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Homemade flood table?'s..exp. builder?'s

Herbavore

New Member
the store bought tables have trough's along the bottom...the table I put together is really simple, it's a rubber pond liner overtop a wooden framed box...44"x35"x9" deep..i have two the exact same because i want to start a perpetual harvest and get some herb out of my room every month..I think that's what a two stage flowering area would allow? The rockwool cube's I'm going to use are ridged along the bottom so I figure as long as the water drains away from them they'll be fine and get oxygen from the raised bottoms...I was just wondering if I should put some type of flagstone risers for the rockwool to sit on since there no troughs on the bottom of the table they rest in...
 

Droopy Dog

New Member
What about very thin strips of moulding under the liner? Make your own troughs.

DD
 

Racefan

Well-Known Member
Every flood table I've built I've placed a medium under and around the cubes. Usually lava rock but expanded clay worked well too. Roots sitting on a open tray of plastic won't do as well as roots with cover and nooks and crannies to seek out left over moisture will be able do. The only system I didn't bother with a medium under the plants was a NFT set up because of the constant flow of nutrient.
 

Herbavore

New Member
I've seen rockwool put directly into the table, sometimes stacked on top of one another....the 11/2" cube on the 4or6" cube....no hydroton or other mediums...someone told me the roots die when they hit the air and that the roots will stay in the cubes for that reason. Makes sense, but I'm hesitant to go through all the trouble, money, and waste time and effort only to have little to no yield or even worse.......failed crops etc. I'm still unsure about everything, I think some of what I lack most is confidence....I don't want to put the rooted seedlings from the dome/tray into t he table and find out later that I wasn't flooding correctly or enough or too much etc.....or that the table i built wasn't feasible for sustaining plant life...I will get some pics up of the set up...right now I just have some seedlings in soil...same thing i did last time i grew a few plants. My intentions were to grow in a flood table but somehow I stayed stuck in the soil....i grew one plant, sexed it, it was female and then i cloned it with pete pellets and ended up in soil. This time i want to go into starter rockwool and then transplant into larger rockwool and put into flood table. Do they go into table when i put them into larger cubes?
 

Racefan

Well-Known Member
I've seen rockwool put directly into the table, sometimes stacked on top of one another....the 11/2" cube on the 4or6" cube....no hydroton or other mediums...someone told me the roots die when they hit the air and that the roots will stay in the cubes for that reason. Makes sense, but I'm hesitant to go through all the trouble, money, and waste time and effort only to have little to no yield or even worse.......failed crops etc. I'm still unsure about everything, I think some of what I lack most is confidence....I don't want to put the rooted seedlings from the dome/tray into t he table and find out later that I wasn't flooding correctly or enough or too much etc.....or that the table i built wasn't feasible for sustaining plant life...I will get some pics up of the set up...right now I just have some seedlings in soil...same thing i did last time i grew a few plants. My intentions were to grow in a flood table but somehow I stayed stuck in the soil....i grew one plant, sexed it, it was female and then i cloned it with pete pellets and ended up in soil. This time i want to go into starter rockwool and then transplant into larger rockwool and put into flood table. Do they go into table when i put them into larger cubes?
I've seen set ups like you mention as well and as long as you continue to stack them as soon as roots show you will probably have little to no problems but considering bud mass is proportionate to root mass does it make sense to limit yourself just to avoid a seperate medium? Yes roots air prune themselves. Small root systems can only support so much plant material which includes bud. The smaller root system also has to struggle to supply enough nutrient rich solution to the plant which again brings stress and possible disease into your grow. You might want to consider a slab of rockwool for the bottom cube because it will allow more root room than a cube itself will.
 

Herbavore

New Member
i've also got some square pots with holes in the bottom, they're not net pots. I was thinking of starting some seeds in starter grodan cubes then once rooted well, put into 4" rockwool cubes and place onto about11/2" of hydroton and surround with hydroton throughout the pot and place in flood table..any thoughts on this method, only thing with this is I will have to go out and get more pots and hydroton or expanded clay, or some other medium to keep root growth continuing outside rockwool, as suggested by racefan...makes sense though, i can't see a plant growing to good in just a 4" rockwool block 4x3 to be exact..not square cubes...not very deep cubes..like others I've seen on here, the cubes i have would be best in other mediums or in a table filled with hydroton. I was told it would be Pita if one got sick or had to be moved???
 

BroDog

New Member
I have personally tried every way you just mentioned and I have never had great success with rockwool cubes sitting directly in the tray (even in a botonicare tray with troughs). I did however have good results going from 1" rockwool cubes into 2.75 litter individual pots filled with hydroton.

The hydroton allows the roots to get more oxygen and is much harder to overwater then rockwool cubes sitting in a flood table. Rockwool tends to retain a lot of water, so when the table is flooded for 15 minutes the entire cube is saturated which takes a long time to dry. This is not too much of a problem provided you allow plenty of time for the cube to dry out. An excessively saturated rockwool cube doesn't deprive the roots enough (if that makes sense). Roots that are deprived excessive amounts of water search for water, and therefore grow more vastly.

Otoh, explanded clay doesnt retain as much water, so it can be watered more frequently and dry out faster, which will provide more oxygen to the roots and promote vigorus root development.

My suggestion to you is this. It sound like you took cuttings and put them into small rockwool cubes to root. If this is so, allow the roots to develop on the clones. Once there are a good amount of roots coming out of the rockwool cubes transplant them into the 2.75 litter pots filled with hydroton, but when you do so place the clone high in the pot so that when you flood your table the water line just barely hits the bottom of the cubes. This will pull the roots down into the hydroton and you're all set! Roots that grow outside of the holes in the pots will air prune and that is fine! It sounds like you use very little if any veg time if you are harvesting every month so your plants will mature just fine in the 2.75 litter pots. You will be surprised how much air pruned roots can explode inside of these pots! I bet when you pull them out at the end that the hydroton is completely supported by the roots and it all comes out in one piece!

Sorry I started to babble there... anyway, I would go with this method. It has produced much better results for me than rockwool sitting in a tray. I also perfer individual pots over large beds of medium (like: filling your tray with hydroton, or coco mats, or STG mats). With large beds like this you cannot move your girls around, and plants tend to find sitting water in your tray and that has caused root rot for me :oops:

Well I'm gonna stop babbling. I think you got my opinion.
I will say though, that I've seen successful grows using the methods I discouraged (or ripped on... sorry), and I am nowhere near an expert! But I can share my experiences.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU!

PS If you go with individual pots with hydroton, you MIGHT need to find something to lift the pots up just a tiny bit so that water is able to fill the pot from the hoes in the bottom and roots are able to escape and be air pruned.
 
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