Hey all, not saying this is a critical issue, but I’ve found that it definitely has an impact, so I thought I’d share the info. If the surface you water/feed your plants on isn’t level, you should read this.
I have a common 4’ folding table that I use in the grow room. There are times when I have several 5 gallon water jugs on it while I’m mixing feedings, and it’s got a decent bow in it as a result of all that weight. When I put 2 large plants on the table, the center is lower, so both plants and saucers are leaning slightly towards the center of the table. It’s been that way for several years, and I’ve never really thought of it as an issue.
Since I’m doing my current grow in coco, I’ve been tracking and paying much closer attention to my runoff then I did with my soil grows, and I recently noticed some inconsistencies that were confusing me. The thing is, it was only with the plants that were still small enough for me to take out for feedings. The big girls that stay in the closet or tents and get fed on the floor had perfectly normal readings. When I took a look at the plants on the table under the lifts with a flashlight I could see that all of my runoff was dripping out of less than half of the surface area of my fabric pots, and it was clearly the low points towards the center of my table. Once I saw that, I wondered how in the world I didn’t realize it sooner. Just for the heck of it I got down on the floor and looked under one of the big plants with a light and I could see the runoff dripping from everywhere.
So even a slight tilt in the pot can cause water to direct itself to the low point. And I always pour slowly and around the entire perimeter and then all areas specifically trying to spread it evenly throughout, and I use yucca as a wetting agent. And still my medium wasn’t being saturated evenly.
I didn’t see any practical quick fix for the bow in the table while still being able to fold it down every day to put it away when I’m not using it, so I tried rotating the plants while I was feeding them, and it works fine. Now I give them just a little more than half of their feeding solution in the position I set them down in, then wait about ten minutes, rotate them 180 degrees, and give them the rest and wait for the runnoff. Everything is on track again, and the runoff numbers are consistent like I’d expect.
After this run is done, I’ll make a permanent fix of some kind, like either brace the table, make a jig to hold the saucers even, or some kind of shim I can place under them, but for now the rotating is doing fine.
This is the table. The bow in the middle is minor, you can’t even notice it in the pic, but it definitely had a real effect. So check those surfaces, you might have dry or least less saturated spots in your medium if you’re off level.