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diy air pots

Alternative to an “air pot” diy idea

dave_jam
Member

I was just messing around the other day and after reading about smart pots and air pots, I got to thinking about using that concept early on to let the roots branch out real good from the start.
So I went and melted tiny holes in a red solo cup so that oxygen can get to the roots on the sides and underneath.

Will this be effective? Also I’m thinking it might be hard to keep the soil wet..

Well-Known Member

Long before air pots existed people have done this. I’ve poked holes, cut slices, etc. into Solo’s. Have over 100 Homer’s with holes drilled in the sides.

Will it work? You have to consider this; “is it conducive in regards to the environment and vice versa”. It really isn’t necesary if you have the environment dialed to your strain. Running numerous strains, there may be some that benefit, some hindered. “Depends”, like adult diapers, some need ’em, some don’t.

MickFoster
Well-Known Member

I’m sure that it will help some. Air pots are designed to guide the roots to the holes. You can buy 10 propagation cells for $25.

Flowki
Well-Known Member

The idea of air pots is so that root tips get to the air and can die off or stop growing, they send out new roots rather than the original ones circling the inside of the pot (as would with a normal pot) and becoming root bound.

If you look at the design of the air pots they direct the roots into a much bigger hole so that the root is ”fooled” into getting exposed easier. The entire pot is shaped so that circling is the most resistant path for roots.

One of the downsides of air pots is the outsides will dry up faster than the core due to more air exposure but the potential upside of a root system that is not root bound surely makes up for it (it could be possible a root bound system may have more root mass but is much less efficient). With air pots higher humidity will also see the soil suck in more moisture through the holes, if it’s a good or bad thing probably depends.

If you just poke some small holes in the side of a cup you will likely get some of the downside with little upside due to the small holes and flat smooth surface of the rounded cup. In other words the roots will probably circle the cup as normal for the most part.

Jaybodankly
Well-Known Member
vostok
Well-Known Member

many many threads on the web on how to make ur own airpots

to your garden store and get a roll of weedmat

a 3usg pot as a template

cut tape and glue ur container, save bigbucks

(don’t forget to plan in lifting handles)

or if you have recently killed a fat bastard steal his pants

slice above the knee, tie ankle to knot

insert 5usg of soil

ps or water less?

OldMedUser
Well-Known Member

I used a fine point 15w soldering iron to punch little holes all over the lower parts of the 9-hole seed starter pots I like to use for seeds or clones. Did dry out really fast so I don’t do that no more. They dry out fast enough as it is.

Jaybodankly
Well-Known Member

I used a fine point 15w soldering iron to punch little holes all over the lower parts of the 9-hole seed starter pots I like to use for seeds or clones. Did dry out really fast so I don’t do that no more. They dry out fast enough as it is.

mr. childs
Well-Known Member
Bareback
Well-Known Member
Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

Bottom line. “Smart Pots” are not! I hate all fiber/cloth pots!

You create a real tight root ball in the core of the pot. You water and a good portion of that flows right over the root ball and out the sides and bottom of the “smart” pot. You now have to pour that back into the pot or let it sit in it’s own “pee” and soak it back up. Not good idea’s. Ok then, I’ll just make more feed solution and let it have more till that tight as hell root ball is soaked. Now your spending more money on wasting nutrient. I’ll tell you right now that core of the root ball ain’t getting damp! That is called the “Umbrella effect”. Cut root balls in half to see if they got wet. mostly but, those cores, not so much.

I just don’t like them. Oh, and BTW. If the roots are stuck in a smart pot, the root ball grows back in on it’s self creating a different but still “root bound” situation. It’s simply stupid hard to get the “smart pot” one properly watered to the core! I feel that’s limiting nutritional availability to the plant in a way!

But, if they work for you. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

There’s 4 cents of knowledge for my 2 cents.

Flowki
Well-Known Member

Bottom line. “Smart Pots” are not! I hate all fiber/cloth pots!

