The AutoPot is the ultimate self-watering pot system, suitable for both hobby and commercial scale growers. These modular systems are infinitely extendable and completely customisable in terms of layout. They are suitable for use with a wide variety of growing medium and require no electrical power in order to run. The AutoPot XL uses a bigger 25L pot which is available in either plastic or fabric versions. Perfect for those looking to grow larger plants.
How Does It Work
The AutoPot is a simple, yet very effective way to grow. As it requires no power whatsoever in order for it to work, it means it can be used in almost any location. All AutoPot systems work in exactly the same way; by bottom feeding your pots. However it is how this method of feeding is delivered to your plants which sets them aside from other systems or methods. At the heart of each AutoPot system is the 'AquaValve 5'. This cleverly designed float valve is what controls the flow of water to each of your pots. Each module (pot & tray) in your system contains an AquaValve, these are linked together using flexible hose and connected to your water butt. Water from your reservoir is gravity-fed through the pipework until it reaches each of the AquaValves, once it does the valve will open allowing water to enter the tray up to a depth of 20mm, the valve will then shut off preventing anymore water flowing into the tray. Your growing media will naturally begin to 'wick' this up and the pots will be watered. The clever part is the valve will not re-open until all the water in the tray has been used up, this prevents the growing media from becoming over-watered and helps to create a wet/dry cycle in your pots! As each plant in the system has it's own AquaValve this means that each pot gets exactly the right amount of water it needs at all times. This allows your plants to get tailor-fed according to their nutritional requirements, even when growing on a large scale!
Each AutoPot System is completely modular and customisable. If you need to expand your system you can simply buy more modules and connect them. The pots can be spaced irregularly if needed making them the perfect choice to fill odd-shaped areas. We sell systems from 2-100 pots but can also create custom designs if needed. Just get in touch and let us know your requirements and we will be happy to help!
How To Use
Setting up an AutoPot could not be easier. We first recommend laying out your modules in your grow area and working out the spaces you need between each of them to suit your needs. Once you have done this you can install the AquaValves into each of the trays, it is important to ensure that the AquaValve is correctly positioned within the tray and is secured into place. The enclosed instructions will show you how to do this in more detail if needed.
Now you need to connect up your modules using flexible hose and irrigation fittings. Each AquaValve will require a length of 8mm hose fitted to it which will then link into the other pots and your water butt using crosses and tee pieces. For systems that will be using a Flexi-Tank, these will require two different sizes of pipe to connect up the system. The same 8mm hose is connected to the AquaValves and a larger 13mm hose is the supply pipe from your water butt. Every system is supplied layout recommendations and instructions along with all the required parts to correctly set it up. Please note for odd shaped grow rooms some additional fittings may be needed to correctly connect up your modules.
Now you need to fill your pots with your choice of growing medium, fill your water butt with your nutrient solution and get planting!
Tips On Using AutoPot Systems
Always use an inline filter with your water butt. This ensures that no unwanted sediment enters your pipework which could potentially lead to a blockage and plants not being watered. For even better results adding an irrigation system cleanser such as Dutch Pro Keep It Clean to your solution will further prevent this. We also recommend adding an inline valve to the end of each run of pots. This allows you to easily flush out your pipes when needed.
Add a recirculating pump to your nutrient solution. As the water is not 'pumped' to your pots, the lack of movement can sometimes cause thicker nutrients to settle in the tank. By adding the pump will entirely prevent this and also help to ensure your pH and EC levels are stable. It is important to note that we DO NOT recommend using an air pump in your water butt as this can actually have a negative effect on your pH levels and cause them to rise. If you wish to infuse your AutoPot System with oxygen then be sure to check out the AirDome to do this!
AutoPots can be used with almost any growing medium but it is important to get the mix correct. We recommend a ratio 50/50 ratio of absorbent media (soil, coco etc) combined with an aerated/non absorbent media such as perlite or clay pebbles. Using just soil or coco on their own would mean the pots would be overly waterlogged, whereas using just clay pebbles would mean the medium was unable to wick up the nutrient solution. There are also many 'pre-mixed' products now available such as Ecothrive Coco Lite and Gold Label 60/40 which many growers have great results with straight out the bag without the need for mixing yourself. As these products are not a 50/50 ratio we advise to add a thin layer (around 10-15mm) of perlite or pebbles to the bottom of each pot before filling them. If you are unsure on what media to choose get in touch and we can help.
Where possible we suggest to raise your water butt off the ground a little, this helps with gravity pushing the water through your pipework.
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