AQUAMAT® - FAQ
Are root diseases more prevalent with AQUAMAT® than with a conventional spray system?
Since its launch, AQUAMAT® has never been known to cause root-related problems. The reason for this is the sub- irrigation system for the simple reason that irrigation by capillary action allows commercial substrate to breathe. Capillary action takes place only through micro-pores thus leaving the macro-pores water-free. This is why there is no increase in root disease when compared to irrigation by spraying.
Moreover, if a root disease were to develop using AQUAMAT®, its spread would be limited to one section only since the pool sections in the mat are isolated one from the other (capillary break every 10ft).
Can all types of plants be grown on AQUAMAT®?
Yes... if the selected type of substrate and the irrigation are appropriate for the species being cultivated. For example, a slow-growing plant would require less water and a humus-bearing substrate. However, it is possible that the medium remains wet and less aerated. As a general rule, mixes containing 50% and more of sphagnum peat automatically achieve high performance and compatibility rates with AQUAMAT®.
Is algae-development harmful to AQUAMAT®?
The patented anti-evaporation fabric keeps the surface ground cover dry whereas the anti-root cover prevents light from penetrating to the lower layers. Since algae necessitate both water and light to survive, their spread is greatly restrained. The presence of algae could arise if there were too much irrigation (watering cycles are too long and too frequent), or if the water came from an already contaminated source. Hanging baskets draining over the benches of greenhouses could also contribute to the formation of algae by creating water surpluses on the capillary mat.
What are the risks of mineral salt accumulation and how can this be controlled?
Samples taken during several studies have shown no signs of salt accumulation. Since water evaporation is greatly reduced by the low-density layer, the formation of salt is unlikely on AQUAMAT®.
In the eventuality of some salt deposits, a simple wash with water will suffice. However, it is advised to check the PH of the irrigation water and to revise the fertilization plan to a lower rate since AQUAMAT® stores both water and the fertilizers which have dissolved in it. Fertilizers with slow releases, often used for woody plants, generate less accumulation of salts than fertilization operations carried out in greenhouses.
On what kind of slope can AQUAMAT® be used to ensure a good water distribution?
The terrain or the tables have to be as level as possible so as to prevent water accumulation. Watering through sub-irrigation might not be sufficient during large droughts if AQUAMAT® is set up on a terrain which is very uneven.
Is AQUAMAT® recommended for the cultivation of seedlings and cuttings?
Yes. However, irrigation by spraying should be done until the young plants have enough roots near the bottom of the container. The container and the substrate also have to be rather heavy to ensure water capillarity between the mattress and the substrate.