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InvisibleMycophile
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Registered: 03/17/12
Posts: 2,311
Self-Watering Pots
    #778628 - 05/13/15 02:46 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Anyone ever use these? I do this with small plants, stick six packs in some water and let the soil absorb it, but are there any downsides to having large pots like this for mature plants? Are they worth the money?

Something similar to this...


Edited by Mycophile (05/13/15 02:46 PM)


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Registered: 02/17/11
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Mycophile]
    #778629 - 05/13/15 02:58 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Not sure exactly what your even talking about. packs of what? That picture you posted is just a pot with a little lip in the saucer so you can see when its pooled up.


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InvisibleMycophile
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: phychotron]
    #778634 - 05/13/15 04:07 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Yea the ones I'm talking about look like that but you actually water through the hole in the bottom and the soil draws the water up.


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InvisibleKarmikal
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Registered: 05/02/15
Posts: 56
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Mycophile]
    #778642 - 05/13/15 06:33 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Not sure if i can see any benefit to watering from the bottom using the saucer...  I personally would not pay extra for that "feature" but I have never tried it either.  Are you talking about dipping a "six-pack" of the tiny square seed starting pots into water? 

If you want to bottom hand-feed your potted plants. I would suggest keeping them in a 1020 tray or similar in regular pots that have regular drainage holes and watering the tray itself. 

You should definitely pot up to bigger pots if you have small plants with 4 or more nodes in seed starters.  I wouldn't go to a huge pot right away if so, 1/2 gallon maybe.  Even a 16 oz beer cup would be much better. 

I suppose I don't really know exactly what you meant in your post so I'm just guessing at what you are asking.  If you would like to elaborate a bit perhaps I or others could be more helpful.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Karmikal]
    #778649 - 05/13/15 07:30 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

We try to avoid watering from the bottom, but there is a system called the Autopot.  "capillary mat" wick style. They have a valve that will automatically water the bottom tray as it dries out. I started out with those and they work well, just a lot of added maintenance fiddling with the valves. Not much work though. I also used the Airdomes to pump air in to the coco just above the water line.

Basically you either want to always top feed or bottom feed, not back and forth so that the different types of roots can develop (air vs water absorbing).


--------------------
Authorized Medical Marijuana patient. Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws.

Perfect Dry and Cure
View My Garden
Latest Grow Log - Grapegod under LED

Try adding a tablespoon of cooking oil to your bong water to keep it clean. The oil soluble resin stays off the glass.


“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineMidgetpawn
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: phychotron]
    #778654 - 05/13/15 07:45 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Shit I have to water every day with my cureent soil mix. I feel like that wouldn't last a day letalone 2 weeks like similar products claim to water. There are always hydrospikes and aquaglobes, but they still seem to hold barely any water.

There's gotta be a way to make your own self watering device using just a plastic bottle with a tiny hole in it.


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InvisibleKarmikal
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Midgetpawn]
    #778659 - 05/13/15 08:17 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Quote:

There's gotta be a way to make your own self watering device using just a plastic bottle with a tiny hole in it.




I think you said it.  A simple gravity fed drip system like you describe should work pretty well.  You would have to "tune" it though by trying different hole sizes or using an adjustable valve or even adjustable drip emmiters.

Or you could just use a blumat.  Basically the same except it auto adjusts its valve with its clay element.  little pricey though if you need a bunch.

I have used capillary mats for seedlings in the past with great success.  Don't think it would scale up to larger systems very well though...  Success would greatly depend upon the media or soil mix being used I think.


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InvisibleMycophile
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: phychotron]
    #778695 - 05/13/15 11:12 PM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Quote:

phychotron said:
We try to avoid watering from the bottom




This is basically what I am trying to find out about, what are the negatives?


