Autopot's and More


#1

This is an attempt to consolidate the discussion and information (grower experience, tips, trick, failures, etc) regarding growing with Autopots. Several members have begun to explore and/or use AP’s and to gather all of them and the information together, a thread seemed in order. Let it be known, I am a humble personal grower in the Northeast USA and I am in a legal recreational state. I do not work for, know, nor am I in any way affiliated with autopot usa, uk or any other manufacturer, marketer or user network of these devices.

I am a lazy grower who took a lot of grief a few decades back as I was literally devoted to my hand watered grow and veg rooms. Couldn’t and didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything other than grow my ladies. Last year, wanting to grow but to avoid that “devotion” I researched, then researched some more. AP’s were selected for their features but more because budget wise, they fit (and I always wanted to dabble in hydroponics).

Officially, the devices are described as

AutoPot supplies simple to use automatic watering systems that can be used either as a hydroponic system or as a traditional soil irrigation system. Indoor growing and greenhouse crops can be produced with ease.
> No more daily watering
> Can be left unattended for weeks
> Easily extended in minutes
> No power / timers / mains water required
> Simply gravity fed from a reservoir
> Saves water, no water is ever wasted
> Environmentally friendly

I have had 2 fairly successful grows using 1pot system. The only real recommendation I can make at the outset is stay away from the model that has the 2 pots joined together (on looking at the site I don’t see that one offered any longer but I scanned it quick).

Comment, discuss, ask or post links and information in compliance with forum rules. Thanks.

@dbrn32 @Covertgrower @Rugar89 @Blasting @Countryboyjvd1971 @WillyJ @Patsbasement @Smokin_ernie @Lukey91 @TDubWilly


Auto pots copper disc
Rugar's World: 2017/2018 Winter Grow
Does this Gold Leaf look Ok - or do I have a deficiency?
#2

Dude ibthink this is goingbto be a popular thread
Im set to watching and will comment is o have anything to add in the future
Well done @Screwauger


#3

Thanks for the tag. It will be interesting to follow along. I am a soil grower myself. Mostly scared of hydroponics. lol it seems like a lot more work or more can go wrong. I know nothing about hydro except that it is grown in water. So looking to learn something new.


#4

Tag folks in as well.

Going to post some of my notes that are really copy/pastes from other sites and growers found in my initial research about AP’s

!'ve been using autopots for a while now. I’ll share with you what I have learnt.

Always position the tank outside of the tent, away from the lights. Don’t bother putting an air stone in the tank it does nothing. Do put the smallest water pump you can find in it and set this on a small cheap timer to circulate the water for 15 minutes every hour. This is as not to heat up your tank, but also the circulation helps keep the nutrients mixed in (I’m looking at you silicon) and PH stable.

Never use organic nutrients, they will stick the system up. Always use nice clean nutes.

In the autopots themselves, ALWAYS place an air dome at the bottom. Then almost cover this over with clay pebbles (leave a 1 inch circle showing at the top.) Then add a 60% Coco 40% perlite mix to about an inch from the top. Make sure to keep the air line held against the side of the pot as you fill, you dont want to bury your air line.

Make sure the clay pebbles have been well washed to get all the dust off before they go in to the pots.**[Many are moving away from the layer of inert medium at the base of the pots. I have eliminated it also and use my coco/perlite mix right to the base of my AP]

Once the whole mixture is in the pots, I flush the whole thing with 2 or 3 times the pot volume of plain water PH’d to 5.8 (So for you in 15L pots I would flush with 30L of PH5.8 tap water.) This will lower the coco level a bit so I top it back up to about 1 inch from the top, make sure anything new you put in the pot is soaked in the water as well.

Then I let it dry out for an hour or so before I transplant in the babies. [Personally, I let the pots sit in the tent or in a nice warm spot for 24 hours after drenching to let them drain well.]

The babies are usually 3 to 4 weeks old from seed for me. I like them to be big enough to not worry about the transplant. **[Photo’s yes. Auto’s I recommend sowing into the AP directly after germination]

To actually transplant, once the pots are dried a little, so basically not sopping wet after all that water,
I dig a little hole and bury the whole pot to be transplanted, pot and all, then work the coco/perlite mix around that,
making sure the level in the pot to be transplanted and the pot your transplanting to are the same level then pull out the pots,
leaving a perfect hole in the autopot ready for the babies to be transplanted to.
Finally removing the babies from their pots and slipping them in to the perfect holes you just made.

I hope that last bit makes sense, let me know if not, I’ll find something to transplant and take some pics.

I then give it a little water just to help root it in.