You create a real tight root ball in the core of the pot. You water and a good portion of that flows right over the root ball and out the sides and bottom of the “smart” pot. You now have to pour that back into the pot or let it sit in it’s own “pee” and soak it back up. Not good idea’s. Ok then, I’ll just make more feed solution and let it have more till that tight as hell root ball is soaked. Now your spending more money on wasting nutrient. I’ll tell you right now that core of the root ball ain’t getting damp! That is called the “Umbrella effect”. Cut root balls in half to see if they got wet. mostly but, those cores, not so much.

I just don’t like them. Oh, and BTW. If the roots are stuck in a smart pot, the root ball grows back in on it’s self creating a different but still “root bound” situation. It’s simply stupid hard to get the “smart pot” one properly watered to the core! I feel that’s limiting nutritional availability to the plant in a way!

But, if they work for you. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

There’s 4 cents of knowledge for my 2 cents.

That is 100% true but if you can combine air pots/smart pots with a slow drip feed, either gravity or timer controlled it counters the outside flooding, or having to let it sit in it’s own dish water to soak back up (maybe not a huge problem if removed in time). With a slow drip/gravity flow you actually have to taper the soil from the stem and down away from it so that the outside gets some love too, rather than just the core. Or if the drio feed is too fast you need to make a bowl with the soil to hold and direct it to the core.

Manual feeding air pots is either time extensive or floods the outer edge as you described. A much better pot would be where the top half is traditional, but the bottom half/ last 3rd is air pot style while the pot itself is straight 90 degree from top to bottom. The tapered wide to short air type pots force water to seep out the sides due to over sight design. If a person was manually creating an air pot that would be my advice, try to find a straight walled pot but at the very most regardless, only punch holes in the bottom half.

Kingrow1
Well-Known Member

I would think smart pots should negate the soil drying process slightly by design but that said why not use them for a more soiless mix that can handle a more rigorous watering cycle.

Craptalk aside, my alternative to a smart pot is a pasta colander..

Lemon king
Well-Known Member

o, post: 13312060, member: 378146″]Bottom line. “Smart Pots” are not! I hate all fiber/cloth pots!

You create a real tight root ball in the core of the pot. You water and a good portion of that flows right over the root ball and out the sides and bottom of the “smart” pot. You now have to pour that back into the pot or let it sit in it’s own “pee” and soak it back up. Not good idea’s. Ok then, I’ll just make more feed solution and let it have more till that tight as hell root ball is soaked. Now your spending more money on wasting nutrient. I’ll tell you right now that core of the root ball ain’t getting damp! That is called the “Umbrella effect”. Cut root balls in half to see if they got wet. mostly but, those cores, not so much.

This also applies to normal pots if you let plants go too long in them the answer is to simply water slower

I just don’t like them. Oh, and BTW. If the roots are stuck in a smart pot, the root ball grows back in on it’s self creating a different but still “root bound” situation.

No the root tip gets stuck in the fabric and dies forcing the roots behind it to split into two just like topping. as above so below!

It’s simply stupid hard to get the “smart pot” one properly watered to the core! I feel that’s limiting nutritional availability to the plant in a way!

Its not hard at all but patience is a virtue i spose and a virtues a gift! But seriously though if you let any medium dry out too much and water it . it will just flo out the sides thats why the lift test is the best. water it and if shes still light wait and water again . repeat untill heavy. then ensure all excess is removed.

But, if they work for you. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

^^^couldnt have said it better myself

There’s 4 cents of knowledge for my 2 cents.

So is this 6 for 2 now? Lol

Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

o, post: 13312060, member: 378146″]Bottom line. “Smart Pots” are not! I hate all fiber/cloth pots!

