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Title:
HOLDER FOR PLANTS, COMPRISING A FIRST AND SECOND CONTAINER, LIQUID PERMEABLE MATERIAL AND WATER GUIDING ELEMENT USABLE WITH SUCH A HOLDER, AND METHOD FOR THE USE OF SUCH A HOLDER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/101457
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A holder for plants, comprising a first and second container, liquid permeable material and water guiding material usable with such a holder, and method for the use of such a holder. A holder (1) for plants has a first container (2), a second container (3) and an intermediate space (4), intended for receiving liquid. The second container has at least one feed-through opening which cooperates with liquid permeable material (8) for the supply of liquid to the second container (3). The holder comprises a supply control device (9) for controllably supplying liquid from the intermediate space (4) through the liquid permeable material (8) to the second container (3). The control device (9) is provided with a pressure element (10) which exerts pressure on the liquid permeable material (8) for controlling the liquid supply. The pressure element (10) can be adjusted to several positions and is operable from the outside of the holder (1). Liquid supply means (7) are present for the supply of the liquid at least a number of locations into the second container.

Inventors:
VAN MULLEKOM, Antonius Hermanus Petrus Gerardus (Diepvoorde 1829, EV Wijchen, NL-6605, NL)
Application Number:
NL2010/050102
Publication Date:
September 10, 2010
Filing Date:
March 02, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VAN MULLEKOM, Antonius Hermanus Petrus Gerardus (Diepvoorde 1829, EV Wijchen, NL-6605, NL)
International Classes:
A01G27/00; A01G27/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO1987006095A21987-10-22
WO2002074068A12002-09-26
WO2004052084A12004-06-24
Foreign References:
US4236352A1980-12-02
US20030009940A12003-01-16
US6370819B12002-04-16
US4083146A1978-04-11
US4741125A1988-05-03
US4782627A1988-11-08
US3758987A1973-09-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hatzmann, M.J. (Vereenigde, Johan de Wittlaan 7, JR Den Haag, NL-2517, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A holder for plants, comprising a first and a second container, which are coupled together such that between the two containers an intermediate space is present intended for receiving liquid, while the second container has at least one feed-through opening which cooperates with liquid permeable material for the supply of liquid to the second container, the holder comprising a supply control device for controllably supplying liquid from the intermediate space through the liquid permeable material to the second container, characterized in that, the control device is provided with a pressure element which exerts pressure on the liquid permeable material for controlling the liquid supply, which pressure element is adjustable to several positions and is operable from the outside of the holder, while liquid supply means are present for supplying the liquid at at least a number of locations into the second container.

2. A holder according to claim 1, characterized in that the liquid permeable material is steplessly adjustable by the pressure element and the pressure element is provided with a pressure indication which indicates the pressure on the liquid permeable material and which can be read from the outside of the holder.

3. A holder according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the liquid permeable material is situated near the underside of the holder between the first and second container, borders the intermediate space and is under a pressure, exerted by the pressure element.

4. A holder according to claim 3, characterized in that the liquid permeable material is annular, strip-shaped or disc-shaped, while the circumferential wall of the second container as part of the pressure element presses at the underside on the material.

5. A holder according to claim 4, characterized in that the pressure element comprises at least one screw element and the second container is coupled by means of the screw element to the first container and the pressure is adjustable through a screw movement.

6. A holder according to claim 5, characterized in that on the bottom of the first container a number of circle segment-shaped screw elements with screw thread are present, which cooperate with screw thread on the lower part of the circumferential wall of the second container.

7. A holder according to any one of claims 4 - 6, characterized in that below the second container, the space surrounded by the liquid permeable material forms a receiving chamber, intended for supply of liquid and air to the root zone of the plant present in the second container, which receiving chamber, if desired, can be designed with an overflow.

8. A holder according to any one of claims 3 - 7, characterized in that with the liquid permeable material at least one water guiding element links up which extends through a wall of the second container, cooperates in the second container with positioning means such as a reinforced pin or ring and extends to the top end of the positioning means.

9. A holder according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that between the first and second container at least one compensating spring is present for compensating the pressure of the pressure element on the liquid permeable material.

10. A liquid permeable material usable with the holder according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the material is designed as an annular or disc-shaped element which, in unloaded condition, has a height that varies over the circumference and/or has material properties that vary in height direction.

11. A liquid permeable material usable with the holder according to any one of claims 1 - 9, characterized in that the material is designed as an annular or disc-shaped element and pressure compensating means are included therein.

12. A water guiding element usable with the holder according to any one of claims 1 - 9, characterized in that the element is provided over at least a part of its length on the wall of elongated positioning means, such as a pin or rod having a pointed end part.

13. A water guiding element according to claim 12, characterized in that the elongated positioning means such as a pin or rod comprise an eyelet near the top end and the element is guided through the eyelet and lies guided downwards from the eyelet along the positioning means.

14. A water guiding element according to claim 12 or 13, characterized in that the positioning means are designed as a rotatable drill, provided with a helical groove, in which the water guiding element extends to at least near the top end of the drill.

15. A water guiding element according to claim 14, characterized in that the drill is provided with a helical, double groove, wherein in one groove the water guiding element is provided and in the other groove air transmissive material for the air supply to the root ball. 16, A method for the use of the holder according to any one of claims 1-9, characterized in that, after filling of the intermediate space, the liquid supply to the second container takes place in two phases, wherein after filling, in the first phase, at least substantially the top side of the root ball of the plant present in the second container is wetted with liquid in a controlled manner depending on the set pressure while thereupon, in the second phase, the lower part of the root ball of the plant is wetted in a controlled manner depending on the set pressure, while in this second phase the liquid supply proceeds through an air chamber present under the second container.

