When you spend $199*
*Excludes bulky items: soil, tents etc
"Please Help! Hydroponics is Scary!"
Image Credit: Autopot Systems
Growing plants hydroponically comes with a learning curve and most stray away from ever trying it because of the associated assumed difficulty. Now I won't lie to you, end-game setups can be very complicated and definitely require some experience, but the fundamentals of Hydroponics are very simple, and there's really no simpler way to grow Hydroponically than the tried and true Autopot system!
Autotpot Systems are so simple, and offer an excellent introduction to Hydroponics which is why they're one of my favourite recommendations for beginners and people who don't need a crazy expensive and complicated setup. The reason being is that it takes care of a lot of aspects of Hydroponics for you and teaches you the fundamentals at the same time!
"What is an Autopot?"
So what's going on with these Autopots that makes them so easy to work with? The answer: No Power, Pumps or Timers required for a fully automatic system! This is made possible using Gravity and the power of Wick Feeding.
Essentially, how an Autopot works is as follows:
The Reservoir is placed a little higher than the pot it is connected to, and water will flow down the feed line using Gravity to deliver the water. The pot has a little chamber in it that contains a SmartValve, which is a float Valve (similar to a toilet) that allows water through it until the water reaches a certain level and makes the lever float up and close off the water supply. The Plants then sucks up the water as it pleases from the bottom, and as the water level drops back down the SmartValve opens back up and lets new water in! Essentially the plant waters itself as it needs so you can never under-water or over-water with these systems!
All you need to do past setup (which is also super easy) is replace the nutrient solution in the reservoir when it runs out, and keep the reservoir out of the direct sun. Other than that, the Autopot runs itself.
Additionally, you can use some 4mm irrigation fittings and buy additional modules to endlessly expand your system, so you have your whole crop covered in no time!
"How do I get an Autopot System?"
You now must be wondering how difficult it is to setup one of these systems? Well I'm here to tell you that the entire system is available as a kit with every piece you need to get started for just shy of $140 dollars! The Twin Pot Kit comes with a module that allows you to plant two plants, the reservoir, smart valve, filter, feed lines, nutrients and medium, meaning you can be setup and ready to go in absolutely no time.
Setup is as easy as it gets, you just put the smart valve in the pot module, cut your feed lines to length, put your filter and tap valve somewhere in that feed line, and attach it to the reservoir. Then plant your plants in the pots using the supplied Perlite/Vermiculite mix, mix up your reservoir, and then make sure your tap is opened up and the system will start working!
Maintenance is also a breeze! Depending on how much water your plants are drinking you can leave the system to itself for a week and up to several weeks in certain conditions.
"What Can I Grow in the Autopot?"
Image Credits: Autopot Systems
The short answer is pretty much anything within reason, and given how expandable the system is, you can grow a wide variety of plants from the same reservoir! As long as gravity is able to deliver water to the planting modules and you have enough water supply to sustain your crop, there's really no limit to what you can grow!
In the Twin Pot Kit, the the pots are 10" size, but for larger plants, there are single 20L modules and 12" Modules that also work fantastically, I have grown some of the best chilies in my life in just an Autopot system.
"Are there other options for the Autopot system?"
There's also other types of modules for other purposes such as the Window Module. which has 4 smaller pots for growing herb varieties! You can easily fill a vertical wall with these and as long as the Reservoir can flow down using gravity you never have to worry about much else! The Window pot also has a kit option as well!
If you're looking to expand as well, we also have the 8-pot kit which allows you to really get started on a larger scale. Although you'll need to purchase Nutrients and Medium separately if you don't already have them.
The best part about the Autopot system is that its as only as complicated as you need it to be, and is an excellent way to reap the benefits of hydroponics without the fuss! Autopots can be used indoors as well under grow lights and can really help with learning to get your environment dialed in without worry about pump timings and feed schedules.
There's bound to be configuration that suits you!
"What if I want to try different Mediums/Nutrients?"
Here's the good thing about the Autopot, you can change how it's setup pretty freely. By this I mean as long as you're not using organic Nutrients in the system, pretty much anything else will work! I really like how Coco-Perlite mix works in the system, and have used several different brands in my Nutrient Mix and it all worked fine. I'd personally recommend putting something like Floramax's System Maintenance or Pythoff Plus to keep any unwanted buildup at bay.
"Autopots, Roll Out!"
Seriously if you've not given one of these a go yet I highly recommend picking up the Twin Pot Kit. That was where I found my start personally, and I'm still using them!
What's not to love? They're easy to to use, excellent value, and expandable! They also make excellent Christmas/Birthday gifts for your friends with a Green Thumb!
Additionally we stock all the spare parts for the Autopot systems and if you need any advice on how to get the most out of them, you can come have a chat to use in-store and we'll be more than happy to help!
We sure love the Autopot here at Fran's Hydroponics and you will too if you come check it out in store or visit the Website!
When you spend $199*
*Excludes bulky items: soil, tents etc
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