You create a real tight root ball in the core of the pot. You water and a good portion of that flows right over the root ball and out the sides and bottom of the “smart” pot. You now have to pour that back into the pot or let it sit in it’s own “pee” and soak it back up. Not good idea’s. Ok then, I’ll just make more feed solution and let it have more till that tight as hell root ball is soaked. Now your spending more money on wasting nutrient. I’ll tell you right now that core of the root ball ain’t getting damp! That is called the “Umbrella effect”. Cut root balls in half to see if they got wet. mostly but, those cores, not so much.

This also applies to normal pots if you let plants go too long in them the answer is to simply water slower

I just don’t like them. Oh, and BTW. If the roots are stuck in a smart pot, the root ball grows back in on it’s self creating a different but still “root bound” situation.

No the root tip gets stuck in the fabric and dies forcing the roots behind it to split into two just like topping. as above so below!

It’s simply stupid hard to get the “smart pot” one properly watered to the core! I feel that’s limiting nutritional availability to the plant in a way!

Its not hard at all but patience is a virtue i spose and a virtues a gift! But seriously though if you let any medium dry out too much and water it . it will just flo out the sides thats why the lift test is the best. water it and if shes still light wait and water again . repeat untill heavy. then ensure all excess is removed.

But, if they work for you. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

^^^couldnt have said it better myself

There’s 4 cents of knowledge for my 2 cents.

So is this 6 for 2 now? Lol

I water a metered amount every day. I get more O2 to the roots that way.
I found smart pots to screw me on that by drying out to fast. I watered more to compensate.
You are very right on the “letting any pot get to dry!” I don’t
I do organic soils that I build. I cut root balls open all the time. I disagree that roots in normal pots form a core root ball the way smart pots do! This has direct effect on the ability of that core to absorb moisture.
Cloth pots are a pain and add work. I don’t like them for cannabis growing.

I did run a REAPER pepper a few years ago in a 15 gallon smart pot. Ran her for 3 years and she had a lovely reverse pyramid shape to her. 2 ft of stem and 4 ft of plant. It did well. The wife took her over as she loves the shape of it. It’s in her art (painting) loft/personal space. I see it when she has a party sometimes as she puts it out on her balcony, or if I’m in there helping. It’s grown to about 5.5 ft and she keeps it trimmed to that.
I have green and red pepper plants that are patio peppers that winter in the grow. They are in those old smart pot testers I got. I find the pots work very well for peppers that you intend to keep. Most pepper plants can live to 35-55 years!

I was just messing around the other day and after reading about smart pots and air pots, I got to thinking about using that concept early on to let the…

DIY Air Pruning Pot (Large Pot)

Introduction: DIY Air Pruning Pot (Large Pot)

What is Air Pruning?
According to the University of Washington (no affiliation – first Google result) “Air pruning happens naturally when roots are exposed to air in the absence of high humidity. The roots are effectively “burned” off, causing the plant to constantly produce new and healthy branching roots.”

What this effectively means is that you don’t get the “death spiral” of roots that restrict plant growth, instead, new roots are constantly forming to effectively grab more nutrients for optimal plant growth.

So Let’s get on with it now the science lesson is out of the way 🙂
I like the concept of Air Pruning but don’t see spending 4-5 times the money on a special pot so I elected to make one myself (thanks to some ideas from friends on this Facebook Group)

First things I needed were a pot and a donor plant. A Satsuma tree that my oldest son mishandled and broke because he did not want to bring it in the garage when temps dropped last week was a perfect subject.

So what do you need?
Pot, drill (to drill holes) and 2″ (ish) hole bit, potting mix, landscape fabric, – you know. the usual stuff.
Hover over the images from here as it is pretty straightforward. Also, do me a favor. if you like this instructable, click that little link at the top of the page that says “Vote” and help me out in this contest 🙂

DIY Air Pruning Pot (Large Pot): What is Air Pruning? According to the University of Washington (no affiliation – first Google result) "Air pruning happens naturally when roots are exposed to air in the absence of high humidity. The roots are effectively “burned” off, causing the …