems they sell in Gardener's Supply. Basically, you set the trays on a low platform set in a flat filled with water. There's a capillary mat that covers the platform and drapes into the water, keeping the mat constantly moist and transferring it evenly to the trays. Anyways, I've got just about everything figured out except for the capillary mat. What would be a good, absorbant, resuable material to use for this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Capillary mat?

You can use most any material, like cotton (from tshirts) or denim. However, I would be worried about mold growing, since you start seeds indoors when the weather is still cold.

That's why I don't use a capillary mat or anything like it. Peat pots (and other peat products) are especially prone to mold.


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RE: Capillary mat?

  • Posted by RHay z5 Colorado (My Page) on
    Wed, May 11, 05 at 16:19

I use capillary mats in my greenhouse and have had good luck with them. Rather than spending a fortune on the one's in the gardening catalogs, I went to Walmart and spent ~$10 on a blanket and cut it up. The one I got was almost 100% wool and is almost like thick felt. It's held up pretty well. In the spring I pull them up and put them in the washing machine with a little extra bleach to kill any bacteria etc. I bet a thrift store would have something similar for less money if you weren't fussy about the color.


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RE: Capillary mat?

You can use pieces of quilt batting.


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RE: Capillary mat?

I'd bet one of those old U-Haul blankets would be effective used that way.


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RE: Capillary mat?

How about layers of newspaper?


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RE: Capillary mat?

would they decompose too soon? (I don't know how long it takes)


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Newspaper?

I don't think newspaper would work. The fibers are not far apart enough to get good capillary action. Try something like felt, or denim. Go get felt scraps at your local fabric store.


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RE: Capillary mat?

Brain Storm in Action. Disposalble Diapers. At last a positive ecological use for these throw-aways. Strip out the linings and allow one end to rest in your liquid source. And they are so cheap! Yeah, Yeah, new ones might be the smarter choice.

Cheers,

MacNutt


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RE: Capillary mat?

I found this link about using newspapers for capillary mats.

http://www.ag.auburn.edu/aaes/webpress/1991/recycled.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: Newspapers for capillary matting


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RE: Capillary mat?

I have yards and yards of Thermolan Plus in my sewing room. Can I use this for capillary matting?

Thanks,
DL


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RE: Capillary mat?

Why not an old towel. They are 100% cotton and should wick just fine.

I don't think Quilt batting would work. There's too much polyester in it to wick properly.


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RE: Capillary mat?

Old Towels... BRILLIANT Idea! I am going to try that one in my greenhouse. (and I was getting ready to buy the $20 mats... free is always better!)


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RE: Capillary mat?

go to the army store and get some of their old wool blankets.


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