Description:
Title: Holder for plants, comprising a first and second container, liquid permeable material and water guiding element usable with such a holder, and method for the use of such a holder

The invention relates to a holder for plants, comprising a first and second container, which are coupled together such that between the two containers, an intermediate space is present intended for receiving liquid, while the second container has at least one feed-through opening which cooperates with liquid permeable material for supply of liquid to the second container, the holder comprising a supply control device for controllably supplying liquid from the intermediate space through the liquid permeable material to the second container.

Such a holder is known from WO 2004/052084 Al. With this holder, a plant pot, a small flow of water is fed through liquid permeable sponge material to a second, inside container. This supply control device is provided with a valve which is adjustable to only an open or a closed position. A real control of the water flow as far as into the root ball of the plant is not involved. Therefore, with this holder, in practice, there is the risk of a poorly distributed, locally too great or too small liquid supply to the root ball of the plant, which may lead to adverse effects for the plant.

The holder known from WO87/06095 A3 too exhibits a poorly distributed liquid supply, where the liquid is supplied from liquid permeable material at the end of a tube to the root ball of the plant at one location only. The object of the invention is to improve, with a known container, the liquid supply to the root ball of the plant.

According to the invention, the control device is provided with a pressure element which exerts pressure on the liquid permeable material for controlling the liquid supply, which pressure element is adjustable to several positions and is operable from the outside of the holder, while liquid supply means are present for supplying the liquid at at least a number of locations into the second container. In this manner, the liquid supply flow, effectively distributed over the root ball, can be geared to the water demand of the plant, which can vary according to, for instance, the growing phase of the plant, the time of year and climate conditions. Here, the liquid supply means can favourably supply liquid over locations distributed over the bottom of the second container and/or over the height of the second container. Preferably, these liquid supply means also provide for the supply of air to the root ball of the plant. It is of particular advantage that here, the pressure element can be adjusted from the outside of the holder so that with for instance temperature changes the setting of the liquid flow can be rapidly adjusted.

It is of advantage that the liquid permeable material is steplessly adjustable by the pressure element and that the pressure element is provided with a pressure indication that indicates the pressure on the liquid permeable material and can be read from the outside of the holder. As a result, the liquid flow can be controlled continuously and accurately, while the liquid flow can be set accurately by reading the pressure indication.

In another preferred embodiment, at least one compensating spring is present between the first and the second container for compensating the pressure of the pressure element on the liquid permeable material. Such a spring advantageously provides for compensation for the weight of the second pot and the plant and hence of the pressure the pot and plant exert on the material. What can further be prevented in this manner is excessive compression of the material and loss of resilient properties.

The invention further relates to a liquid permeable material, usable with such a holder. According to the invention, the material is designed as an annular or disc-shaped element which, in unloaded condition, has a varying height over its circumference. As a result, there is more material surface available over the ring or disc for sealing and, during use, in the holder, under the pressure of the pressure element, the liquid permeable properties of the material can remain longer at the desired level. It has appeared favourable to include a number of regularly distributed lying compensating springs in the ring or disc. It is also favourable to design the ring or disc as a replaceable part.

The invention also relates to a water guiding element usable with such a holder. According to the invention, the element is provided, at least over a part of the length, on elongated positioning means, such as a pin or rod with a pointed end part. These elements are composed of, for instance, fuse material which is located in helical configuration in grooves in pins, is fixed by the pins by a snap or screw system in the second container and is easily detachably and replaceable. In a preferred embodiment, the pins are designed as a rotating drill provided with a helical groove, in which the water guiding element reaches to the top of the drill.

The invention also relates to a method for the use of such a holder. According to the invention, after filling of the intermediate space, the liquid supply to the inside container takes place in two phases, wherein, after filling, in the first phase, at least substantially the top side of the root ball present in the second container is wetted with liquid in a controlled manner depending on the set pressure while, thereupon, in the second phase, the lower part of the root ball of the plant is wetted in a controlled manner depending on the set pressure, while, in this second phase, the liquid supply proceeds through an air chamber present under the second container.

In the first phase, the intermediate space is filled to the top and liquid supply takes place at least substantially through the material located higher to higher parts of the root ball, while in the second phase, after the liquid level in the intermediate space has dropped, the liquid supply takes place preferably through fuse effect through the bottom to the root zone of the plant, while air is supplied to the root ball as well through the air chamber present under the second container. Preferably, a liquid overflow is present which, in the second phase, also provides for air supply to the air chamber. Further preferred embodiments are elucidated in the following on the basis of a number of embodiments. In the drawing:

Fig. 1 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a first embodiment; Fig. 2A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a second embodiment;

Fig. 2B shows a cross section according to the arrow II -II through half of the holder according to Fig. 2A;

Fig. 3A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a third embodiment;

Fig. 3B shows a bottom view to the holder according to Fig. 3A;

Fig. 4A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a fourth embodiment;

Fig. 4B shows a top plan view to the holder according to Fig. 4A; Fig. 5A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a fifth embodiment;

Fig. 5B shows a cross section through the liquid permeable material in the holder according to Fig. 5A designed as a ring or disc-shaped element;

Fig. 6 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a sixth embodiment;

Fig. 7 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a seventh embodiment;

Fig. 8 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in an eighth embodiment; Fig. 9 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a ninth embodiment;

Fig. 10 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a tenth embodiment;

Fig. 11A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in an eleventh embodiment; Fig. HB shows a top plan view to the holder according to Fig. HA;

Fig. 12A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a twelfth embodiment;

Fig. 12B shows a top plan view to the holder according to Fig. 12A; Fig. 13A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a thirteenth embodiment;

Fig. 13B shows a top plan view to the holder according to Fig. 13A;

Fig. 14A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a fourteenth embodiment; Fig. 14B shows a top plan view to the holder according to Fig. 14A;

Fig. 15 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a fifteenth embodiment;

Fig. 16A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a sixteenth embodiment; Fig. 16B shows a schematic top plan view to the holder according to

Fig. 16A;

Fig. 17 shows a cross section through a part of the holder with a liquid permeable material and a compensating spring in an embodiment alternative to the one according to Fig. 16; Fig. 18 shows a cross section through a part of the holder with the liquid permeable material and compensating springs in an alternative embodiment;

Fig. 19 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in yet another embodiment; Fig. 20 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a further embodiment;

Fig. 21 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in another embodiment;

Fig. 22 shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in an alternative embodiment; Fig. 23A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in yet another embodiment;

Fig. 23B shows a view according to the arrow A in Fig. 23A to the pressure element present in the holder; Fig. 24A shows a cross section through a holder according to the invention in a further embodiment;

Fig. 24B shows a view according to the arrow B in Fig. 24A to the pressure element present in the holder.

