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You might be wondering what are Autopots and how do Autopots work.
If you want an easy way to keep your plants watered even when on vacation then the autopot system might just be what you are looking for. Read on to learn what they are and how they work.
What Are Autopots?
Autopots are a unique self-watering system that can be used to water plants automatically.
The autopot systems need no electricity to run so no pumps or timers are needed and they offer flexible layouts that can easily be added to.
This is an automated self-watering planter system that waters from the bottom up and gives your plants consistent access to water and nutrients which results in healthier plants and higher yields.
Autopots can be used indoors or outdoors, and they can be used to water a wide variety of plants, including houseplants, vegetables, and flowers.
Autopots are an ideal solution for gardeners who want to save time on watering, and they can also help to reduce the risk of under or overwatering.
If you want to go on vacation you can know that your plants will be automatically watered while you are gone.
How Do Autopots Work?
The autopot system comes with a water reservoir that can be filled with water or a water and nutrient solution. It must be placed slightly higher than the plant trays.
Nutrients are supplied to the plants with a gravity feed. A tube runs from the reservoir to a valve with a float in it called an aquavalve.
The aqua valve is placed inside the tray along with your pot. The pots are filled with a 50/50 mix of coco coir and perlite. Potting soil can be used as well.
If you decide to try this system out I recommend using coco coir rather than potting soil. Coco performs better in this type of system.
This system uses no electricity, no pumps, and no timers. Gravity takes care of everything.
The float controls the flow of water to the plant tray. It adds a 3/4 inch water level to the plant tray.
When it gets used up the float drops and allows it to refill automatically. All you need to do is top up the reservoir periodically.
DIY Autopot Systems
If you are handy you could probably build a system yourself. Often you don’t really save much if any money doing this. But it could be a fun project.
Most of the components used in the autopot system are available separately. This does come in handy if you already have one and want to expand it.
Currently, they are available on Amazon here.
You could provide your own pots and trays. The AutoPot Easy2Grow system uses 2 pots per tray that share a valve. The tray they use is about the size of a seed flat (10 x 22.5 inches)
You would also need to provide a reservoir, 3/8″ OD tubing, and fittings to hook everything up.
I want to try this system out. I am bottom watering my vegetables in a tray by hand at the moment. I have not decided if I will buy a unit or just buy the valves and try that.
Right now I don’t have space to set this up but when my crops are all harvested I plan to give it a try.
Autopot System Advantages And Options
I like the flexibility the autopot system offers. It can be configured for just about any size or growing situation.
• One of the great things about the autopot system is that it does not need electricity.
• It is also easy to configure. You can alter the tubing length and place pots in a line or double them up depending on how many pots you are watering.
• These systems are available from a single autopot up to 60 units for a greenhouse.
• They can use plastic pots or fabric pots.
• They have single and double trays and also sell larger trays that can hold multiple pots at the same time.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Autopot System
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your autopot system:
• Add a couple of inches of perlite or grow stones to your pot before filling it with soil mix.
• Use a 50/50 mix of coco coir or soil with perlite.
• I recommend using coco coir. Coco works best when always moist but soil is typically allowed to dry out between feedings.
• Don’t use organic nutrients because they can clog the feed lines.
• Always hand water from the top for the first 2 weeks to get the plant’s root system established.
• Don’t turn the system on for those 2 first weeks.
• Remember to flush out your lines out periodically.
Here is a good article with some more tips.
How do you use AutoPot watering system?
You use the autopot watering system by assembling it according to the included instructions.
Then you fill your pots with the proper growing mix. You will set your plants in and water from the top for the first 2 weeks.
After they are established you will fill your reservoir with a water and nutrient solution and turn it on with a valve.
Make sure the water level is right and make sure when the plants use it up the aqua valve refills the trays.
Then everything is automated and all you need to do is refresh the reservoir when it gets low.
Is AutoPot considered hydroponics?
The autopot system is a self-watering system and is typically not considered hydroponics when used with soil.
If you use it with coco coir which is considered a hydroponic growing medium you could consider it a hydroponic system.
Do Autopots increase yield?
Yes, they can increase yield because the plants will never run out of water or food. They will be healthier and this allows for higher yields.
Can you use soil in Autopots?
You can use soil in autopots but you must cut it 50/50 with perlite. Soil will not work as well as coco coir though because the roots will get less oxygen and it may stay too wet. I really think coco coir is a much better choice.
Can I use just clay pebbles in Autopots?
No, you cant just use clay pebbles. They will not wick enough water by themselves. But you can mix them 50/50 with soil or coco.
Are Autopots worth it?
If you have a hard time remembering to water your plants or are very busy or not home that often they are worth it.
But if you kill your plants by not watering and feeding them when they need it that is not worth it to try to save a buck on a self-watering system.
What nutrients to use with Autopots?
You should avoid organics because they can clog your feed lines or cause the float valve to stick.
You can use any well-balanced hydroponic nutrient product that also provides all the necessary trace elements.
How do you feed with Autopots?
Autopots are fed with the nutrients your reservoir holds. From the reservoir, your nutrient solution will be gravity fed to your valves which will open and fill the tray when the nutrient system level in them drops.
Because your plants will be fed constantly you probably want to start with your nutrients mixed to half strength from the recommended amount.
The Autopot system offers convenience and flexibility for gardeners.
The numerous queries surrounding this innovative gardening method reflect the growing interest in adopting hassle-free, efficient practices.
Delving into the frequently asked questions provides insights and clarifications that are pivotal for optimizing the utilization of Autopot systems.
Q. What types of plants can be grown with Autopots?
A. Autopots are versatile and can be used for a wide range of plants including vegetables, flowers, and houseplants.
They provide a consistent water supply making them suitable for various plant types.
Q. How often do I need to refill the reservoir in an Autopot system?
A. The frequency of refilling the reservoir depends on the water consumption rate of your plants and the size of the reservoir.
Monitoring the water level in the initial days will give you an idea of how often a refill is needed.
Q. Are there any special nutrients required for using the Autopot system?
A. While no special nutrients are required, it’s advisable to avoid organic nutrients as they can clog the feed lines.
Hydroponic nutrient products with balanced formulations are recommended for use in Autopot systems.
Q. How do I clean and maintain my Autopot system to ensure its longevity?
A. Regular cleaning of the reservoir, tubing, and aqua valve is essential to prevent clogs and ensure smooth operation.
It’s advisable to flush the system periodically to remove any nutrient residue or build-up and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and cleaning.
How Do Autopots Work? Final Thoughts
There are a lot of advantages to using autopots. They automate and take the guesswork out of watering.
When plants are not subjected to over or underwatering and fertilizing they naturally grow better and produce more.
They are simple to set up and easy to expand if you want to add more plants. They can work with fabric pots or standard plastic pots.
If you are tired of hand watering or worse forget to do it at all they can be a godsend and save your garden. Give them a try!