the pros and cons of autopots

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TreyDogg

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Aug 23, 2016
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I have pot socks and don't like them. They can someones fit loosely on the bottom of the pot and when you lift your pot out of the tray they fall off and its not fun putting them back on especially if you have a big plant in the pot. Plus I don't think they do anything. Landscape fabric works just as well. I just precut pieces of it up to fit the tray and put one in and it stays there even when lifting pots out.
Are you putting the sock on the outside of the pot?
 

St. Tom

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i grow with these with massive success to keep your lines clean and stop salt buildup use a line cleaner i use ata clear and have had zero blockages ive groiwn by hand feeding also these just make things simple but i agree the pipes can get in the way so moving them around once they're settled is a massive headache but at that stage ive done all my training and they are settled in there new homes by then .also another pro with them is yeild to top fed plants i get massive harvests off the autopots if you check below to my grows . but another con is if you get lockout on 1 plant its a ballache if your on a shared res but out of 7 grows i only have had it happen once and they were all different strains in a shared res
 

lunarman

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Mar 13, 2017
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You're doing it wrong. Put the sock on the inside. I had no issues, obviously you'll start slow filling the pot but once sock is full just pour the rest in.
Have a look at this picture. The sock is on the outside. And mine do fit almost perfectly on the outside. Mostly snug. So that means they are sized for the outside. If inside they would be too big. But like I said they can fall off which is a pain esp with big plants. And landscape fabric is a fine sub too.

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lunarman

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Mar 13, 2017
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When I need to take a plant out of tent, I clamp the line and pull the whole tray out with the pot. I also have to pull the airdrome hose but I don’t need to clamp anything there to prevent leaks.
I had shut off valves in front of each tray/aquavalve. Like you clamp. Always found it cumbersome though. I'd spill stuff esp if a tray was full. Air lines were always tough to disconnect. Doing a grow now with simple 1g pots instead of autopots and I love it. I like to pull plants out and put them on the bench and LST them and its just easier without all the irrigation and air lines and connections. I also pull pots out and weigh them 3 times a day and its just so much easier not using autopots. Its just one of a few peeves I have with autopots.

Everyone has their own preferences. And preferences change thru time too. I used to be a big fan. Not any more. But I'm still keeping them just in case I get a hankering to go back. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the freedom of not being constrained with them.
 

Tommy Bahama

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Jan 5, 2019
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The pros for autopots? There is only 1 that I can come up with.
  • Automation. Self regulated watering and feeding. Can go away for a week and the plants will water and feed themselves as long as the res lasts.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there another major pro - that they grow bigger plants than soil in pots?
 
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lunarman

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Mar 13, 2017
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there another major pro - that they grow bigger plants than soil in pots?
No, I don't think they grow bigger plants. I think some people early on did boast about bigger plants but I know of no actual tangible proof that is true. its kind of hard to prove. I did one grow with a mix of autopot black plastic pots and 3 strains that were done both ways. where some were hand watered and others used the AP automation valve and res system and my hand watered plants seemed bigger to me, but growing from seed instead of clone is too variable to make any claims about which was bigger. Could have been a genetic pheno thing.

And I don't know about any theories that autpot tech actually makes any claims about bigger plants. If you check out their website and documentation they never do make any claims about bigger plants. And its just an automated bottom feeding system. And I dont know of anyone that says bottom feeding makes for bigger plants. I know people that would say the opposite is true actually.

But you seem to be hinting that I missed this benefit. Do you have anything to back that up at all? Id love to read it.

I'm wrapping up a 10 plant grow that was done all manual hand watered using 1g pots of coco. I'll say this, it was a lot of work doing it manually after doing so many grows with autopots. I miss the automation of autopots that's for sure especially when I'm using small 1g pots that need multiple feeds per day. I'm building a new system using a res, a submersible pump on a timer and drip stakes. Going to use it for my automation needs. Fraction of the cost of autopots too.