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 Watering times, frequency's, schedule etc. discussion

Discussion in 'Growing with Coco-Coir' started by Slater, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Slater

    Slater Go get some from your mother, man. General Staff

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    Now that's dropping some knowledge, reading and re reading. A lot to digest.
    Again thank you @Mañ'O'Green :slap: Man this is the best break down I've read on the subject :worship: Time to get up to the G'room and contemplate some this for my set up
     
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  2. Slater

    Slater Go get some from your mother, man. General Staff

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    A perfect description for soil growing, nice on @Rollin_along :slap: that pretty well much described my water schedule when I was in soil. I added the the 10% coco as well, boi bizz already had the perlite already in it.
     
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  3. Mañ'O'Green

    Mañ'O'Green Retired to watch the grass grow. CannaZone Product Tester (Tier 1)

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    Yes there is a lot of empirical information but there is no substitute for experience. Being able to look at your plants and determine something is wrong before it is a major issue is worth all of the books on the subject times ten.

    I think that the best start to hydroponics is in a 5 gallon bubbleponics bucket. Here are the basics:

    Sharing some things I have learned doing Deep Water Culture with cannabis.

    Technically what I use is called “Bubbleponics”. First your environmental needs must be met - light, temperature, humidity and air movement all need to be in range for plants to grow well. I will assume you understand these basic concepts. The rules for a good DWC are simple but not very forgiving. Plants respond adversely quickly to something out of range. The good thing is that they will also respond well to a correction quickly. DWC is an everyday task; in fact checking your plants many times a day can keep you ahead of needs.

    Two tools that you cannot do without are a good PH meter and a TDS meter; both should be equipped with a temperature gauge as well. Maintain them and replace them on the vendor’s schedule.

    The five basic components:

    1. Water. You could spend a lifetime trying to learn about water for plant growth but let’s keep it simple. Most people can use their tap water as long as the beginning PPM is 200 or less. If your water goes over this you will need to mix it with distilled or Reverse Osmosis water to get it below 200 PPM. Use a float valve and top off bucket to keep the water level in your reservoir consistent even small fluctuations can cause stress. Set the water level 1” – ½” below the bottom of your net pot. Aerate your water for a day or two before you intend to use it. This will help precipitate calcium carbonate out of the water and make it easier to control your PH. I just use my top off tank for this. The perfect reservoir water temperature is 68°F. This is the temperature that water holds the most dissolved oxygen. Do not use copper, brass or aluminum anywhere in your system; not even the tiniest fitting.

    2. Air. Roots need air. An aquarium air pump and air stones provide this critical component. I always use two pump/stone combos for redundancy. Losing aeration even for a short period can be problematic. The smaller the bubbles are coming out of the stones the better. I use a UPS battery back-up on my air pumps. The volume of airflow needs to be high enough to saturate the roots but not be so violent that the roots are damaged. Smaller bubbles allow more airflow with less violence.

    3. Nutrients. Just make this a no brainer. Unless you have a lab and the skills to use it; choose ONE nutrient vendor whose products are built from the ground up for cannabis hydroponics and use their entire line. Do not mix and match. Vendors spend millions of dollars and years developing their products to work with each other. Take advantage of that. Follow their feeding schedule. Change the water/nutrient solution every week – without fail. Learn about Liebig’s law of the Minimum to understand why you are doing this. Look at the Liebig’s Barrel to visualize what we are talking about here. DO NOT MIX NUTRENTS INTO THE RESERVOIR; mix them in a separate container using water that has been aerated for a day or two following vendor instructions the day before the reservoir refresh. Doing this ahead of time will make it much easier to get the PH balanced and stable. A suction pump will be worth its weight in gold to help evacuate the reservoir for a refresh. Many product lines can and should be used at 50% of the vendor’s chart strengths in DWC but not all of them. Do a little research on your chosen brand.

    4. PH. PH has absolutely everything to do with the uptake of nutrients into the plant. Let it range from 5.7 to 6.2 in DWC. This will allow the different components to move through the best uptake zones for that nutrient. Check the PH every day even multiple times per day is better. Roots not only take water and nutrients in they also exude substances that can dramatically change the PH in the reservoir in a very short period of time. I am talking hours here not days. Mix PH buffers into some water before adding to the reservoir to prevent burning the roots. Make small changes at a time. One full point is too much (5.2 to 6.2). It takes practice and vigilance to maintain PH in the proper range. PH problems have caused me more issues than all of the other environmental factors combined. The minute you take your eye off this it will bite your plants in the ass!

    5. Botanicare HydroGuard. The only additive outside of your chosen nutrient regime I recommend. It is a must have. I would not even buy a bucket before I had this in stock. Root Rot is totally preventable with this. I live where it is not possible to maintain the reservoir temperature below 78°F in the summertime and it has gone as high as 82°F. The ability for water to keep oxygen saturation at that high of a temperature is minimized. Think stagnant pond! I have grown great plants totally root rot free using HydroGuard under these conditions. High temperatures are not the only thing that can cause root problems. Botanicare HydroGuard is a basic component to DWC. I am not affiliated with or compensated in any way for this endorsement by anyone except my happy plants with huge colas.

    I have tried several ways to get a plant started. Top feeding seeds planted in small rock wool cubes or Park’s Bio Dome sponges supported in the net pot by PH balanced clay pebbles until the roots get down into the reservoir a couple of inches has worked best for me. Then stop top feeding to prevent crown rot.

    ps. thanks for the rep slap!
     
