occassional top hand watering as a best practice with autopots

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lunarman

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@lunarman Did you try the cut down pots this time around?
I have 8 autopots and 6 are cut down. I'm going to leave the last 2 alone for the times I want an XL size plant. Or just to keep them and keep comparing small vs large. I don't feel like I have done enough justice to the comparison I had in mind in the first place.
 
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Ross3k

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I have 8 autopots and 6 are cut down. I'm going to leave the last 2 alone for the times I want an XL size plant. Or just to keep them and keep comparing small vs large. I don't feel like I have done enough justice to the comparison I had in mind in the first place.
What medium are you growing in ? it's said that coco and other hydro mediums produce much better results in size so a 8 litre pot with coco/hydro medium is equivalent to a 15 litre when using soil.. 15 litre coco is like 25 soil etc.
don't know how true this is but I've heard it in a few places..
 
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lunarman

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What medium are you growing in ? it's said that coco and other hydro mediums produce much better results in size so a 8 litre pot with coco/hydro medium is equivalent to a 15 litre when using soil.. 15 litre coco is like 25 soil etc.
don't know how true this is but I've heard it in a few places..
My medium is based on about 75% coco I'd guess. I have read and looked at grow journals done in coco where the growth rate is very fast in smaller pots. Not sure about yield. There are so many variables from journal to journal too so its pretty hard to say one way or the other. But I saw enough to cut down some of my pots and I have no regrets.
 
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lunarman

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Yea if you were having issues that changes things.. I hooked up 4 plants to autopots around 21-22 days in, 3 out of the four were bigger healthier plants, the smaller one didnt drink from the tray for the first few days so I took it back out and hand watered til it got slightly bigger. The autopots seemed to work well but I didn't like how much water mine were constantly sitting in 20mm or so and I didn't get the air stones plus I run all different strains so some prefer stronger feeds than others so the res system doesn't really work out. I might try them again in the future..
I asked Autopots if there is a way to tweak the aquavalve to reduce how much standing water is in the tray. You can increase how much water is in the try, but not decrease.

But you can get a similar affect according to them. Just put in hydroton pebbles in the tray to raise the pot up. Or they also have a product called a cocomat that is 1 inch thick and that could work too as in it would raise the pot out of the tray water more. Thereby reducing how much depth of water your roots are sitting in.

I'm going to look at doing this soon.
 
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Nonpoint

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Yeah see I think this is where some newer guys like myself go afoul. I didn't know going in that coco was more like hydro so I went with the XL pot thinking XL roots. It wasn't until I started watching videos of people growing pepper trees and giant bean stalks with the little pots that it hit me.

Water farms have a tiny pebble bucket. Makes sense now.
What medium are you growing in ? it's said that coco and other hydro mediums produce much better results in size so a 8 litre pot with coco/hydro medium is equivalent to a 15 litre when using soil.. 15 litre coco is like 25 soil etc.
don't know how true this is but I've heard it in a few places..
 
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Nonpoint

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I bet there is a way! I bet if you shim the yellow rubbers or make longer ones so they close sooner that will do it.

I asked Autopots if there is a way to tweak the aquavalve to reduce how much standing water is in the tray. You can increase how much water is in the try, but not decrease.

But you can get a similar affect according to them. Just put in hydroton pebbles in the tray to raise the pot up. Or they also have a product called a cocomat that is 1 inch thick and that could work too as in it would raise the pot out of the tray water more. Thereby reducing how much depth of water your roots are sitting in.

I'm going to look at doing this soon.
 
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pop22

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Seems some confusion here.

Top water transplants till the canopy is as wide as the pot. After that, on the res.
NO hydrton/growstones in the bottom of the pot. Even Aut Pots is wrong about this. They PREVENT water flow, as the laws of hydraulics will tell you that the interface between dissimilar materials will resist waterflow, until overcome by gravity. This means the medium will have a hardtime drawing water up, and it will not drain properly when top watered. I've grown with both coco and soil and when I first ran coco with growstones in the bottom of the pots, the top of the medium always dried out to 2-3" down. Without, they stay moist on top to dry down maybe .5".

here's a soil plant I'm growing currently, no growstones, no airdomes

IMG_20180226_104207511.jpg
 

pop22

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At the very least, I've run 20 or more strains in auto pots so far. I don't care how hungry some plants are supposedly, they all do well at the same ppm level in auto pots. Why, because the solution is ALWAYS at the same ppm level, it doesn't change like it does in DWC or in hand watered plants. They have a constant supply that remains at a consistent ppm, this is one of the reasons auto pots work so well.

And if you time the start of the res properly, you don't need to mess with the solution level. I do not run air domes, and I use no pebbles, etc, in the bottom of the pot. I've never, in three years of running auto pots, ever had a root or growth issue. In fact, I've had a few runts that exploded with growth and caught up to and one exceeded, the other plants. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! The key to timing the start up of the res, is hand water LIGHTLY until the canopy is as wide as the pot. that's the time to start the res. If the water level in the base was a problem, auto pots wouldn't be the success they are. I think people are mistaking that the water level remains at the full depth constantly. it does not. the base will get almost completely dry before the valve opens again, that's how its designed to work

I've even built my own self watering pots, and that system never let the base dry out. Made no difference, in fact, I grew my largest indoor plant to date with it, a 3/4 pound Auto Ultimate.

So relax, let your auto pots do their job and enjoy the grow!

Blue Dragon pic4 -3-18-2019.jpg