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News Archive AutoPot news brings you everything going on in the world of horticulture from 2007 to today. From the latest growing events around the world, the newest irrigation products to hit

Autopot review after semi final grow result, no hydroton, no air dome.

Olderfart
Darwin’s big idea explains Cannabis

60/40 coco/perlite, and no air dome or hydroton or equivalent was used. It was 60/40 all the way down. The pots were fabric smart pots provided by AutoPot with the xl single pot packages, and the pots were rolled down to contain

3 actual gallons of medium.

After the chop, I cut through the root mass to check health of roots, especially in the mostly saturated zone at the bottom of the pots. The pictures tell the story, pretty much, but I will note that there were healthy roots throughout the medium, top to bottom on all three plants, with the densest mat in the 30 or so mm in the bottom of the pot. The roots in the saturation zone were densely packed and all healthy. I will re-use the coco, so I pulled it apart from the root ball, and the smell was pleasantly sweet throughout.

I used 3 part hydroponic nutes for the first half of the grow, and MegaCrop, BE, and SC thereafter. The nute solution was filtered through a standard household water filter element mounted inside my 40L reservoir, I did not use the ones provided by Autopot. I had no plugging in the standard small diameter feed line or the valves during the grow which lasted over 90 days before the final chop.

The yield from the grow was reasonable, roughly 150+ grams from the CQ, and something similar from the two 24C’s combined. Final weights will be posted once everything is down to

The first two pics are of the chopped CQ, the first with a cut part way from the edge to the tap root, and the second cut at the tap root. The remaining pics are of the two 24C’s cut at the tap root.

Overall, I could not be happier with the Autopot system, and highly recommend it. As others have pointed out though, get the single pot configuration, not the one in which two pots are attached. There is not enough room between the plants in the dual configuration. I doubt that the XL size is needed, but it works fine and can be downsized easily by rolling down the fabric bags, or buying smaller pots that fit. Also, the price was right when I bought it compared to the alternative setups. OTOH, if trying to go full organic, the larger pot size might help. At some point I may make a big tray and run multiple plants off a single autopot valve, so as to have even more fun with a bunch of small pots with different strains.

Autopots grow them big, so plan on

4 sq. ft. per plant unless the strain is known to be small, which my 24C’s were, or unless you intend to control size in a significant way with small pots or the like. Had I grown only full sized plants, I would have just done two of them in my 2×4 growdrobe.
Happy growing all, if you have questions about this system that I can answer, I will be glad to try to help.

olegren

  • Sep 28, 2020
JohnEMad
semi-mad grower.

60/40 coco/perlite, and no air dome or hydroton or equivalent was used. It was 60/40 all the way down. The pots were fabric smart pots provided by AutoPot with the xl single pot packages, and the pots were rolled down to contain

3 actual gallons of medium.

After the chop, I cut through the root mass to check health of roots, especially in the mostly saturated zone at the bottom of the pots. The pictures tell the story, pretty much, but I will note that there were healthy roots throughout the medium, top to bottom on all three plants, with the densest mat in the 30 or so mm in the bottom of the pot. The roots in the saturation zone were densely packed and all healthy. I will re-use the coco, so I pulled it apart from the root ball, and the smell was pleasantly sweet throughout.

I used 3 part hydroponic nutes for the first half of the grow, and MegaCrop, BE, and SC thereafter. The nute solution was filtered through a standard household water filter element mounted inside my 40L reservoir, I did not use the ones provided by Autopot. I had no plugging in the standard small diameter feed line or the valves during the grow which lasted over 90 days before the final chop.

The yield from the grow was reasonable, roughly 150+ grams from the CQ, and something similar from the two 24C’s combined. Final weights will be posted once everything is down to

The first two pics are of the chopped CQ, the first with a cut part way from the edge to the tap root, and the second cut at the tap root. The remaining pics are of the two 24C’s cut at the tap root.

Overall, I could not be happier with the Autopot system, and highly recommend it. As others have pointed out though, get the single pot configuration, not the one in which two pots are attached. There is not enough room between the plants in the dual configuration. I doubt that the XL size is needed, but it works fine and can be downsized easily by rolling down the fabric bags, or buying smaller pots that fit. Also, the price was right when I bought it compared to the alternative setups. OTOH, if trying to go full organic, the larger pot size might help. At some point I may make a big tray and run multiple plants off a single autopot valve, so as to have even more fun with a bunch of small pots with different strains.

Autopots grow them big, so plan on

4 sq. ft. per plant unless the strain is known to be small, which my 24C’s were, or unless you intend to control size in a significant way with small pots or the like. Had I grown only full sized plants, I would have just done two of them in my 2×4 growdrobe.
Happy growing all, if you have questions about this system that I can answer, I will be glad to try to help.

damien50
https://www.ftfcultivation.com/

60/40 coco/perlite, and no air dome or hydroton or equivalent was used. It was 60/40 all the way down. The pots were fabric smart pots provided by AutoPot with the xl single pot packages, and the pots were rolled down to contain

3 actual gallons of medium.

