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Old 05-24-2011, 12:21 PM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 63

Originally Posted by T'Mater View Post

So for your mater's you only feed them for 3min's every hour? Man i'm waaay over watering mine then. Wonder why they haven't shown any sign's of it tho....

How old do you let your mater plant's get before you start over?

Hey T'Mater,

It all depends on your media, I know you mentioned you are running Sure-to-grow, but is it Loose fill, Hail or what? I went with Pearlite because that's what the commercial growers run. I tried to emulate them as much as possible. They water every 30 minutes, or on the half hour during daylight hours. The cost difference in the timer to control that many on/off "events" was about 200 bucks more than the $15 I spent.

Your media might be different, pearlite drains fast, retains some moisture, but allows me to regularly supply the roots with nutrient, and most important aeration... and then there is that little buffer in the Dutch/Bato Bucket that keeps you from running too dry.

Last year I ran Coco, pearlite, and expanded clay, and could hardly water 3 times a day. Now I water 14 times a day, more nutrient exposure for the plant, more aeration for the roots, and more turnovers for the bato res.

Oh, and I could get away with watering one minute an hour if I wanted, but I like to turn over the bato res, often. Also helps to keep my main reservoir happy. The bato's filled with pearlite act as a huge biological filter. The more nutrient I run through them the healthier my main reservoir. I probably turn over my main res. 3-6 times a day depending on the volume (full 35 gallons).

I was hoping to run my tomato plants year round...last year I got hit by powdery mildew. But in a perfect world through winter (i.e. pull them in march/April and set new plants out for the spring).

I re-enforced the top of my support trellis so I can put green house plastic up when the weather gets nasty. Also keeps my support wires taught, last your I lost about a foot and a half of growing space from the 2x3's bowing in.

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