Horizontal root growth? And various thoughts

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by remorse, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Hey GC, I was messing about with some plants and repotting and noticed some stuff about the way the plants roots were growing.

    I've only had the chance to look at 4 plants roots really, but it seems like they grow far more vertically than horizontally. The plants roots hit the bottom of whatever I pot them in really quickly, but don't really spread out any (I'm repotting before they become root-bound, so maybe I'm not giving them the chance?). Is there any way to stimulate the roots to grow outwards some well? Perhaps watering around the edge of the pot only?

    I was also thinking that if the roots are going to favor growing deeper rather than spread out, would a wide container just be wasting space? I'm trying a sprout now in a 2-liter soda bottle (as opposed to a "conventionally" shaped smaller pot), thinking maybe that would give improved results.

    I did a few searches here, but never really found much info on how roots grow, how they can be influenced, and how/if the planter shape can influence the plants growth. Any of you green thumbs able to settle my mind on this matter?

    PS to Sid, yeah yeah I'm not using superthrive :D
  2. I've done some reading about "why not to plant seedlings in large pots". There's been some arguements about it, but most of what I've read is against planting in large pots.

    People say that when you plant in a large pot the seedlings roots will go out horizontally untill the hit the sides of the pot, and then grow straight down to the bottom of the pot and then make a root ball at the very bottom of the pot and waste all the middle soil space......

    I've got to do some stuff, but in about an hour or two I'll post back with a "theory" that I had that I don't think anybody's ever done....... I'm not using it so, I might as well release it to the world.

    :D Prepare yourself.
  3. if you start your plants in a larger container first off your plants roots will grow all the way to the sides first and than down.... hypotheticaly its not possible your plant would die b4.... it would get tangled in itself and would stop absorbing nutrients.... ive seen peopole start there plants in larger pots but use a growing medium that disolves over time.... obviously has to work? never tried it out myself personally. plants dont necessarly work there roots all the way to the side of the pots but they secure a good perimeter, roots play a key role in anchoring a plant (if u didnt know) so the more space they take up the stronger the plant you will have and vice versa. id love to hear that theory of yours tho, looking forward to it. peace out sam
  4. yeah, get the superthrive in there.........lol.......

    i've still got the soil tight in the pots from the previous grow, if you want me to cut it open and take a pic, i plant from seed into a 3, sometimes 5 gallon pot..........maybe see where the roots did go on mine?...........Peace out........Sid

    and yeah shorty, fire away with this theory.........
  5. "and yeah shorty, fire away with this theory........."

    All righty. This is basical an idea I came up, when I was really blasted. I have never tried this, and honestly I have no idea if it will work. But if somebody trys it and it works and it catches on you have to refer to it as "som sog". :D lol

    I started thinking about how people use 2 litre pop bottles for sog applications.


    This guy ^^^ uses 30 under a 400 watt hps....

    So I started thinking about long, skinny containers. And how a long narrow container could hold as much soil, but have far many more per sqaure foot than regular flower pots.


    If horizontal root growth isn't as important as vertical root growth, then tall, skinny containers would be a better choice for sog applications.

    Ok. so now everybody has some kinda idea of where I'm going with this right? Everybody should know by now that I'm somewhat of a math wiz, so nobody should be suprised by these numbers I've crunched.

    A 8" flower pot is actually pretty decieving in size. I've found that my particular flower pots are.

    8.25" top diameter
    6" bottom diameter
    7.5" height

    Ok, so how to do you find how many gallons that will hold? Well, it's complicated and I'll only show you this once, because it's boring. After this time I'll just post numbers instead of working them out for you.

    Step one.
    Add your top diameter 8.25" with your bottom diameter 6".
    This gives us 14.25" take that number and divide it by 2. That gives us 7.125", and that number (7.125") is our average diameter.

    Step two.
    Now we have our average diameter. We need to find the average radius to do this eqaution, so we divide 7.125" by 2. (Radius is half the diameter). That gives us 3.5625".

    Step three.
    We need the radius in inches sqaure. So we multiply 3.5625" by 3.5625". That gives us 12.691406 sqaure inches.

    Step four.
    Take the inches sqaure and multiply it by the height of the container. In this case that's 7.5". So 12.691406" x 7.5" = 95.185545

    Step five.
    We take that number and multiply it by pi (3.14) so, 95.185545 x 3.14 = 298.88261

    Step 6.
    Take that last number and multiply it by 0.004329 (<--- That is the only number that you didn't figure out. That's a number you have to memorize if doing this alot.... It's kinda like pi, you just have to know it).

    Step 7.
    298.88261 x 0.004329 = 1.2938628 gallons.

    Step 8.
    To sum it all up for thoose who got lost in my math, my 8" flower pot only hold 1.3 gallons of soil.

    Alright now everybody know how to figure out how many gallons a cylinder will hold. (Rember thoose number are in inches and us gallons.)

    So how does that apply to sog? Well I figured out that home dude flowering in 2 liter pop bottles only had about .58 gallons of soil in them.