The holder 1 shown in Fig. 1 is intended for receiving plants and contains a first, outside pot or container 2 and a second, inside pot or container 3, wherein, in practice, in a manner not shown, the root ball and hence the root zone of the plant is situated inside the inside pot 3. The two pots 2 and 3 are coupled together such that between the pots, there is an intermediate space 4 intended for receiving liquid, water, optionally provided with nutrients, which is to be fed to the root ball of the plant. The inside pot 3 has, at least in a base or bottom wall 3a, at least one feed-through opening 5, in the embodiment two openings 5 are represented, but depending on the water demand of the plant, more openings 5 are possible. For the supply of liquid to the inside pot 3, through the openings 5 liquid supply means are formed by water guiding elements 6, in the embodiment composed of material having a fuse effect. This water guiding material may be, for instance, paper of cotton, is preferably guided over the bottom 2a of the outside pot 2 and has, at that location, an annular or triangular configuration, from whence the elements 6 reach upwards such that the respective elements each supply approximately the same amount of liquid. In the inside pot, for supply of liquid, the elements 6 reach over their height to the upper end of the positioning means having sharp points, such as a reinforced pin 7a, provided with a groove which extends in the longitudinal direction of the pin, in which groove the element 6 can work like a fuse, or as reinforced pin 7b, provided with a groove extending helically (comparable to a drill) in which the element 6 can work like a fuse. The groove has a pitch such that a double groove is involved. Advantageously, here, one groove can serve for receiving the fuse material, while the other groove is provided with air transmissive, water repellent material for the supply of air to the root ball. In this manner, the liquid supply means also contribute to the supply of air to the root ball of the plant. The element 6 can be fixed to the top end of the pin 7a or 7b by means of a glue connection. It is noted (not shown) that near the top end, the pin 7a and/or 7b can comprise an eyelet and the element 6 is guided through the eyelet and lies guided downwards from the eyelet along the pin. This is advantageous for providing the pins with the element in a root ball. In a manner not shown, the pins 7a can be snapped tight by a snap system in a hose 5a in the openings 5 and are readily detachable therefrom. In this manner, the pins 7a can be rapidly exchanged, for instance by pins with elements 6 of a different water guiding type. At the pins 7b a favourable, alternative attachment to the bottom of the inside pot is represented, wherein a threaded bush 5c is provided on the bottom and the pin 7b bears a sleeve 7c at the lower end, which has been screwed into the casing 5c and is fixed by a nut 7d. Advantageously, the pins 7a and 7b can be provided (not shown) near their lower end with a collar, so that they take up a stable position, with the collar firmly abutting against the bottom wall 3a. The sharp points of the pins easily penetrate the root ball and simplify potting or repotting of the plants. It is noted that, alternatively, the pins may also be designed with a core of hard material, around which a sleeve of water guiding material is pulled and which is provided at the top with a sharp point. It is also noted that instead of a circular cross section, the pins can have an ovoid cross section. The elements 6 link up by their other end with liquid permeable material 8, such as sponge material, located in annular of disc-shaped configuration below the lower part 3b of the circumferential wall of the inside pot. The material 8 can be composed of cell rubber, sponge rubber (also called moss rubber) so-called EPMD rubber or other material suitable owing to its properties. For control of the liquid supply, this wall part 3b presses on the material 8 towards the inside pot 3, forms a pressure element of the holder 1 and is part of a supply control device 9. The pressure that the pressure element 3b exerts on the material 8 can be controlled through the presence of a tension rod 10, which is connected by a rotating connection 10a to the bottom 2a of the outside pot 2 and reaches upwards through a water dam in the bottom wall 3a to the top side of the holder, where the rod 10 is provided, for control, with a turning knob 10b. The knob 10b, which is operable from outside the holder 1, cooperates at the underside with a gliding bridge 10c indicated only schematically, which is fixed to the inside wall of the inside pot 3 and has a helical configuration. The cooperation proceeds according to a helix, so that the pressure on the material 8 is steplessly adjustable. Further, below the knob, spacer rings 1Od are present, whose numbers can be modified, which offers the possibility of adjusting the basic level of the pressure. Here, it is also advantageous to give the rings a mutually different thickness and an associated colour. For instance, a white, thicker ring can provide for more pressure and hence less water in winter and a green one can provide for less pressure and more water in summer. It is also advantageous to give the rings magnetic properties, so that they stick to the knob 10b magnetically and do not fall into the pot. To the user, the position of the knob serves as indicator for the pressure on the material 8 and hence for the setting of the liquid supply.

The space 4a under the bottom wall 3a, designed to be air transmissive and surrounded by the material 8, forms a receiving chamber, intended for the liquid supply and air supply through the bottom wall and the pins 7a and 7b towards the root zone of the plant present in the inside container. For the supply of air, an air tube 4b extends from the receiving chamber 4a along the wall of the inside pot 3 as far as the top side of the pot. In order to prevent clogging, the tube 4 can be provided during potting with a cap. The bottom 2a of the outside pot can be favourably provided with a liquid overflow 2b reaching some distance above the bottom 2a, preferably above the material 8, which overflow extends under the bottom 2a in outward direction and changes into a transparent, upward part 2c. For use as outside pot, it is sufficient when the overflow 2 terminates under the bottom 2a. Thus, also with a greater liquid supply through the material 8, the space 4a retains the function of air chamber. With other embodiments too, such a liquid overflow 2b can be advantageously used.

