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Starting seeds, clone and small plant care

propagation traysEveryone from small backyard gardeners to large commercial growers to nurseries face the challenge of caring for plants when they’re young, small, and vulnerable. Here are some of the best ideas and methods. The less soil in a pot, the more important keeping up with irrigation becomes. Plants in big pots can go long times without water, those in rockwool cubes or small containers can need water many times a day.

The Challenge

  • How to give your small plants and seeds enough water when they don’t have much soil
  • How to take care of small plants when you don’t have much time
  • How to keep new plants watered before you have time to transplant
  • How to prevent over-watering
  • How to save labor, water, and plant-loss costs
  • How to assure the most healthy, strong-rooted, and prolific plants


capillary mat infographic

Evolve your strategy and irrigation system

We started designing and supplying irrigation systems in the mid-1970’s. Since then, we’ve continued a quest to experiment and evolve better ways to water. We learned and continue to learn from both our own and our customers' experiences and we’re happy to share these with you. We can help you design systems through the range from conservative/traditional/proven to innovative/cutting-edge/experimental.

starts on capillary mats

Capillary Mat Systems

The best way to start and nurture clones, starts, seeds and seedlings

Made from a felt-like material, capillary mats supply water by wicking moisture up from the bottom - when the planting mix and roots dry, they automatically pull moisture up. In university studies, this normally saves 70% of the water use and 92% of the labor costs while making plant growth faster with bigger yields.

Dramatic results typically save:

Labor infographicPlant growth infographicReduce water consumption

Grow more healthy plants and still save water, time, and money

As soil in the pot dries, capillary action pulls moisture up into the pot from the mat. We have components that you can order separately, save some costs, and make your own system. We also stock the more deluxe, multilayered, self-contained AquaMat version systems.

Capillary Mat Installation

capillary mat layers


With more than 8 million square feet of AquaMats installed, AquaMat has proven itself as the top-of-the-line capillary mat system. These systems installed in greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries using beds, fabric and plastic pots, beds, or plastic pots now save c. 889,000 gallons of water each season.

Fast and simple? - Buy a Complete System

bottomless pot

Capillary Pot Systems - the perfect pair!

A game-changing new system that speeds up harvest time, prevents transplant shock, and takes good care of your microbes and living soil.
Pairing capillary mats with bottomless pots multiplies the benefits. The roots grow down instead of out, using more of the potting mix. When it is time to transplant, you won’t have to dig a hole that disrupts the microbe networks, just put the pot on top of your soil or planting mix.

surface blumat

Capillary Mats with Surface Blumats

Just put a Surface Blumat on top of a capillary mat system and automate the water supply to your seed trays, small plants, and clones. Without disturbing your fragile new roots, it will keep the moisture levels just right - no more drowning or drying out! This version can monitor and control up to 5 square yards of capillary mats and the electronic versions can expand the system up to thousands of plants.

Blumats for starts and seedlings! These automatically water plant trays totaling up to 5 square yards without electricity or pressurized water (electronic ones available for larger areas and/or thousands of plants). Place on top of capillary mats, attach to distribution drippers or BluSoak and they automatically supply the needed water. Sensitive new roots aren’t disturbed and you won’t have to worry about tiny plants either drowning or drying out too much.

Click here for instructions on how to use capillary mats:

surface blumat diagram

capillary mat with bottomless pots

New Capillary Mat Technique

Here’s a way you can basically make your own Surface Blumat – by using a Blumat Sensor in a pot that automatically controls the capillary mat moisture level.

Installation Pictures


Plastic Pots

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outdoor system






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