Sheffield Spice up AutoPots
You've gotta love the AutoPot - it's a huge time saver & cost saver.
Want to see what it can do? Look what we grew in one! Here's a clue - it's chillies.
What we grew
We grew some cracking Friar's Hat chillies - aka a Bishop's Hat and Bartlett’s Bonnet. You only have to look at it to see why.
It comes from Brazil, and is a member of the Baccatum species of chilli.
For you hot heads out there, this is a mild chilli - a lot like a Jalapeno pepper. It was planted a little late, but it's still come along nicely.
Mostly because we're busy and AutoPots are easy. There are no plugs, timers or pumps - you just throw the system up and it sees to itself. You get great results, too.
Plus, it's got a flexible layout. If we wanted to make space for another plant, it'd be nice and easy.
The trick was to only transplant into an Autopot once plants were ready.
Since we were going to use media, plants were propagated in Jiffy Pellets
Finally they ended up being transplanted into the AutoPot 15 Litre Square Pots.
We fed plants via a watering can for a few weeks, to give roots time to develop. As soon as they started needing daily top ups, we set the system up and switched it on.
Managing our nutrient solution was pretty easy, really. We chose to use Canna Coco this time.
You'll probably notice that we switched the standard 47L tank that comes with the AutoPot 4-Plant System to a 100 Litre Space Sava Water Butt.
We did this because it's bigger and we didn't want to top up or change our tank as often as we'd like to.
That said, we did have to keep a close eye on our nutrient strength.
In AutoPots, nutrients can build up in your media if your nutrient strength is too high.
During the summer (high temp, low himidity), plants need more water and fewer nutrients. So we kept to CF15 (EC 1.5).
Over the past few months, however, we increased the CF to around CF 22, as the temperature & humidity in our greenhouse went up.
By late October a sensational crop of chillies was ready to harvest, all grown with minimum fuss using an AutoPot 4-Plant System!
If you're worried abour overfeeding, every 2-3 weeks:
1.) Wait until the reservoir is empty and plants obviously need feeding
2.) Fill your tank with a half strength feed
3.) Hand feed plants and emptying the run-off from the bottom tray until 50% of it has been collected.
4.) Fill the reservoir with a nutrient solution that is back up to full strength
5.) The plants will have had a chance to recover and are now ready for normal feeds again
If that sounds like too much work, just use a half strength nutrient solution every 3rd time you fill your tank.