The holder 11 shown in Figs. 2A and 2B has a first, outside pot or container 12 and a second, inside pot or container 13 with, therebetween, an intermediate space 14 for liquid. For the liquid supply and air supply the inside pot is provided with a bottom 13a with regularly distributed holes with under it a receiving chamber 14a, comparable to the receiving chamber 4a. In a manner comparable to the previous embodiment, under the lower part 13b of the circumferential wall of the inside pot 13, annular, liquid permeable sponge material 18 is present which is pressed on by the part 13b acting as pressure element. For controlling the liquid supply to the inside pot 13, the pressure element as part of a supply control device 19 is provided all around on the lower part of the circumferential wall of the inside container 13 with screw thread 13c that cooperates with screw thread 12b on a number of screw elements, in this embodiment four, wall parts 12a of the outside container 12. As shown in Fig. 2B, the wall part 12a extends, in top plan view, over only a limited segment of a circle. In this manner, the liquid/water supply can take place especially effectively from the intermediate space between the segments of the wall parts to the sponge material 18. In an advantageous manner (not shown) as in Fig. 1, for liquid supply, a number of pins or drills 7 can be inserted through the bottom 13a, provided with water guiding elements 6 which link up with the material 18. The pressure on the material 18 can be steplessly set by rotating the two pots 12 and 13 relative to each other and controlling the pressure on the material 18. It is noted that in a preferred embodiment, rotating the pot 13 relative to the pot 12 is restricted in upward direction by a stop (not shown). The pots are thus prevented from detaching from each other in an undesired manner. The stop is designed such that is can be passed by exerting some pressure with a snapping movement. The set pressure can be read by an indication of the relative position of the two pots. The holder is further designed with a hollow pin 13d which is inserted from the outside into a higher part of the circumferential wall of the pot 13. Material 18 is also present in the pin 13d, which is pressed on by a pressure element (in a manner not shown) while the pressure element can be adjusted by a turning knob 13e with calibration for reading the set pressure. After the intermediate space 14 is completely filled, initially, in a first phase, the pin 13d is below the top of the liquid level, so that liquid/water egresses drop by drop through the material 18 and a small hole at the end of the pin and provides for dosed wetting, depending on the pressure, at the top of the root ball of the plant depending on the set pressure. After the liquid level has dropped below the pin, in a second phase, liquid supply through the material 18 takes place only at the bottom. Owing to the limited number of parts, the holder 11 can be advantageously designed from plastic material by means of injection molding. It is noted that in a manner not shown, the inside pot 13 can have a number of radially configured notches at the lower part 13b, through which liquid can enter the inside pot drop by drop. Here, the amount of liquid depends on the pressure with which the part 13b presses down on the material. As the notches can take over the liquid supplying function of the liquid permeable material partly, or even completely, the thickness of the ring of material 18 can remain limited or even a ring from different material, for instance rubber, can be used.

The holder 21 shown in Figs. 3A and 3B contains a square first, outside pot or container 22 and a square second, inside pot or container 23 with, therebetween, an intermediate space 24 for liquid. Between the bottom wall 23a of the inside pot 23, provided with a number of holes for supply of liquid and air, and 24a of the outside pot 24, there is a square disc of liquid permeable sponge material 28 which is pressed on by a pressure element of a supply control device 29 which, here too, is formed by the lower part 23b of the circumferential wall of the inside pot 23. In this embodiment, the pressure exerted on the material 28 by the pressure element 23b is steplessly set by a bolt 30, which is connected by means of a nut 30a to the inside pot 23 and presses at the underside with a nut 30b against the underside of the outside pot 22. The nut 30b forms a whole with a sleeve 30c reaching upwards from the bottom wall 24a to approximately the top side of the material 28 and, as the liquid can leak away between the screw thread, has an effect that can be compared to the overflow 2b in the embodiment of the holder according to

Fig. 1. In an alternative manner, not shown, when using the holder 21 for, for instance chamber plants, the bolt 30 can be provided with a sealing ring instead of with the overflow for liquid sealing the hole in the bottom of the outside pot 22. As represented in Fig. 3B, the nut 30b is rigidly connected to a radially directed handle 3Od terminating in an arrow shape, while the underside of the bottom wall 24a of the outside pot is provided with a calibration 30e, by means of which the position of the handle and hence the set pressure can be read.

It is noted that instead of a square inside and outside pot, viewed in top and bottom view, as represented in Fig. 3, this is rectangular in an alternative embodiment. With an elongated rectangular design, it is advantageous when the pressure exerted by the pressure element is set by means of two spaced apart carriage bolts 30 each provided with an indication of the set pressure. The holder 31 shown in Figs. 4A and 4B contains an outside pot or outside container 32 and an inside pot or inside container 33 with, therebetween, and intermediate space 34 for liquid. Here too, between the bottom wall 33a of the inside pot 33 provided with a number of holes for the supply of liquid and air, and the bottom wall 32a of the outside pot 32, there is a disc of liquid permeable sponge material 38, pressed on by the lower part 33b of the circumferential wall of the inside pot 33. In this embodiment, the pressure is set with the aid of a screw bolt 40 of a supply control device 39, which bolt is rigidly connected to the outside pot 32 and bears a nut 40a which is rigidly connected to the top of the bottom wall 33a. The intermediate space 34 is sealed against pollution of the liquid at the top side of the pots 32 and 33 by a transparent lid 35 provided with a liquid filling hole 35a and connected to the outside pot 32. For setting the pressure on the material 38, the inside pot 33 can be rotated relative to the lid. As represented in Fig. 4B, the inside pot bears a radially directed arrow indicator 40c below the lid 35, of which the position for reading the set pressure can be read from a calibration 40c present on the lid 35. It is noted that such a lid 35 for sealing the intermediate space can also be advantageously used in the other embodiments. It is also noted that the filling hole 35a in the lid can be designed (not shown) as filling spout that can be tilted open and closed, known from for instance kitchen shakers for granular material. Such a filling spout can also be advantageously used with other embodiments having a lid on the top.