    Ok so what if somebody for whatever reason wants to use 8" pots or 6" pots for sog? My 6" pot only holds .55 gallons, my 8" only holds 1.3, and a 2 liter bottle only hold .58. That's really not enough soil to grow much of anything.

    But, if they weren't really hurting on height and could give up just a few more inches of height per container, then I have the solution.

    Basically my solution is PVC pipe. It might be a little pricey or a might to move around but, it doesn't get narrower and it might suprise you how much soil it can hold.

    Here are some numbers for 6" diameter pvc pipe.

    6"D x 12"H = 1.47 gallons
    6"D x 10"H = 1.22 gallons
    6"D x 8"H = .98 gallons
    6"D x 6"H = .73 gallons

    Here are some numbers for 8" diameter pvc pipe.

    8"D x 12"H = 2.61 gallons
    8"D x 10"H = 2.17 gallons
    8"D x 8"H = 1.74 gallons
    8"D x 6"H = 1.30 gallons

    And there you have it. If you ever consider using really narrow pots for sog applications, I would recomed trying the "som sog" instead. The extra soil might be worth it in the end.

    And that's more whole theory. I hope this helps somebody.
  6. o.k., i'm gonna go out on a limb here, and say that i think the 8" pot may hold 4.561 gallons of soil...........fuck man, years since i did maths, but i think step 2 may be wrong..........

    o.k. i'll explain.........i think that the equation is pie x diameter = Circumfrence (radius)..........so it would be 3.14 x 7.125 = 22.3725

    and that worked through the rest, would end up at 4.561.........

    hell i'm prob wrong, but i just got a flashback to school, and it was saying to me diameter x pie = circumfrence..........lol

    Peace out..........Sid

    but that does sound like a good idea shorty..........

  7. :D Hey thanks for the input sid. :D

    But, circumfrence is not the same as radius. Radius is a measurement from the center the the circle to any one of the outer edges.

    So the diameter a measurement across the center from edge to edge. So the radius is half the diameter.

    Circumference is the distance around the circle.... Like if you wanted to find the circumference of a soda can, you could do it two ways. You could find it mathematically, I don't know how to find it right off the top of my head.

    Or you could incino man it. (My way). All you would have to do is wrap a piece of string around the can evenly, cut it off to where it went exactly around the can one time, and take that lenght of string lay it flat and measure it with a ruler..... And that is the circumfrence.

    Here's a link to the eqaution that I was using.


    And, I can further back it up. I said the 2 liter bottle held .58 gallons (that's cut down to size). I cut one and measured it myself.

    An american gallon is eqaul to 3.78 liters. So 2 liter would be about a half gallon. With the top cut off, my guestimate was .58 gallons.

    So I'm 99.9% sure that theese number are very, very, very near right. Of course they'll be a little off because of the thickness of the plastic and what not, and they're rounded off a little bit..... But, I'm still almost postive that they're right.

    I appericate you saying that this sounds like a good idea sid I really do. I'm personally really proud of it.

    I don't see why flower pots are made wider at the top than at the bottom. I've always thought that they shouldn't be that way, it's not as efficent.

    But then again most people see flowers as pretty things and don't care about the pots being efficent, they would rather them "look nice". But not us, fuck what something looks like, we want something that will produce more bud!!! Am I right, or am I right?

    Plus, I've been reading up a lot on how roots grow, and most people seem to believe that roots don't even grow in the top 2 or 3 inches of the pots. Some people put vermiculite, perlite, or even hydroton clay clay at the top, that in some way helps the roots to grow right under that layer......

    So with that in mind, why waste the biggest part of the widest part of the pot, and let the roots grow in a much smaller place? Isn't very logical really......

    Another great thing about this system is imagine how big the plant could grow before a transplant. If a plant was growing in a 8"D x 12"H tube, that's damn near 3 gallons. Now if you transplanted into a pot that has atleast an 8" base and 12" of vertical height, then the plant would comfortably fit, and have room to grow roots horizontally.

    The way I see it, this is really a "no loose" situation from sog growers, or anybody that's growing with a small floor space, and especially for tall lanky cabinet/closest growers.

    Lets say you had a tall cabinet with a small amount or floor space, you'd be stuck growing scrog, or growing several short plants in small pots, but with my system you grow several taller plants (more soil for roots, so more vertical height) with a small floor space in very small pots. Shorty says "put that vertical space to use".

    Anybody got any feedback or want to try it? I'm not sure if this grow is going to make it or not, heat is getting out of control. But, I'm definately doing this on my next grow.

    Come on sid, give it a go! If you lead everybody will follow. Start up a "som sog" grow journal. :D
  8. got you now........damn raduis......lol.....yeah i was thinking circumfrence instead wasn't i?......lol........my old boy's really good at maths, art and English were more my thing..........i think i'll stick to them......lol....

    as for your idea, tell you what, if no ones did it by the time i get back my holidays, i'll give it a go..........i can only do maybe 2-4 of them, as i have restrictions on smell at the mo....lol............but it does sound worth a bash, at least we'll be able to tell if it's possible...........Peace out..........Sid
  9. Believe it or not english was my thing too. I couldn't stand math, but now I do it everyday. I was one of thoose kids that said "I'm never going to use thins again" but, in my line of work, I have to.