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InvisibleKarmikal
The Engineer


Registered: 05/02/15
Posts: 56
Loc: Spaceship Factory
Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Mycophile]
    #778711 - 05/14/15 03:03 AM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Ok, I see what you are getting at Myco. I dont think there is any downside at all as long you don't switch back and forth between top feeding and bottom feeding.  That way the root structure that has already developed in a way that is optimal for the root zone you have been providing consistently remains efficient at both transport and respiration. 

The roots are not going to be structured the same near the surface of the root zone as they are in the deep root zone and what type of root zone (aka rhizosphere) you provide them with consistently while they grow is going to determine how that structure differs.

Honestly I am a bit out of my comfort zone with soil growing but an aeroponically grown root structure for instance is pretty homogeneous from top to bottom since it never really get more water from one direction  as opposed to another or has better access to more air at any particular location either.  It has grown to have a more uniform structure optimized for that environment. It may not initially do as well if that environment changed drastically.  It would need to use time energy and nutrients to restructure itself instead of performing its normal duties of respiration and transport.

This is probably a bad analogy but if all of a sudden it started raining upside down all the time, you would have to figure out how to stand on your head so you could breathe through your nose without drowning.


--------------------
Opinions WILL vary!

This is all just an internet fantasy, ruse, delusion, fabrication etc...


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Karmikal] * 1
    #778713 - 05/14/15 04:17 AM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Check out Blumats, they're autofeeding and work well. As the soil dries out it opens a valve that lets water into the soil.  if you need more time get another res tank, same with the autopots. Autopots are too expensive and a set system, blumats are better for the average user. 

With the bottom feeding you generally have to be cautions not to let the bottoms sit in water, but the autopots pretty much have a little bit of water in the bottom at all times. I got really good results but got tired of the setup for it.

When you water you also push out old air in the root zone and draw in fresh air with it, then as it dries it draws in more air. Basically if you think the roots only need water your wrong. There's an air exchange process going on down there too. I'm not too sure of all the details, but your roots need to breath-- the reason we let the pots dry before watering again.

I like the water system I have now. Water down from a shower ring I made out of a piece of clear hose and a plastic T. The hose has a bunch of holes around it and I put it around the plant, then connect them all to a loop that T's into a feed hose. That feed hose has a pump that is on a timer and runs twice a day. I have a cycle-stat to precision feed them, but you could just as easily get a digital timer(for 1 min intervals) and a hose on/off valve. If you need less than a minute to water the plants just turn the on/off valve slightly to restrict the flow.

Just make sure you have an 'anti siphon' hole that feeds back into the tank so that it wont suck half your tank down into the plants.

With that system I feed six plants 32 gallons of water per week completely automatically. I sometimes have to turn the dial on the cycle-stat in the beginning. The only work I have to put in is running a pump from a 5 gallon bucket in the bathtub to fill the res tank. Takes 15 minutes to fill and mix nutrients per week.


--------------------
Authorized Medical Marijuana patient. Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws.

Perfect Dry and Cure
View My Garden
Latest Grow Log - Grapegod under LED

Try adding a tablespoon of cooking oil to your bong water to keep it clean. The oil soluble resin stays off the glass.


“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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InvisibleKarmikal
The Engineer


Registered: 05/02/15
Posts: 56
Loc: Spaceship Factory
Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: phychotron]
    #778719 - 05/14/15 10:17 AM (1 year, 6 months ago)

+1


--------------------
Opinions WILL vary!

This is all just an internet fantasy, ruse, delusion, fabrication etc...


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OfflineSevenFingers
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Registered: 01/20/09
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Re: Self-Watering Pots [Re: Mycophile]
    #800532 - 12/05/15 08:23 PM (1 year, 4 days ago)

I had success in the past using a system I built based on this concept.

I used two rubbermade totes, stacked vertically. I drilled holes in the bottom of the tote and supported the now weakened bottom with treated 2x4s. I used 1/4" nylon rope as wicks. 1 wick per plant, as it was SoG that was 12 wicks per.

My nutrient solution went in the bottom tote, circulated the solution with an aquarium pump.

Worked beautifully.


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