The insuppressible joy of starting a SIP

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by i.am.a.guest, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. I put my 5 gallon smartpot on a bed of lava rocks last night. I literally ran to my grow space several times throughout the night wondering just how far moisture crept up my 5 gallon pot. It was like a kid running down the stairs on Christmas morning..

    I'm not a morning person (especially when I was up all night giggling at the fact I had to add more water every time I looked at my pot) so I'm not sure how it looked this morning.. but man I'm excited about it.
     
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  2. Remember that these plants need to dry out almost completely between watering episodes. They don't like their roots sitting in moisture all the time. If your plant hadn't used at least 80% of the water in the bucket, it wasn't time to water. Not sure what you're trying to achieve by doing this? TWW
     
  3. Plants like their soil to be at Field Capacity, that is when all the micropores are filled with water, and the macro pores filled with air. This can be achieved by maintaining a SIP system with water in the reservoir. Letting your plants 'dry out almost completely' removes water from the micropores, reduces the rate of growth of your plant, and reduces your soil life. Sure, it may be a foolproof system to keep from overwatering in the beginning, but reduces your capacity for growth in the big picture.

    Due to gravity, evaporation, plant transpiration, and microorganism activity water is constantly being depleted from our soils, even moreso in cloth pots. A SIP system maintained with water in the reservoir (but not touching the bottom of the pot) will work to replenish the water the plant is using through capillary action, allowing the plant to get every bit of water when and where it needs it.

    There is no harm in refilling your reservoir even if the water level's only dropped 1%, it's just extra work for you.
     
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  4. Yes, I'm keeping the water level an inch or so below the bottom of the smart pot.
     
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  5. Will the water stop wicking at a certain level in the reservoir? Or as long as there is water in there it will wick up? My lava rocks (and reservoir) are around 7" deep.
     
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  6. The first legitimate answer I've read about wet/dry cycles. Thank you very much for the great information!
     
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  7. I *think* as long as there's water in there it will wick-up. Water can move vertically over 100ft in soils, think of reed diffusers,
    [​IMG]
    as long as there's contact between the liquid and the stick, every last bit of oil gets wicked up and away.
     
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  8. this is referring to sip trays.
    i have my mother plants on sip trays which are constantly being kept full via a float valve. i never let the wicking media dry out. pots are always at full hydration, never had a problem with overwatering and plants are doing fantastic.
     
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  9. No they don't need to completly dry out. Sips work great at maintaining a nice evenly moist soil . Roots don't mind being in moisture, its water logged soil that's a problem. Moist soil SIPS and different types of hydro both keep roots moist, if they had to completly dry out completly how would this be possible?
     
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  10. [​IMG]
    5 gallon bucket SIPs
    [​IMG]
    18 gallon tote SIPs..

    BNW
     
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  11. I plan on making an assortment of sizes for my mom for mothers day. She just had surgery so watering can be tough. I'm hoping to get her garden up onto her back deck lol. I like the stacked bucket design for its simplicity and variation of sizes. I have a 2 gal, 3.5 gal, and 5 gal in mind for her. I also have a 14 gal and 18 gal Rubbermaid tote that I thought would make nice beds for her.

    Solo
     
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  12. Have you guys seen this?
     
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  13. I love me a good SIP. I just completed a home build of Larry halls rain gutter grow system, YouTube it. I also just made a couple silly purchases....

    Aquapot spyder for one of my raised beds. Capillary mats wicking into the bed, water tapped from a rain barrel. I also bought one of the regular autopot cap systems and will experiment on it vs my perlite sips

    AQUAbox Spyder

    And last but not least...will experiment with this capillary mat that has injectors in it.. WaterPulse | Retail Mat and Vortex Injector
     
  14. I like the rain gutter idea - just don't like the fact that you might have stagnant water sitting which would be a breeding ground for mosquitos around here. Maybe you could cover that with black plastic or something like that.
     
  15. Yea, updated versions take into account the standing water / mosquito breeding ground situation. Food safe PVC piping fully sealed?
     
  16. keep the light out. The water shouldn't ever get stagnant anyways. That's poor upkeep. My 5 gallon smart pots sit on top cheap oil drain pans. They fit perfectly and hold a gallon+ . I also do larger container sips w/o any issues. My largest is in extra large cat litter boxes. They're handy because I'm gone alot. I can get just under 4 gallons if I fill it touching the bottom of the container. You can always cover the top of the rocks with gardening cloth and the container on that if it doesn't cover well. I used to put air stones in them but don't anymore.
     
  17. Just an update on my SIP journey (ha!).. I now have a 10g,5g, and a few 1g smart pots in SIP setups. The plant I have in my 5g smart pot that was the first to SIP has EXPLODED! Healthy looking and just getting large.

    I put a seedling in a freshly made 10g smart pot with a first run soil mix in a new SIP setup. For about a week I saw little growth on top - but then I saw roots peaking out of the smart pot a few days ago. Then I got sick and was out of it for about 3 days. Checked on the plant when I started feeling human again and holy cow!! I feel like I can watch it grow in real time its growing so fast. SIP is the way to go for me.

    I went out and bought some 1 gallon smart pots. I'm gonna try to keep my mothers in there.

    While the small reservoir setups I have require frequent watering to keep water levels respectable - my larger reservoir setup has only needed watering every few days. I'm sure as the plants get larger that will change but I had a 102 fever for a few days and when I got everything under control and checked on my plants it still had plenty of water in the reservoir.

    Is there a downside of putting the largest reservoir you can fit in your tent in? I'm keeping it covered to help prevent algae.
     
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  18. I prefer individual or no more then 2 to a SIP, personal preference.... But roots will grow in, algae will form, potential salt build up over time..compost teas and overflow could also lead to contamination ,/ need to replace or wash existing SIP tray and material ....my .02
     
  19. #20 killset, Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    [​IMG] besides my 5gallon sips, these are my 15 gallon smartie sips . The sips hold roughly 4 gallons of water and allow me to leave for extended periods of time. Ive never had any issues. I drape gardening material around the top of the sip. When adding teas and such just don't flood the soil enough for it to get down into the sip. Roots growing in isn't an issue. I know some think you need to rotate the containers so roots don't do that but it doesn't hurt at all. Some of My sips are under Scrog nets and can't be rotated. I don't rotate containers that aren't under nets on purpose either
     
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