Hey im checking into the Autopots also. Im somewhat worried about mold forming in the dirt. Not directly because of the Autopots, but because the area im growing in may have an excess of airborne mold particles. Not so bad in the proposed grow area, but its still a worry for me.
This makes me very interested in using a soiless or Hydro grow medium. I cant find any information on how you could setup the Autopots for Hydro growing. The site says you can do it, they just dont tell you how to do it. Anybody know?
The system works the same for both hydo, and soil. The only thing you change is the medium you grow in. Coco coir, perilite/vemiculite mix would be a good hydro medium.. They also sell premixed soilless mediums such as fox farms light warrior etc.
As for anyone else thiking of the system it has worked for me.. I used a soil/soiless mix.. Basically I cut my fox farms forest blend soil with good amounts of perilite for good drainage which is important for this system since it works on a flood and drain principle.
As for feeding I always recommend starting at 1/4 the recommended dose on the bottle, and slowly build to a stronger solution. If your interested in what I feed it's in my journal in the grow section. Make sure you check the ph of the nutrients going in.. This is important as lots of tap water is pure crap.. A good fert like pure blend pro usually puts ph into a decent range in my experiance. For most strains a good 5.8-7 will do. This is impotant for any kinda of MJ growing;) . Check the res. ph again mid fill to see if it's holding steady. Each fill I put in about 6-8 gallons. The rez holds about 14 though.. I did this so I'd have more control of the nutrients, and ph, basically I made more work formyself, but had tighter control of the plants food schedule.
I also started my plants in smaller cups, and then transplanted them into the systems pots once they grew out of their small party cups. I think this will help as you'll already have a good root ball started to consume the water being provided in shorter time.
The system does what it's suppose to do though.. The rest is up to you. The only problem I had was when my valve got stuck open.. I was using some organic additives that were thicker then ususal, and I think that's what caused that.. From that point on every res fill I just took the tray/valve to the tub and rinsed it out.
I have more plans for this system.. Basically once you have that smart valve you can flood anything. The whole system runs around that valve as it floods and drains without electricity.. I'm looking for a good sized tray/tub 4 x 2 x a couple inches high with a lid.. I'm going to cut the pot wholes into the lid, and flood this larger space/flower closet if I can ever find an appropriate tray to flood, and sit my pots in LOL..
Basically a system like this would cut a lot of the tending to the garden, as the plants drink as needed.. You fill that res, and let them eat at their own pace which I'm sure speeds up growth quite a bit. You can also use larger pots in the auto pot system.. as long as the diameter is the same they will sit in the system just fine.. You just have to drill some drainage holes if the container doesn't have them, and this will allow you grow trees if you wanted too LOL
Anyway have fun, and keep it green