For reading the liquid level in the intermediate space 34, an inspection glass 32d is present in the circumferential wall of the outside pot 32 an inspection glass 32d, which glass is provided with an indication of the Liquid level between a minimum and maximum level; in the other embodiments too, the outside pot can be provided with such an inspection glass.

The holder 31 shown in Figs. 5 A and 5B is a variant to the one shown in Fig. 4. This too comprises an outside pot 32 and an inside pot 33 with, therebetween, an intermediate space 34 for liquid. Here, the supply control device 39 comprises a screw bolt 40, similarly rigidly connected to the outside pot 32 and rigidly connected by a nut 40a to the inside pot 33. A rubber ring 32b divides the outside pot 32 into two mutually rotatable parts and ensures a liquid seal between the two parts of the outside container. Between the containers 32 and 33, rods 35b are present, which are disposed such that when rotating the lower part of the outside pot 32, the inside pot 33 does not rotate along and remains centred. Further, at the height of the ring 32b, the outside pot is provided with a calibration 40c for reading the set pressure. As shown in Fig. 5B, the ring or disc of liquid permeable sponge material 38 according to the invention has, at least calculated in unloaded condition, a size in axial direction varying over the circumference. An alternative to this (not shown) is that the axial dimension at the inside circumference deviates from that of the outside circumference. As a result, there is more material surface for sealing and, during use, in the holder, under the pressure of the pressure element, the liquid permeable properties of the material 38 can remain at the desired level longer. Such rings or discs can also be advantageously used in the other embodiments. With a disc-shaped design, it can be advantageous to include in the sponge material 38 radially directed strips from water repellent, air guiding material which guide air to the holes 33b. These air guiding strips can also be of a different configuration. This air guiding material extends through the holes 33b and lies over the top side of the bottom wall 33a. Alternatively, in this embodiment, in a manner not shown, water guiding elements 6 from fuse material can advantageously link up with the sponge material 38, which elements extend over the top side of the bottom wall 33a. Optionally, these elements can also reach upwards against the side wall of the pot 33.

As further alternative, both the air guiding strips and the water guiding elements may run from the sponge material 38 to the top side of the bottom wall 33a. These alternatives can also be used with other embodiments of the invention.

The holder 31 shown in Fig. 6 is a further variant to the holder shown in Fig. 4. Here, the supply control device 39 consists of pulling rods 4Of extending upwards in the intermediate space 34, which rods are each connected at a pivot 4Og to the bottom of the outside pot 32 and are provided adjacent the top end with a screw thread 4Oh, which cooperates with a nut 40i with handle and calibration for reading the pressure control. The rods 4Of are rotatably connected by brackets 4Oj to the inside pot 33. In the centre of the bottom of the outside pot, a centring rod 32c is present which reaches into the bottom 33a and ensures that during setting, the inside pot remains centred relative to the outside pot. Around the centring rod 32c, between the bottoms 32a and 33a, a pressure spring 40k is located which serves for compensating the weight of the content of the inside container 33 on the liquid permeable material 38 and which prevents the material 38 from being excessively compressed. Under the bottom 33a, the side wall of the pot 33 contains an end part 33b triangular in cross section, as in Fig. 6, while on the bottom 32a a ring 32d, also triangular in cross section, is present. In the space between the ring 32d and the end part 33b, material 38 is located under the pressure set by the control device 39. As represented in Fig. 6, the dimensions of the left hand and right hand triangle of the cross section of the end part 33b and that of the ring 32d are mutually different. Thus, an effect is obtained comparable to that with the ring of material 38 in the embodiment according to Fig. 5B. Thus, during use, in the holder, under the pressure of the pressure element, the liquid permeable properties of the material can remain at the desired level longer.

In this embodiment, at least one water guiding element 37 which extends through the openings in the bottom wall 33a links up with the material 38. The element 37 consists of a type of paper having the action of a fuse and cooperates in the inside container with the positioning means, formed by reinforced rings 37a and position holders 37b. For a well dosed liquid supply, the element is provided over its height at the circumference with a foil 37c with holes, of which the size depends on the desired dosing.

The holder 31 according to Fig. 7 contains a first, outside pot 32 and a second inside pot 33 with, therebetween, an intermediate space 34 for liquid, which is located higher relative to the bottom of the inside pot than in the other embodiments. Here, the liquid permeable material 38 supplies the liquid at a distance from the underside of the inside container through the intermediate space bottom 34a to the inside container via a hose 37, which reaches upwards in the inside container, is provided internally with a type of paper with the effect of a fuse 37a and is provided for the liquid supply over the height at the circumference with dosing holes 37g. For the pressure on the material 38, the supply control device 39 is equipped with a push rod 4Oq, which is provided, at the top side of the holder, with a knob 4Or, which can be set in several positions via a toothing. Via a pivot 4Ot and a pressure plate, the rod 4Oq exerts pressure on the material 38. Owing to the higher intermediate space, more water pressure is obtained in the hose 37. It is noted that more hoses 37 can be present, each provided with a control device 39, while the hose 37 can also occupy other positions in the pot 33, as indicated with the left hand hose 37. Further, in this embodiment, as there is no mutual movement between the bottoms, the bottom of the pot 33 can coincide with that of the pot 32.

The holder 31 represented in Fig. 8 comprises a first, outside pot 32 and a second, inside pot 33 with, therebetween, an intermediate space 34, while the pots have a joint bottom. In this embodiment, for the liquid supply, the circumferential wall of the pot 33 is provided near the bottom with evenly distributed openings 33c surrounded by upstanding edges, which openings are sealed by the material 38, while a hose clip 4Ov presses on the material. In addition to the hose clip 4Ov, a control device 39 comprises a turning knob 40w which sets the pressure of the clip on the material and which is guided by a sealing ring 4Oy.

