Watering seedlings in a closed container

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abhikjha
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:57 am

Watering seedlings in a closed container

Post by abhikjha »

Hi guys, I recently sowed a large number of seeds - mainly Ariocarpus, Lophophora, Melocactus, Discocactus.

All are sown in pure mineral mix (small size pumice, perlite and vermiculite).

I noticed on lid of two containers where Lophophora seeds were sown a month back has little or no water droplets. This raises few questions and I am hoping expert community can help me here:

1. Does it indicate that I need to do bottom watering for these two containers.
2. What are the other indications or early signs to look out for when to water them.
3. I will be using cocopeat mat as alternative to capillary mat. Is it true that if the substrate is already wet, substrate will not wick any water from the mat if bottom watered.
4. How long I should use the mat, I mean is 10 min for an average size container okay or 1 hr?

Thanks
Abhik
Tropical weather, no winters! :roll:
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Hanazono
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Re: Watering seedlings in a closed container

Post by Hanazono »

G'day Abhik
1. Does it indicate that I need to do bottom watering for these two containers.
2. What are the other indications or early signs to look out for when to water them.
3. I will be using cocopeat mat as alternative to capillary mat. Is it true that if the substrate is already wet, substrate will not wick any water from the mat if bottom watered.
4. How long I should use the mat, I mean is 10 min for an average size container okay or 1 hr?
I have no imagination of your setting but I also use a large plastic box.
My box is:
Size: 75 cm x 40 cm x 15 cm height
A lid with 15 of 6 mm holes
A capillary mat is laid permanently on the bottom of box.
18 of 10 cm square pots are possible to accommodate.

1. I do not water to pots. I just water to the capillaly mat. Potting-mix suckes water up into pot from the wet capillary mat.
2. When the mat was dried, inside of pot is also dried.
3. If potting-mix was wet, it is true.
4. The capillaly mat is laid permanently. When the capillay mat is dried, I just water over the mat, not pots.

Frank
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The box with a lid
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Inside of the box
Inside of the box
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abhikjha
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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:57 am

Re: Watering seedlings in a closed container

Post by abhikjha »

Awesome Frank! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your views.

My setup is also similar except that I grow in individual boxes. Just to understand, small colorful boxes don't have lids, right?

It's pity that I don't get capillary mat here where I live. So I improvised and used microfibre cloth. It's an absorbent material and soaks up water really well. Did an experiment on 2 inch pot filled with pumice and it took around 2 hrs to get the pot soaked with water.

Do you know once your pots are dried and you wet the capillary mat, how much time it usually takes the pot to get wet again?

Earlier you said, you use natural light for your seedlings, do sunlight fall over the boxes? Or you further shade it with some cloths if sunlight falls over the boxes?

Cheers
Abhik
Tropical weather, no winters! :roll:
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Hanazono
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Re: Watering seedlings in a closed container

Post by Hanazono »

G'morning Abhik,
Do you know once your pots are dried and you wet the capillary mat, how much time it usually takes the pot to get wet again?
unfortunately I have never measured the time. I did not think the time was critical.
do sunlight fall over the boxes? Or you further shade it with some cloths if sunlight falls over the boxes?
Sunlight fall over the boxes.
The boxes are in the greenhouse and the green house is covered by 50% shade cloths permanently.
Boxes accommodated 0~1 year old seedlings is covered 50% shade cloth which means they have 2 layers of coverings.

Frank
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