Monday, May 4, 2009

Serendipity strikes again

This plant is an English Daisy, Bellis Perennis, however the pot, not the plant, is the subject of this post.

Today I needed some straw for a small raised bed of strawberries so I stopped by the local Agway. I really only needed a small armload, as I only have eight or ten plants. The woman told me they only had bales, but she also told me there was a broken bale in the barn, and to help myself to what I needed from the loose pile.

Well, I could not leave without buying anything, so I asked her if they had pots, as I needed some pot saucers for plants I want to tuck into nooks and crannies in the greenhouse. When she showed me the pots she mentioned an automatic pot she uses for her plants. She said she only waters it when she plants them, and she puts them outside and forgets them.

I was very interested as I am growing several plants in coco coir and perlite, and I have to pour nutrients through them when they begin to dry. The pot in the photo is like a mini version of the AutoPot. It has an elevated arch on the bottom that has a wick running the length of the arch. And, there is a reservoir on the bottom that contains a small yellow disk that serves as an indicator of the fluid level. To start the process you simply water the plant as usual and fill the reservoir. When the plant needs more water it draws it from the reservoir by capillary action. Just like the AutoPot.

After placing the plant in the pot I poured nutrient solution through the medium until the nutrient began to drip from the opening in the reservoir. As you can see in the photo the small yellow disk is floating on the surface of the nutrients. It is a simple matter to check the reservoir periodically and refill it as necessary. The pot is supposed to go two weeks between fillings. Of course the growing conditions will have an effect on how often the reservoir needs to be refilled. This pot is a small five or six inch pot,however there are larger versions of this pot that I will purchase if this one performs as I expect.

These pots only cost me $1.99 each, and I expect that they will be well worth it. Again, time will tell......

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