After the chop, I cut through the root mass to check health of roots, especially in the mostly saturated zone at the bottom of the pots. The pictures tell the story, pretty much, but I will note that there were healthy roots throughout the medium, top to bottom on all three plants, with the densest mat in the 30 or so mm in the bottom of the pot. The roots in the saturation zone were densely packed and all healthy. I will re-use the coco, so I pulled it apart from the root ball, and the smell was pleasantly sweet throughout.

I used 3 part hydroponic nutes for the first half of the grow, and MegaCrop, BE, and SC thereafter. The nute solution was filtered through a standard household water filter element mounted inside my 40L reservoir, I did not use the ones provided by Autopot. I had no plugging in the standard small diameter feed line or the valves during the grow which lasted over 90 days before the final chop.

The yield from the grow was reasonable, roughly 150+ grams from the CQ, and something similar from the two 24C’s combined. Final weights will be posted once everything is down to

The first two pics are of the chopped CQ, the first with a cut part way from the edge to the tap root, and the second cut at the tap root. The remaining pics are of the two 24C’s cut at the tap root.

Overall, I could not be happier with the Autopot system, and highly recommend it. As others have pointed out though, get the single pot configuration, not the one in which two pots are attached. There is not enough room between the plants in the dual configuration. I doubt that the XL size is needed, but it works fine and can be downsized easily by rolling down the fabric bags, or buying smaller pots that fit. Also, the price was right when I bought it compared to the alternative setups. OTOH, if trying to go full organic, the larger pot size might help. At some point I may make a big tray and run multiple plants off a single autopot valve, so as to have even more fun with a bunch of small pots with different strains.

Autopots grow them big, so plan on

4 sq. ft. per plant unless the strain is known to be small, which my 24C’s were, or unless you intend to control size in a significant way with small pots or the like. Had I grown only full sized plants, I would have just done two of them in my 2×4 growdrobe.
Happy growing all, if you have questions about this system that I can answer, I will be glad to try to help.

This is cool to see. I also bottom feed and I’ve experienced my craziest root growth this way.

It was very detailed and the pictures were excellent. I noticed with bottom feeding that the plants send their feeder roots to the bottom and the larger roots remain above mostly dry for aeration.

Do you think you received the full hydro experience using bottom feed coco or do you believe drain to waste is superior?

Olderfart
Darwin’s big idea explains Cannabis

This is cool to see. I also bottom feed and I’ve experienced my craziest root growth this way.

It was very detailed and the pictures were excellent. I noticed with bottom feeding that the plants send their feeder roots to the bottom and the larger roots remain above mostly dry for aeration.

Do you think you received the full hydro experience using bottom feed coco or do you believe drain to waste is superior?

Never tried dtw, and not likely to do so. Too many bits to screw up, and I doubt that yield would be much better than I would get with the autopot setup if I ever get it dialed in. Given the root growth in these fabric pots, and the fact that the roots are fed 100% of the time with the auto valves, I think the plants will get whatever they want, at least they will if I provide it. The root growth in my grow has me convinced – I had healthy roots throughout the pots, and the densest mat by far was right down in the “saturation” zone where people worry about things remaining too wet. The plants obviously loved it, so at least with coco/perlite and fabric pots, the area remains sufficiently oxygenated to keep the roots happy – no air dome required. I’ve never bought the adding hydroton idea – the abrupt shift in particle size is a bad idea in sub-irrigation because it can hamper wicking of nutes/water.

If I did something different in another grow, I would either try full organic, possibly with some sort of custom autopot tray arrangement that allowed a larger pot for organic soil, or I might try a big tray with a bunch of 1 gallon pots and grow a bunch of strains in my 2×4. In any case, I like the autopot system a lot, and will continue to use it one way or another.

JohnEMad
semi-mad grower.
damien50
https://www.ftfcultivation.com/

Never tried dtw, and not likely to do so. Too many bits to screw up, and I doubt that yield would be much better than I would get with the autopot setup if I ever get it dialed in. Given the root growth in these fabric pots, and the fact that the roots are fed 100% of the time with the auto valves, I think the plants will get whatever they want, at least they will if I provide it. The root growth in my grow has me convinced – I had healthy roots throughout the pots, and the densest mat by far was right down in the “saturation” zone where people worry about things remaining too wet. The plants obviously loved it, so at least with coco/perlite and fabric pots, the area remains sufficiently oxygenated to keep the roots happy – no air dome required. I’ve never bought the adding hydroton idea – the abrupt shift in particle size is a bad idea in sub-irrigation because it can hamper wicking of nutes/water.