In Fig. 9, a variant of a holder 31 to the embodiment according to Fig. 8 is shown, wherein the pressure on the material 38 is exerted by the push rods 4Oq from Fig. 8 which are provided at the top with turning knobs 4Or. Fig. 10 shows a further holder 31, variant to the embodiments according to Figs. 3 - 6, wherein for the control device 39, on the inside pot 33 two or more evenly distributed, lying push rods 4Oz are present, which press the inside pot downwards and hence control the pressure on the material 38 below the circumferential edge of the pot 33. For setting the pressure, the push rods cooperate with the pull rods, provided with nuts attached to the outside pot.

Figs. HA and HB show a further variant to the holder 31 according to Figs. 3 - 6, wherein, for the control device 39, a U-shaped bracket 50 is present, which is each time connected by a pivot 51 to the outside pot 32 and with a pivot 52 to the inside pot 33. A rod 53 is rigidly connected to the pot 32 and holds the pot 33 in position. A nut 54 is fixed to the pot 32, while a turning knob 55, pressing against the bracket 50, is rotatably connected by screw thread 55a to the nut. By rotating the knob 55, the inside pot 33 moves relative to the outside pot 32 and the pressure on the material 38 can be steplessly altered. The knob 55 is provided with a calibration 55b for indicating the set pressure.

A variant to the holder 31 according to Fig. 11 is represented in Figs. 12A and 12B, wherein for the control device 39 a U-shaped bracket 60 is present which cooperates with a turning knob 55 for setting the pressure. In this embodiment, at the pivots 52 the bracket 60 is fixedly connected to a rod 60a, which extends radially outwards and is inserted in a U-shaped guide 61 which enables the inside pot 33 to remain in position when moving in height direction.

Figures 13A and 13B show another alternative to the holder 31 according to Figures 3-6, wherein for the control device 39 a number of plates 56 are present, in the embodiment three, which are evenly distributed, are fixedly connected to the outside pot 32 and extend in radial direction towards the inside pot 33. At the rim, the inside pot 33 is provided all around with outwardly directed screw thread 57, wherein the ends plates 56 rest. Further, on the plates, a handle 58 is present with the aid of which the pots 32 and 33 can be rotated relative to each other, while a sliding movement of the ends of the plates 56 takes place in the screw thread 57. Through rotation, the inside pot 33 moves in height direction relative to the outside pot 32 and the pressure on the material 38 is steplessly adjusted and set. By means of a calibration 58a of the top side of the inside pot, the set pressure can be read. Here, a rubber sealing ring 59 ensures sufficient sealing of the top of the outside pot 32.

Figures 14A and 14B show another alternative to the holder 31 according to Figures 3- 6, wherein for the control device 39 an inward directed plate 61 is provided on the top of the outside pot 32, which plate bears a pivot 61 a of push rod 62, which is connected by a sleeve 62a under the turning knob 55 to the screw thread 55a and extends downwards via a pivot 62b through the bottom of the inside pot 33, where a plate 62c provides for the transmission of the pushing force onto the bottom of the inside pot. Under the bottom, on the bottom of the outside pot 32, a tube 62d is present for guiding the end part of the rod 62. In a manner similar to Fig. 13, radial rods 60a are present which are each inserted into a U-shaped guide 61, which ensures that upon movement in height direction, the inside pot remains in position.

Fig. 15 shows an embodiment of a holder 31 in a semicircular design, for instance suitable to be suspended from a wall. The holder comprises a first, outside pot 72 and a second, inside pot 73 and an intermediate space 74. The outside pot comprises a bottom plate 75, while between the bottom plate 75 and the bottom of the inside pot the material 38 is located which, via holes in the bottom of the inside pot, provides for a well distributed liquid supply. In this embodiment, the control device 39 comprises a turning knob 76 provided with a calibration at the underside of the outside pot 72, while the axis 76a of the knob is guided below the bottom plate 75 in a tube 76b. A sealing ring 76c prevents liquid from leaking. A nut 76d is fixedly connected to the inside pot 73.

The embodiment according to Figs. 16A and 16B is a variant, wherein, in the holder 31, a hose-shaped, pipe-shaped or tubular element 99 is present which reaches from the intermediate space 94 into the inside pot 93 and is provided at that location with a housing 99a. In this embodiment, the control device 39 is provided with a pressure element comprising a turning knob 100, present at the top of the holder, connected to a rod 100a, rotatably guided through an eyelet 100b on the inside pot and is provided near the underside with screw thread 100c, and which can be rotated in a nut 10Od, which is fixedly connected to the top of the housing 99a. The end part of the rod 100a is inserted into the housing 99a and presses against the liquid permeable material 38, which, in the housing, controls the liquid supply to the inside pot 93. In the element 99 a fuse 99b links up with the material 38, while the element 99 with the fuse 99b links up with a reinforced pin 99c, whose construction is comparable to that of the pin 7b in Fig. 1. As represented in Fig. 16B, the element 99 is connected by a coupling 99d to the inside pot 93 and is provided on the bottom of the inside pot 93 with holes 99e, whose size is in relation to the desired liquid dosing. Thus, if desired, also a drip supply can be present, the element can optionally also be designed as a so-called sweat hose.

Further, adjustable supports 101 are present which ensure that the inside pot 93 cannot float upward due to the liquid. Also, for supply, an air tube 4b is present in the inside pot 3 as is the case in the embodiment according to Fig. 1.

Adjacent the top of the holder, in the inside pot 93 a disc of liquid permeable material 38 may be situated which supplies liquid from the intermediate space 94 to the top side of the root ball. The intermediate space is covered at the top with a transparent lid 102.