  4. Need4Weed

    Need4Weed Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN General Staff

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    Great read @Mañ'O'Green :slap:
     
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  5. AutoWonders

    AutoWonders Cannabidiol Heaven

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    I am currently using 2 & 3 gallon pots which are mixed with rice hulls instead of perlite. This run is my first test with rice hulls.
     
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  6. Budulike

    Budulike High plains drifter & Bush wrangler...

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    Howdy

    Interesting thread @Slater, thanks for starting her up!

    Just purchased an automated dribbler (
    ), primarily cos I might need to leave my girl for a few days at a time and wanted to make sure she wants for nothing in my absence. Also, I love the results I am seeing from a multiple feed a day schedule, and in truth I am pretty lazy, so like the idea of automated feeding!

    Been reading some of the threads on this technique (e.g. - @Truu - What Truu knows about Coco), and had a question I am hoping you (or any of the other professional dribblers) can help me with.

    So, think I need to set the scene first.

    Growing in Coco (w/ 30% perlite)
    2 gal Smart Pot
    Canna Coco nute range
    250ml bottle of Drip Clean
    Micro Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit
    And here is my grow journal:
    Bush Wrangler vol 1. : Blueberry Kush/Coco/Canna nutes/COB.

    QUESTION: been told you need to wait until the root ball is well developed before you start dribbling on your girls multiple times a day - is there an easy way to know when the root ball is developed enough to begin multiple feeds per day? For example, do you wait until you can see roots popping out the side of the smart pot?
    I am 14 days in on my grow, node 4 is developing nicely, and so far have been hand feeding roughly every 3 days......

    Cheers brother
     
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  7. Budulike

    Budulike High plains drifter & Bush wrangler...

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    This is the drip irrigation system I got, hopefully its not a piece of @£$% waste of money
    Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 17.02.50.png
     
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  8. Slater

    Slater Go get some from your mother, man. General Staff

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    hey @Budulike

    I like to use automation like you say so I can get away from the G'room for a couple of days and due to my set up. It got a pain in the ass getting the plants in and out of the tent for watering so it made sense for me to go automated.

    To answer your question I normally give it a least a week at the minimum taking note on how fast they are drinking. For those first 2-3 feedings I don't water to run off, giving about a 3/4ltr per pot (I run 12ltr pots) seeing how long this takes to dry out, I don't go as dry as soil but still dry enough that I can lift the pot with one hand ( I do the finger test as well). As the theory go's you want those root shooting out looking for water and filling the pot fast, so little feedings at the start. Once they are drying out over a 24hr period I start my feeding schedule.

    one thing I have notice on my last 2 grows is that daily / multiple daily feedings only works well if your plants are fast drinkers (this is just my thinking)... I've just finished a Zombie kush grow, slow drinkers. Never got them preying on the first round, in fact not my best performance by long shot. A bit embarrassing if any one was watching. On the secound round, feeding every 48hrs instead of every 24hrs. Huge improvement so far, faster growth, much bigger bud sites, they have stared to prey to the LED gods, all in all a massive improvement over the first so far. So by swapping to every 48hrs I'm seeing a massive difference and all I did was change the feeding time to every 48hrs (I lie, I have dropped the EC a bit as well)... one thing that I am still doing is that even though I'm feeding only every 48hr I'm still spacing out the feeding over a period of time. For the secound round of zombie's I'm feeding 2hrs after lights on. 8 feedings for 15 to 20 sec every 5mins until i see run off on those last 2 feedings. I will adjust the 8 individual feeding times weekly depending on how much they are drinking.

    That's does look like a smart bit of kit, once you get it up a running get a review up here with some pics. Love to see how it works.
     
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  9. Budulike

    Budulike High plains drifter & Bush wrangler...

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    Thanks for the detailed response @Slater, exactly what I was looking for....

    Ok, so it sounds like I am nearing the time when I need to plug my dribbler in!

    I am on Day 16 now, roots are just starting to poke their little noses out the side of my smart pot, and I gave her a first feed to run-off yesterday (had been giving her mini feeds of 500ml up till then, alternating between the edge of the pot and around the base of the plant). I just picked the pot up now and she is already feeling light. So I think I'll hand feed her one more time tomorrow, again to run-off, and weigh her etc so I can get a clear I idea of how much she is drinking in 24hrs.

    I'll then probably plug the dribbler in and start her on 48hr feeds (and follow your 8 feedings every 5 min trick, IF I can program that into the dribbler - suppose that stops channeling in the coco and the feed/water pissing out the bottom?) @ roughly 800 ppm, and see how she responds - if she's drinking quickly, then I'll go straight to 24hr (and lower the ppm to suit) etc etc....

    I'll certainly do a review of the dribbler, once I know how it works! Not too sure if it has many options programming wise, that is my only concern at the moment, but it dribbles fairly slowly, @ roughly 100ml every 30 seconds using 4 drippers, which I think is a good thing.

    Anyways, thanks for the all the tips, mucho apprecionado mon amigo, will keep you posted on how I get on......
     
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  10. Budulike

    Budulike High plains drifter & Bush wrangler...

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    Well, been pissing around with my little automated dribbler and realise she can only be programmed one way - how long it dribbles for (1 sec to 99 seconds) per interval (once every hour, through to once every 30 days, in increments of an hour)....

    So essentially I have one programmable setting. bugger! It's workable I think, but probably gonna have to go to multiple feeds a day straight off the bat. errrrr.

    Just tested her again, and get 300ml out for every 90 seconds of dribble using 4 drippers.

    Gonna have to work this out
     
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