Blumat Capillary Mat Systems
If you are simply looking to get your seedlings started, or even just looking for a more controlled watering method, the Blumat Capillary Mat System may be able to help. More than just water efficiency, these systems can save large costs in labor, fertilizer and pesticide use, as well as shorten production time. Along with their simple set-up, any level of experience grower can easily take a few steps to get this system up and running.
The way to set it up is to line your tray or tub with the capillary mat fabric and put the Surface Blumat on top - and when adjusted correctly, the Blumat will automatically turn your water flow on and off based on the moisture level of the cap mat.
How it Works
Similar to the same process as the Tropf Blumats – the sensors work through the process of sub-pressure. When the pressure of the ceramic base goes down, suction tension develops – and a flexible valve is pulled downwards allowing the passage of water to drip out onto the mat, distributing water evenly. Once the plants are happily hydrated, the pressure signals the valve to rise up – stopping the water, until the process repeats itself again.
The capillary mat waters plants from below. A similar capillary action happens in the soil of the plants that pulls water upwards. Watering from the ground up goes directly into the root zone where the plant immediately absorbs water. This eliminates wet foliage and results in a more uniform type of watering. The key is keeping all plants on a level surface.
Types and Sizes of Pots
Recommended with fabric pots and plastic ones with a flat bottom and extra holes drilled in (but not plastic pots with a big lip) - the mat needs to be touching the bottom of the pot. This system works best for pots up to 2 gallon, or for larger plants with deep but not surface roots.
The watering period regulates based on the distance between the Blumat sensor and the drip locations - the closer they are, the quicker the water turns off. For small trays and tubs, only one Blumat sensor is required. The 3 mm tubing can go 8-12" from the Blumat top.
In a 5 gallon pot, the moisture will only go up about half way. In this case, it is better to use a regular Blumat sensor. One of these plus distribution drippers will supply enough water for 5 square meters of tray.
For larger areas, just add a few distribution drippers. With two sensors, it is possible to water bigger trays up to 10' long. The maximum surface area using 2 sensors with distribution drippers is 5 square yards.
The electronic version can supply enough for thousands of plants as long as the surface is flat (we recommend using a level to make sure).
Anti-Algae Perforated Black Foil
In order to stop algae and other unwanted organisms, we also offer a anti-algae perforated black foil that acts primarily by letting the water in but not the light. Essential with our Surface Blumats, it is also great for covering the tops of Grodan cubes and any other places where you have a moist material in light.
Blumat surface sensors with capillary mat can offer an important alternative and cost effective way to automate watering in a cost efficient way; given that even one inexpensive sensor can water thousands of plants.