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  • Author or Editor: R.S. Gates x
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The CWT irrigation system consists of a capillary mat placed on a level bench so one side extends over the edge of the bench into a trough containing a nutrient solution maintained at a controlled distance below the bench. The nutrient solution is drawn by capillarity up to and over the bench surface. As plants use the nutrient solution or as water evaporates from the media, it is replaced from the trough. The automatic system maintains a constant air/water ratio in the growing media. Geraniums were grown in a peat based media in 15-cm pots at 0, 2, and 4 cm CWT. In a separate study, the water potential was determined in two media. Water potential was determined at the bottom, middle, and top of the container at 0, 2 and 4 cm CWT every 2.5 hrs during the light period. Geraniums at 0 and 2 cm had the greatest leaf area and dry weight. The 0- and 2-cm treatments were >25% greater than plants at 4 cm CWT. The roots of plants at 0 cm CWT were concentrated at 2–4 cm above the bottom of the container, whereas roots at 2 cm CWT uniformily extended from the center to the bottom. Water potential was about the same in each media within each CWT treatment. The water potential from top to bottom decreased slightly about midafternoon on a sunny day when water demand was the greatest. Media at 0 CWT at the container bottom had 0 water potential; whereas the water potential at 2 and 4 CWT had a lower water potential.

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