In Fig. 17 it is shown how, with a holder 31 as in Fig. 16, in an alternative manner, the sponge material 38 may be glued within the hose 99, and the rod 100a with screw thread 100c bears a tamper lOOe at its lower end and is fixed by the nut 10Od, which is included in a housing 10Of. To avoid excessive compression of the material 38, a compensating spring lOOg is present in the hose 99 within the material 38 below the tamper 10Oe. This embodiment can also be advantageously used with the pin 13d of the holder 11 according to Fig. 2, with the rod 100a bearing the turning knob 13e.

In Fig. 18, a part of the holder 31 with the liquid permeable material 38 and weight compression and material compression compensating springs is represented in an embodiment of the holder, comparable to, for instance, the configuration in Fig. 1 or Fig. 10. Here, the annularly disposed material 38 consist of upper, cruder sponge material 38a and lower, finer sponge material 38b, while in the ring a number, for instance four, of evenly distributed weight/material compression compensating springs 103 are built in. The top and bottom sides of the springs are confined between rigid rings 103a. These springs provide for compensation of the weight and hence of the pressure of the inside pot and the plant. With this, also, an excessive compression of the material 38 is prevented, so that the material retains the resilient properties. At the top of the ring, a rubber ring 104 is glued, at the bottom, a rigid ring 105. Optionally, a ring 104 can also be present, glued under the ring 105. Through this integration of the material 38 with the springs 103 and the division of the sponge properties in a lower and upper part, a favourably operating control by the control device 39 is obtained. It is of advantage when the ring of material 38 and the springs 103 included therein are detachably provided through, for instance, snapping or screwing, so that the ring can be easily replaced by a ring with other properties.

In Fig. 19 it is shown how with a holder 31 with a first, outside pot 106 and a second, inside pot 107, the intermediate space is located with a part 108a between the upstanding walls, but is located with a greater part 108b as to volume under the bottom 107a, which is in line with a wall 106a in the first pot 106. In the wall 106a a discharge hole 109 is present which can be sealed off by a float 110, which has a rubber sealer 110a and a float 110b. Further, under the wall 106a a filling tube 111 is located which projects outside the pot 106 and serves for filling the part 108b, but can also serve as air supply and as overflow.

The bottom 107a is provided with air holes 112, while on the bottom 106b of the first pot 106 sponge material is present which cooperates with the supply control device 39, which can contain a tube 13 reaching from the material 38 near the bottom wall 106a, or a shorter tube 114, into which is inserted a tube 115 which extends as far as the wall 106a. From the material 38, a liquid guiding element 116 extends upwards, which consists of paper fuse material which, for the liquid supply to the root ball above the bottom 107a, is situated in a drill 117, which is screwed into a screw hole provided with screw thread 107b in the bottom 107. At the location where it exits the tube 114, the tube 115 is sealed off by a rubber seal 118. In the tube 113, a pin 119 is located which extends upwards above the tube through the bottom 107a, along which pin the element 116 is guided. In a manner as described hereinabove, above the holder, a turning knob 120 is present, connected to a rod 121, 122, respectively, which is inserted through a bolt 123 which is fixed to the bottom 107a. Near its underside, the rod 121 contains screw thread which is inserted through an arm 125 confined by rings 124. Thus, by turning the knob 120, via the rod 121, the pressure on the tube 113 and hence on the material 38 can be set. In the embodiment with the tube 114, by turning the knob 120 via the rod 122 and an arm 126 fixed to the tube, the pressure on the material 38 can be altered.

Alternatively, the arm 125 is designed such that by a lengthening 125a, it is also connected to a pin 127, along which the element 116 is guided and which presses at the underside on the material. Thus, by turning the knob 120, the pressure on the material can be set at several locations. In this case, it is advantageous to design the material 38 as a ring. In this embodiment, the parts 108a and 108b of the intermediate space are filled from above with water while the floater 110, upon rising, seals off the part 108b, whereby an air chamber is formed above the water surface, which is aerated from the filling tube. When the water surface has gone down in that water has been guided to the root ball, the floater 110 opens and from the part 108a, water is supplied to the part 108b. Thus, below the inside pot 107, the supply of water is automatically replenished. In the embodiment of the holder 31 according to Fig. 20, with a first pot 128 and a second pot 129, the intermediate space 130 is situated completely below the double bottom 129a/129b of the second pot 129. Below the bottom there is a filling tube 131, comparable to the filling tube 111 of Fig. 23. On the bottom 130a of the pot 128 is sponge material onto which press the tubes 132, which reach upwards and, below the bottom 129b, bear the chain wheels 133a, between which an intermediate wheel 134a is arranged which is bearing mounted about an axis 134c, connected to the bottom 129a/129b. In the drawing it is represented how, at the underside, the left hand tube 132 bears an internal nut 135a, which cooperates with a bolt 136 on the bottom 130a. The underside of the right hand tube 132 is externally provided with screw thread cooperating with a sleeve 136 on the bottom 130a. It is noted that in a preferred embodiment of the holder, the two tubes 132 are of the left hand or right hand type. Through the tubes 132 from the material 38 a liquid guiding element 137 is inserted in the form of a fuse, which is guided along a drill 138 above the bottom 129a for liquid supply in a manner as in Fig. 23. The two drills 138 are each fixedly connected in a chain wheel 133b, while between the chain wheels 133b an intermediate wheel 134b is present, rotatable about the axis 134c. These chain wheels are located in the space between the bottom 129a and 129b. Above the drill, the fuse 137 is initially guided outwards along a breaking pin 139 which, after provision of the root ball of the plant, is bent over and thereby broken, so that the fuse comes to lie on top of the root ball. In this embodiment, in addition to a first turning knob 140a, the supply control device 39 contains a rod 141a with a central chain wheel 142a which meshes with the chain wheel 133a. Here too, a central pressure control by means of one knob is possible. Instead of a central chain wheel, advantageously, a wire drive can be used.