Leave the air domes and autopot system off at this point. the pot is going to have a lot of water in it from all that flushing, so really you can probably get away without watering for a week or so, but make sure you let it dry out a good amount, maybe give one top feeding around the plant, not the edges, this helps gets the roots to go deeper.

After maybe 7 to 10 days (AP recommends 20 days or until your plant is well established) turn on the auto pot system and the air domes, I usually start the tank with a half strength nutrients.

From there its easy sailing, I like to put plain water in for a week before I change to flower nutrients.

When it comes to the flush. DO NOT flush water through the top of the autopots. This is suicide for the plants. This system means that the top inch is full of salts from where the roots didn’t take them, if you flush this through the pots the plants will react very badly. Instead you just change the water in the tanks to plain water for two weeks. You also leave the air domes on during the flush.

Once done give everything a really good clean, I use pretty nasty chemicals to be honest and I flush it all through the pipe work and everything and then make sure I clean it all with fresh water.

After my grows I have noticed that the air dome effectively creates kind of a tiny DWC system within it, and you can kind of tell as well when your growing, its how I judge when the roots at are the bottom of the pot, because all of a sudden everything goes crazy, sometimes its just been over night, I’ve gone in the next morning and it feels like its doubled in size.

Use a decent sized airpump, Personally I’d say minimum 2L/H per pot. But as always more is better, but dont go too crazy, you dont want air blowing through your pots like some kind of crazy roots and coco hurricane.

I’ve loved them, genuinely once they are dialled in I would be happy leaving them alone for a week, not the first time you use them, but after 3 or 4 uses it becomes almost too easy. Just gotta work out what your gonna do with all the coco once your done with it, cleaning it is an option and it has it be cleaned before it can used again, but the compost heap or garden bed loves it.


#5

@Smokin_ernie

There is a site where the forum contains a devoted thread to growing with AP’s and on that site, many of the guys (and gals) are using soil in AP’s with great results. Not pushing you in this direction by any means but I plan to attempt a soil grow with them in the next year. Only filling res with plain ph balanced water and maybe sensizym for root health.


#6

I have never used them personally, but my buddy that uses them goes on work road trips ten days at a time during which his go completely unattended and his plants do great!


#7

@Kcdaniels over here kc


#8

My first trip away for a weekend I was so nervous and frigged around with stuff so much that I went away for three days and left my spigot on/off valve in the “off” position. About fried the plant from complete stoner, user error lol. Live and learn and step away from the bong.


#9

Yup, he was nervous too lol, but he had to leave to goto work…

When he got back 10 days later to see them perfectly happy, he has never worried again :sunglasses:


#10

Sweet! I’ll switch to following.

What are you using prior to planting into the auto pots? Just regular garden pot with coco and hand watering?


#12

@Desperado @Willd @Donaldj @Hogmaster @North_East_Newbie @ntmaremach @MAXHeadRoom @Niala @Familyman420 @Laurap


#13

@AnneBonny @GreenThunder @kabongster @MattyBear @Onlythebest79 @peachfuzz @Ron330 @Sirsmokes @Tylan @TxGrowman


#14

The only downfall I was ever concerned with is they didn’t appear to have a system with a large pot to grow a large plant. All their pots look like they are 3 gallons or so…


#15

new grow going I see don’t worry I would’ve popped by sooner or later to check it out


#16

I grew photo’s the first run. I grew them to about 4" in 4" pots then transplanted into the 3.9 (4) gallon AP.

This run I grew three auto’s and I germinated them using papaer towel method then sowed directly into a prepared 4 gallon AP pot. Then watered carefully every five days or so just minuscule amounts in a close diameter around the seed/seedling. There are some other tricks I may employ next run as the goal is to get the tap root down to the base of the pot as quickly as possible so that it can begin to self suffice from the AP tray.

Folks are using the solo cups or similar things to remain in the AP pot and sow seed in that to encourage downward growth initially. Lots of info out there but I can’t post the site directly because they advertise breeders and have grow offs of breeders beans so its a competitor site. Autoflowers in autopots will get you hits.


#17

1potXL is 6.6 gallon pot @TDubWilly


#18

Definitely interested and set to watching! Thanks for the tag


#19

@dbrn32 et al

There is no avoiding the fact these are a hand watered device until the plant establishes itself in the AP. That is usually judged by it’s largest leaves reaching the sides of the pot.


#20

Right on, I’m sure I could find it, I’m guessing something around afn?

Main reason I was asking is because it seemed like the hand water while in ap may not be a good idea. Which half assed had me wondering if something like an aero cloner wouldn’t be a bad place to start/run then until they had a little root mass? Granted that’s a different system, but pretty much automated as well.


#21

ding ding ding