Watering problem

Surfer Joe

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Hi everyone.
I am planning a new grow in soil and am trying to find an inexpensive way of watering the pots if I am away for about 5-6 days.
My idea is to set up an aquarium pump in a bucket of water on a timer and have it turn on once while I am away and fill the bottom of a big plastic tray (1 meter square) where all of the potted plants sit in. Then the plants can just soak some water up from the tray into the soil.
My concern is that they will likely sit in a few inches of water for a couple of days since all of the water will probably not be absorbed.
I will only need to do this once during the grow and it will be around the time that they are into the early/middle stages of flowering.

I had considered trying to rig up a series of little hoses from the water pump so that I could direct the water into the top of each pot (there will be about 6 or 7 plants at that stage, depending on how many of my plants turn male- I planted 9 in total) rather than having to flood the whole ground tray where they sit.
The timer lets me control the settings down to minutes and allows different settings throughout the week, so I can chose to give the plants water pretty much whenever I want.

I figure that if I give them a good hand watering the day I leave, and then use the water pump once while I am away about 3 days later, I would be back a day or two after that and I could then drain any excess water out of the floor tray that hadn't been soaked up, but I worry because you are not supposed to leave your pots standing in water too long. Would doing this once be a serious problem, or do I need to be able to direct the water to the tops of each pot instead?
I am looking for an inexpensive solution since I can't afford to buy some expensive automatic hydroponic equipment to do this.

Thanks for any advice.
 

yooper420

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Believe you have the solution right at hand. I`ve had a similar dilemma several times. Simple solution. Give the plants a good watering. My plants all have individual saucers that I fill with water. Good for 4 or 5 days. Have did this half a dozen times with no problems. Don`t over complicate the issue. Remember we are growing a weed, that has grown by itself for many moons and survived without man`s help.

PS,
Last grow was watered entirely from the bottom, as is my present grow.
 
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Rosebud

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I guess that would work. I hope it works. That is a hard one to leave for 6 days, that is why i never go anywhere and I have someone capable of watering. I really think it is worth a try. What are your temps in your room?
 
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Well, what we grow really isn't a weed--wild hemp is what happens when cannabis is allowed to run wild. Quality cannabis sativa and indica are a different plant for all practical purposes. It does take a lot of care to thrive and produce great bud.

I think that your solution should work fine. While it is not necessarily good for plants to sit in a water filled trough all the time, many people do water from the bottom.
 

Surfer Joe

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Last grow was watered entirely from the bottom, as is my present grow.
I think I read about that. It was called pot culture.
Do you leave the pots sitting in water all the time?
I sat a pot in a tray of water for a while and it got really moist all the way up to the top of the soil. Wouldn't it suffer from overwatering if I left it in like that too long?
 

Surfer Joe

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I really think it is worth a try. What are your temps in your room?
Thanks. The temps are 19-24C and the humidity is 60-70%.
At the moment, the pots only need watering every 4-5 days anyway because the plants are small, but they will be bigger and in flowering when I need to be away.
 

MR1

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Figure out total water needed for all your plants, then dump it into your tray, put a mark on the side of the tray so you know the level . Now empty tray, time how long it takes to fill the tay to the level you marked earlier. Set your timer for a little less and your plants should soak it all up.
 

yooper420

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Little more info. My plants are in 5 gallon pots, so all the water is wicked up rather quickly, couple hours. Normal watering is 2 cups at a time. Use a moisture meter daily. The vacation watering (fill the saucer) would be about 6 or 7 cups. Never had the soil wet to the top this way. Too small of pots and too much water does not work.
 

Surfer Joe

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Little more info. My plants are in 5 gallon pots, so all the water is wicked up rather quickly, couple hours. Normal watering is 2 cups at a time. Use a moisture meter daily. The vacation watering (fill the saucer) would be about 6 or 7 cups. Never had the soil wet to the top this way. Too small of pots and too much water does not work.
Thanks. Mine are in about 3 gallon pots, but some are airpots and some are regular square pots.
I am thinking that I should try to use a splitter from the water pump and then put one small water hose in each pot at the top and give it a small amount of water once or twice while I am away rather than trying to flood a meter square tray and have the plants sit in water for a day or two.
 

giggy

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Thanks. Mine are in about 3 gallon pots, but some are airpots and some are regular square pots.
I am thinking that I should try to use a splitter from the water pump and then put one small water hose in each pot at the top and give it a small amount of water once or twice while I am away rather than trying to flood a meter square tray and have the plants sit in water for a day or two.
i think your on the right track here. set bowls out and run the system to see how fast it will fill and go from there. i don't know if i can make my times go on and off after a few days of being off. my timer is a daily thing. in my case it would have to be a small amount everyday. i have seen a lot of people do the wick watering but i think it should be hands on like that. good luck. peace
 

yooper420

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Different ways for different folks, in other words, whatever way works for you....use it. My postings on this subject are from personal experience. Have used this method with no problems 5 or 6 times. Simple and it works for me.
 

giggy

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Different ways for different folks, in other words, whatever way works for you....use it. My postings on this subject are from personal experience. Have used this method with no problems 5 or 6 times. Simple and it works for me.
i hear that, and agree. my great grandmother wick watered all hear potted plants, but always taught me to be on top of it while watering that way. she always used a water hose and would watch them, empty if needed. if you have it worked out i don't see why it wouldn't work. with my timer setup it would have to be a small shot from the top everyday. peace
 

Surfer Joe

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Thanks everyone.
I put together a water pump with a hose and splitter and with thin aquarium tubes running from the splitter to each plant.
The flow at the end of each tube is a gentle stream, not enough to erode the soil if placed on it, so now I can sort of drip feed all the plants from the top for whatever time I want if I am away.
I am testing the setup and measuring the actual output from each hose to see what the amounts are so that I can set the timer correctly.
This is not something I want to use except during an emergency, but probably for a single timed watering during a short length of time if I am away. If it works well, I may use it manually as a convenient way to reach water to all plants when I am watering.
 

yooper420

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Thanks everyone.
I put together a water pump with a hose and splitter and with thin aquarium tubes running from the splitter to each plant.
The flow at the end of each tube is a gentle stream, not enough to erode the soil if placed on it, so now I can sort of drip feed all the plants from the top for whatever time I want if I am away.
I am testing the setup and measuring the actual output from each hose to see what the amounts are so that I can set the timer correctly.
This is not something I want to use except during an emergency, but probably for a single timed watering during a short length of time if I am away. If it works well, I may use it manually as a convenient way to reach water to all plants when I am watering.

Sounds like a plan to me. Should work good. Test it out and tell us the results. Pictures are always welcome. We wanna see !!!!!
 

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