If I did something different in another grow, I would either try full organic, possibly with some sort of custom autopot tray arrangement that allowed a larger pot for organic soil, or I might try a big tray with a bunch of 1 gallon pots and grow a bunch of strains in my 2×4. In any case, I like the autopot system a lot, and will continue to use it one way or another.

I’ve been curious about an auto pot system to manage my mothers and I know they work but I do love good reviews lol.

I do like the no waste aspect, lack of electricity, and the auto watering. Is there a way to adjust the valve for different intervals of watering? I grow in stonewool and like rockwool has a field capacity for the amount of water it can hold so I like to flood more frequently in veg and simulate drought during mid and late flower through manipulation of the moisture gradient.

Is there any degree of control to this system?

Olderfart
Darwin’s big idea explains Cannabis

No, there is no way to adjust the autovalves for differing behaviour, at least IMHO not without risking screwing up valve function in a significant way. The interaction between the dual floats in the valve may be pretty fussy if you start screwing with it. The valves operate on water level alone, not time. They fill to the max level immediately after the plants drink enough to lower the water level to near zero. The faster the plants drink, the more frequent the fill. Consequently, the “flood zone” is sequentially flooded and then allowed to drain almost completely before re-flooding again. Although the draining period does not allow the flood zone to “dry out” as sometimes described, and often criticized, it does allow the area to be periodically aerated, which in my grow anyway resulted in happy root growth throughout the flood zone. Bottom line is that at least with well aerated medium, the flood sequence generated by the valves works perfectly, and does so without screwing about with air pumps or hydroton.

Having said that, you could alter the degree of wetness in pots by reducing the size of the pot bottom that is subject to flooding, thereby perhaps making pot conditions slightly drier than otherwise. If I wanted to do this, I would install some sort of ring under the fabric pot which elevates the periphery of the pot bottom above the flood level. However, I will not be bothering as I see no need. Bottom line for me is that, at least with the coco medium and fabric pot, there is no disadvantage to how wet the system keeps the roots. The plant gets fed 100% of the time with whatever mix you choose to supply, and will take exactly what it needs if it is there.

The automatic watering aspect without electricity is what attracted me in the first place, but I see now that that is not the only advantage. The system isn’t just automatic, it is IMHO also extremely efficient and effective in accomplishing a near perfect watering regime.

Olderfart
Darwin’s big idea explains Cannabis

From the reading I have done, it seems to me that the air domes usually don’t do any harm unless air pumping is excessive, but if they improve things, it is not by much. Most growers I have noticed who report having compared with and without air domes see little difference in results. Bottom line for me is that the system works very well without an air pump dependent on electricity, so I am not interested in the extra complexity.

To each hers, or his own, but I will keep my autopot system simple. Had I seen any indication of root problems within the flooded part of my pots, I would have done something about the problem, but my grow confirms to me that there is no need.

damien50
https://www.ftfcultivation.com/

No, there is no way to adjust the autovalves for differing behaviour, at least IMHO not without risking screwing up valve function in a significant way. The interaction between the dual floats in the valve may be pretty fussy if you start screwing with it. The valves operate on water level alone, not time. They fill to the max level immediately after the plants drink enough to lower the water level to near zero. The faster the plants drink, the more frequent the fill. Consequently, the “flood zone” is sequentially flooded and then allowed to drain almost completely before re-flooding again. Although the draining period does not allow the flood zone to “dry out” as sometimes described, and often criticized, it does allow the area to be periodically aerated, which in my grow anyway resulted in happy root growth throughout the flood zone. Bottom line is that at least with well aerated medium, the flood sequence generated by the valves works perfectly, and does so without screwing about with air pumps or hydroton.

Having said that, you could alter the degree of wetness in pots by reducing the size of the pot bottom that is subject to flooding, thereby perhaps making pot conditions slightly drier than otherwise. If I wanted to do this, I would install some sort of ring under the fabric pot which elevates the periphery of the pot bottom above the flood level. However, I will not be bothering as I see no need. Bottom line for me is that, at least with the coco medium and fabric pot, there is no disadvantage to how wet the system keeps the roots. The plant gets fed 100% of the time with whatever mix you choose to supply, and will take exactly what it needs if it is there.

The automatic watering aspect without electricity is what attracted me in the first place, but I see now that that is not the only advantage. The system isn’t just automatic, it is IMHO also extremely efficient and effective in accomplishing a near perfect watering regime.

It sounds like it would be excellent for mothers in my vertical system. Different strokes for different folks as irrigation strategies often are misunderstood and this seems to fool proof that aspect. Moisture content at the root zone is going to vary from medium to medium but at least this is versatile enough to tackle various mediums.

I’m lazy and don’t like doing more for my mothers than necessary. I saw their 8 pot system but is pretty expensive for my needs but definitely under consideration.

I appreciate the honest review. Everything is so clear and informative. The grow and your review really show your talent

My current grow has now been chopped, so I would like to review performance of the autopots I used. Details of the grow are in the link in my signature. In…