About the turning knob 140a there is a second turning knob 140b, connected to a tube 141b, which bears at its end a central chain wheel 142b that meshes with the chain wheel 133b. Operating the second turning knob 140b leads, via the sprocket transmission, to a rotating movement of the two drills 138. What can thus be effectively prevented is that locally, the root ball receives too much water from the fuse. It may be advantageous to use such a rotational arrangement of the drills 138 in other described embodiments too. Depending on the size of the pot 129 and/or the water demand of the root ball, the number of drills 138 can vary. For instance, one drill 138 may suffice, but also, advantageously, three or four drills 138 can be present.

In the embodiment of the holder 31 according to Fig. 21 too, with a first pot 143 and a second pot 144, the intermediate space 145 is situated completely under the bottom 144a of the second pot 144 and annular material 38 is present on the bottom 143a. On this presses a plate 146, on which tubes 147 are provided in a leak-proof manner. Similar to Fig. 24, a fuse 147 is guided through the tubes while the end of the fuse is confined by the material 38 and the plate 146 inside a space. Above the tubes, the fuse for the liquid supply is guided along the wall of a drill 138 which is fixedly connected to the bottom 144a.

The control device 39 comprises a turning knob 148 and a rod 149 which is rotatably guided in a nut 150 and is connected via a rod system 151 to the plate 146. In this manner too, a central pressure control by means of one knob is possible. In a manner not shown, the intermediate space can be connected via a float to a water pipe hose, so that this holder can be favourably used on, for instance, a balcony.

In Fig. 22, an embodiment of the holder 31 is represented wherein a first pot 152 and a second pot 153 located thereabove are at a distance from each other. As a result, the user is given an option of use for the first pot 152. At the rim, the second pot 153 bears two brackets 154 on which, each time, a nut 155 is present, in which is screwed a turning rod 156 with threaded end, and which is provided at the top of the pot 153 with a turning knob 157. Each of the two rods 156 reaches from the rim of the pot 153 obliquely downwards into a tube 158 which is inserted through the bottom 153 and is fixed with an adjustable tube clip 159 to the underside of the bottom. The bottom end of the tubes 158 presses on material 38 which is confined at the other side by means of a plate 160 and a nut 161 rigidly connected thereto. The material 38 links up with a water guiding element 162 from paper fuse material which is guided from the underside through the tube 158 and, for liquid supply, reaches upwards along the outside of the tube just above the bottom 153. When the root ball is provided in the pot 153, the element 162 is bent over the root ball similar to Fig. 24 and covered with a foil 163. Alternatively, the tubes 158 with the rods 156 can also be positioned straight downward instead of at an inclination. As the tube/rod control device 39 can be designed as a separate unit, the user of this pot combination has a fair choice in sizes of pots. The operation of this holder 31 is comparable to embodiments described hereinabove; water from the pot 152 is controllably guided via the material 38 and the element 162 to the root ball. In this embodiment, the two pots 152 and 153 need not be connected to each other. Alternatively, it is also possible through the use of a flexible tube/rod control device 39 with the adjustable liquid supply to arrange the combination of pots next to each other.

In Fig. 23A and 23B it is shown, with a holder 31 having a first pot or tray 163 and a second pot or tray 164, how a pressure element is present that is formed by a sliding plate 165 guided for sliding in longitudinal direction between brackets 166 against the underside of the bottom 164a of the tray 164. On one end, the plate 165 is connected to a screw thread 167, which, similar to previous embodiments of the control device 39, can be rotated in a nut 168 on the tray 163 and bears a turning knob 169, provided with calibration for setting the pressure. From the bottom of the tray, a number of pins 170 reach upward, which are inserted through the bottom 164a and are designed, above the bottom, as a drill 170a. Fuse material 171 is guided for liquid supply along the pins and, in this embodiment, also has liquid permeable properties. With it, in this and the following embodiment, the sponge material 38 can be omitted. In Fig. 23B, it is represented how the three pins 170 with the fuse material 171 are fed through drill holes 165a in the plate 165. By turning the knob 169, the plate 165 can be slid in the direction of, for instance, the arrow C, while the pressure on the fuse material 171 increases in the three holes and the liquid flow is squeezed through the fuse at the location of the hole 165a. Thus, in a compact manner, with a limited number of parts, a holder according to the invention can be realized. It is noted that for instance with an embodiment of the holder 31, for nurseries, larger numbers of pins 170 are possible, while it may be advantageous to place partitions in the tray 164 between the pins. In Fig. 24A and 24B, a variant to the previous embodiment is shown, with a holder 31, wherein, in addition to a first pot 172 and a second pot 173, a pressure element is present, formed once more by a sliding plate 174 which is guided for sliding in longitudinal direction between brackets 166 against the underside of the bottom 173a of the pot 173. In this embodiment, the plate 174 abuts as pressure element, with three holes 174a arranged in a triangular configuration against the fuse material 171, so that by turning the knob 169, the pressure can be changed and hence the liquid supply can be controlled by turning the knob 169.

The invention is not limited to the represented details and features described in the claims. The invention also relates to combined forms of parts of the various embodiments. For instance, a holder according to any one of the embodiments can advantageously have a different shape than represented, such as elongated or ovoid, in a holder, the weight/compression spring in the embodiment according to Fig. 6 or 17 or instead of a screw spring, other spring means can be used for compensating, the liquid permeable material can be situated at different locations or consist of a different material, such as clay with comparable liquid permeable properties, or a control device 39 with a pressure element can be used with a combination of parts according to the various Figures for controlled compression of the liquid permeable material. Also, in the various embodiments, the liquid supply means shown and described can be mutually exchanged. Also, in a favourable manner as in Fig. 20, in other exemplary embodiments above the pin or drill, initially the fuse can be guided outwards and, after provision of the plant root ball, be bent over, so that the fuse ends up on top of the root ball. Further, there where there is the risk of plant roots growing through it, the holes in the inside pot may be covered at the inside with anti root cloth having air and water transmissive properties. Alternatively, for transmitting force to the liquid permeable material, the control device 39 can utilize means such as a Bowden cable, a wire drive or pneumatically, electrically or electromagnetically driven means.