Capillary water

When it doesn't rain for a period of one to eleven months, as happens at many places on earth, trees still manage to survive. The water that allows plants to survive during long periods of drought is called 'capillary water'.

This makes capillary water just as important as rain or condensation. But, as we don't see it, most of us don't even know it exists. That is also the reason most of us destroy the capillary tubes, in which this water is present, while planting. This wasn't always the case. My grandfather taught me not to destroy the capillary tubes while planting when I was a child. They had no irrigation system to repair the error of doing so. By using an awl, we used to plant potatoes in a planting hole with fixed sides and a fixed bottom. Through this method the root-hairs of the tuber had access to the capillary water within days. I planted cabbage with a so-called planter's shovel. This shovel made a cut in which the root was planted. Hereafter the cut was treaded down, so the roots were immediately in fixed soils. To sum up: all farmers used to know what capillary water was. Therefore the adagio always was not to stir the soil.

Nowadays it's common use to dig a hole when planting a plant or tree. This means the young tree has to grow its root-hairs in stirred soil. When there is a dry period of several weeks, however, the stirred soil turns into dust. In the modern-day agricultural sector this problem is solved through irrigation. Although this uncontrolled and wasting use of energy and water solves the problem, it doesn't take away the cause of the problem, being the stirred soil. It can take up to three years before the capillary tubes have been formed again and the capillary water can flow freely.

Through its ingenious construction, the Groasis waterboxx from Groasis uses capillary water. By creating a cylinder in the centre of the waterboxx, the roots of the plant or tree can be put inside the instrument, only 5 to 10 cm in the soil. After one day, the first root-hairs start developing in the un-stirred soil, where the capillary water can be found. The enormous capacity of the capillary water will help the tree to start growing much sooner.

Visit for more information about capillary and the waterboxx