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FarmerPalmersNT

Building the mega bed

28 posts in this topic

Great stuff man! 

 

Cant wait to see the plants in there. 

 

Do you plan to top dress?

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Yup, at the start of veg for the second run and the start of flower only.

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Just setting up the blumats - bit of info for anyone planning on using them. I really believe these are the best auto watering solution out there, and frankly the best watering solution for soil full stop. Lots of folks use sub irrigation for no till, but I believe a consistently moist mulch layer is critical to good worm activity, and I most certainly have that!! I think the old mantra of allowing pots to dry between watering is catering for the lowest common denominator. It does work but it isn't the best approach in my experience. Not only that but a dry bed in no till = dead worms = shite plants.

 

The way these work is utter genius. They have a ceramic cone that is filled with water. A cap which contains a diaphragm screws onto this and is air tight. The cone goes into the soil. A reservoir sits above the pots, this flows by gravity through a 1/4 inch pipe with multiple T-pieces providing flow into smaller diameter flexible microbore rubber hose. Each rubber hose threads through a channel in the top of the cap on the cones. The screw pinches the rubber hose shut so no water flows.

 

As the water level in the pots reduces water flows out of the porous ceramic cones, the diaphragm drops, and the grip on the hose is loosened. Water drips out.

As water enters the soil and wets it the porous ceramic cone fills with water and the diaphragm rises gripping the hose shut again.

This continues in a feedback loop.

 

You can fine tune the drip rate by tightening or loosening the screw on the cap. No power needed.

 

They do require some initial fiddling to get them dialled in right - so to work... The cones needed a good clean after a few cycles as they do get a bit crudded up, although they are surprisingly tolerant of being buried in worm shit and dead leaves! They also need to be soaked and filled to prevent air lock. Started by running the 1/4" feed and first lines round the outside:

 

large.20180418_212738-756x1008.jpg

 

Here's one of the cones and the cap:

large.20180418_212752-756x1008.jpg

 

The reservoir with feed which I have a float switch on a relay that runs a bilge pump in a water butt outside, so when it goes low it auto refills (ignore the gaffa tape nonsense - I'm rigging an overflow back to the butt in case the float switch ever sticks on:

 

large.20180418_221933-756x1254.jpg

 

Enters the room here:

 

large.20180418_212728-756x1008.jpg

 

For the old grow I had 3 cones in each pot - so 12 cones in total. They ran with just the pipes - no dripper attachments. So like this:

 

large.20180418_212919-1008x756.jpg

 

I knew I would like more drip sites on this pot. The beauty of these is you can buy little non adjustable drippers that you can daisy chain from each cone - up to 5 per cone, like this:

 

large.20180418_221555-756x1008.jpg

 

large.20180418_215152-756x1008.jpg

 

So I rigged a setup that had the 12 cones round the outside, 3 with just one terminating dripper, 6 with two drippers and 3 with two drippers on longer lines. So effectively the cones provide 12 watering sites round the outside, then 12 drippers about 4" in, then 6 another 4" in, then 3 towards the middle. So a total of 33 watering sites - 12 cones and 21 drippers. This means every 4" square ish has a dripper in it.

 

Kind of like this (sorry about the shitty paint image):

 

large.drippers.jpg

 

Looks like this:

 

large.20180418_215208-756x1008.jpg

 

Opened the taps and allowed to flow freely to ensure all was well and no air lock. Then back off until dripping just stops, plus a 1/4 turn. Then I observe for a couple of days and adjust as required. Once set up minimal tweaking is needed to get a perfect moisture level with zero run off.

 

 

 

 

 

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thanks for that dude, been looking to get some of these for the last 6 months.

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I can concur, blumats are shithot! I bought them for a two week holiday two years ago. Came back to a glorious jungle of perfection & Not stopped using them since. For a person with a bad back they are a miracle 

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I wish I could do a no till but I generally grow just a couple of times a year. Hopefully one day I'll move to somewhere more suitable for a permanent grow.

 

In the meantime, I like the idea of using a LOT of soil. The more the merrier. Deepest I've eve gone was a 24 inch bin five foot tall. You do not it that deep. Would have been better just laying 2 foot of soil.

 

I'm reading about this 'blumat', what may I ask is that? As one of the bad back brigade, anything that saves me too much strain is a must.

 

Good luck with the grow, I'll be keeping an eye on it as I'd love to do the same.

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If you only do a couple of grows, just leave it running under cfl or grow some veg outside of your ganja.

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Popped in some Amblyseius andersoni sachets. Been having broad mites in the mother room for years so it got a severe nuking and a sealed ozone today and although they never really take on in the no till thought I'd better be sure with the new beds.

 

large.20180420_141236-490x1008.jpg

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Sour dosidos will be germinated this weekend :)

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On 19/04/2018 at 5:33 PM, FarmerPalmersNT said:

If you only do a couple of grows, just leave it running under cfl or grow some veg outside of your ganja.

I'll need to read up more, make up a list of everything I'd need. Would it be possible to do this in 18 L pots? Or would that be too small an area to maintain naturally?

 

I'm certainly heading towards no till, its a natural progression for organic growers in my eyes.

 

Having a break for a few weeks so plenty of time to read up and try and take the next grow to as near as no till as I'm able to do. With a possible actual summer in the UK, I'm not popping any new seeds as I have a keeper that can handle the hot temps we may have. Don't know if your in on the Pot Noodle comp, guess a no till would be out there. :)

 

Thanks for taking the time and effort to explain how this no till works. Never heard of it till this year. That said, a lot of the old people in the allotments seem to go this way. Raised beds reinvented?

 

Will follow this grow.

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I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than around 40l to be fair chap. A no till pot noodle would be a giggle though.

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@FarmerPalmersNT

 

40L eh? Guess it would be easy to rig something up and squeeze it into the tent. Having seen the gain from an 18L pot, usually growing in 11L, I'm getting the feeling that the plants love a lot of space in which to root.

 

I usually take a break this time of year, but will be starting up end of July so plenty of time to collect everything I need.

 

Thanks to your good self and others who have gone the no till route and who share their experiences with us lesser mortals :)

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They do - but its not just space to root, its about having enough soil for proper cycling of nutrients and more diversity in soil biota (which in turn is better for nutrient availability and buffering). It also allows for more consistency in soil chemistry and temperature - since its a larger volume changes are slower.

 

I'm not a no-till evangelist. I can see that hydro has its place and was still using that sometimes, but I always vastly prefer the product of organic/no-till. Horses for courses. Hydro is convenient if you like to be able to pack your grow away between times. Soil is always the idiot proof option too. I just enjoy no-till way more than any other method I've used before. Its great fun.

 

Now that I've got my auto top up working perfectly I could happily leave this setup between grows for literally as long as I like with zero input on a cheapy cfl. I am using the other room only for mothers and clones now so can't see me going back to growing any other way.

Edited by FarmerPalmersNT
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