    Sid that would be awesome if you gave it a go. If my grow makes it :)() I'm going to cut clones and try to som sog. But, if it doesn't maybee you'll be the first. :)

    Damn you guys, does nobody else care about this idea?
  10. Lol, who said no one liked your idea :)

    The limited space is another big factor in this, especially horizontally. The plant I have in the 2-liter lives in a closet [scrog, hopefully RSN] box, about 15" on a side... obviously the big stupid wide-mouthed planters I saw at the hardware store didn't impress me ;)

    That PVC is a neat idea though, I'd try it but I'm a cheap bastard, don't ya know :D I can't check that OG link atm (@ work now), but I've seen some pics where a guy used 2-liters, with the bottoms cut off and then placed on top of a larger pot full of soil. Like you said, a pot that tapers out at the top is pretty inefficient, one that tapers outwards towards the bottom, that does seem far more useful. Unfortunately, vertical space would be an issue then. I was thinking of putting the plant in the 2-liter, with bottom cut off and then placed in a large square plastic tub (ie rubbermaid/tupperware) with soil that would neatly fit the 15x15 bottom of the box.
  11. I'd glad you liked my idea.

    But check it out... If plants need 1 gallon of soil per 1 foot of height, unless you're plant is going to be totally mature at .58' you're probally going to get rootbound.

    You can easily "obtain" large diameter pvc bits at construction sites. Like legally too. They use thoose 6" and 8" pipes for sewer lines and flood drains ect. They have to be cut down to size. So if they have a 8"D x 16L" piece just left over, why wouldn't they give it to you if you asked nicely?

    They'll never suspect it was going to be used for growing, and if they ask any questions tell them you think it would be the perfect thing to for your little sisters science project. (You're helping her build a volcano or something)....

    Plus figure it up, a big nice pot is a couple bucks. You'd only be paying probally a buck or two more per pot, and you'd really be getting more than your money's worth with the amount of soil they hold and all.

    I haven't seen a lot of information on soil bed growing but I really think it will be a mess. Think about it, this whole discussion is on how roots prefer to grow vertically than horizontally, and in roots won't grow in the top inch or two of soil....... -> how much soil is that really leaving you.

    Plus one plant could totally take over another one, and some could starve to death.

    The roots becoming entangled would be a nightmare.

    And the roots could very possibly be exposed to too much light.

    I won't bash it untill I try it. But if you can find a little piece of pvc for free.... why not try a som sog?
  12. Okay, do you think my plants roots could get rootbound? I am putting them in big pots now because well... I am lazy I don't want to have to transplant later. The diameter of the top is 11" and is the same at the bottom. The height is 1 foot. I think they are 3.5 gallons, but I could be wrong. I got em from DQ for 50 cents each :p.

    Here's some pics, even though I doubt they will help.
  13. "Okay, do you think my plants roots could get rootbound? The diameter of the top is 11" and is the same at the bottom. The height is 1 foot. I think they are 3.5 gallons, but I could be wrong. I got em from DQ for 50 cents each :p."

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! did you not read the formula? I am so offened to you didn't read that whole entire rant of math eqautions, that so clearly stated how to figure out how much soil a container holds. HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!

    And you fucking flipped me off in the picture!!!!!!!!!

    Dude I'm just joking around. It's all good and I'm more than happy to help you out. Math isn't the funnest thing to do in the world, and it's sure as hell confusing high. (You have to think about it drinking......). I came up with "som sog" one night drinking, and like 15 seconds after I had all the number figured up, I puked on my sneakers. lol....

    Anyways on to the helping.

    Radius (5.5") x Radius (5.5") = Radius Sqaured (30.25")

    Radius Sqaured (30.25") x Height (12") = 363

    363 x Pi (3.14) = 1139.82

    1139.82 x 0.004329 = 4.9342808 gallons.

    Damn near 5 gallons bro. And that's great. Unless your plant gets to be 4.9352808 feet tall it should probally be safe. Just remember, this is us measurements and in metric gallons it'll be a smaller number.

    Hope this helped buddy. :)
  14. HI.....

    ive been reading this thread since it started......good to see some thinking is going on in the city...

    the only thing i can add to this thread is its hard to repot from a pop 2l bottle.....i did it last night.....pots are tapperd out ward at the top making it easier to repot..pop bottles arent........

    laters jay
  15. yo shorty im gonna try out ur idea for som sog! ive scrubbed sum money out of nowhere and im placin my order for sum widow seeds 2nite(not 2 expensive but fast growers ya know?) thanx 4 the tip and i shall put the som sog plants in with my others!!!! thanx!

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