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Maximizing root growth in soil containers

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Root growth/mass(all other factors being equal).

Space is also one of the major concerns for indoor growers, who generally cannot move to bigger and bigger pots to allow for bigger root masses.

However, a lot of container space often goes unused, because roots will not grow into the top inches of soil that are often dried out from powerful lights and low humidity. In addition, since MJ soils are typically very airy and light, when watering the top inches of soil are easily disturbed as the dirt is pushed and moved around by the water. This also inhibits roots from growing into the top inches of soil.


In a 1 foot tall pot the top 3 inches of soil will not allow root growth, you are wasting 25% of your soil mass that could be used for roots. In pots that are wider at the top than the bottom, this wasted soil could be even greater!

How then to use this soil? We need to prevent the soil from being disturbed and keep it moist, and hydro growers have been using an ideal product for this for a long time - Hydroton clay balls!

1. Hydroton clay balls are LIGHT.
They won't compact your soil the way putting pebbles on top would.

2. A layer of hydroton clay balls on top of the soil will help the soil underneath it lose moisture through evaporation and low humidity.

By adding a layer of hydroton on top of the soil, soil disturbance is prevented since the water does not directly touch the soil until it has filtered through the layer of hydroton balls. Soil moisture is then trapped underneath the hydroton and less likely to evaporate due to heat and/or low humidity.

This way it is possible to grow plants with roots stretching up all the way to the top of the soil. Those roots will rapidly provide nutrition to the plant when it is watered. It also will help the plant be able to go a longer time without watering since moisture that would have been lost to evaporation is now available to the plant.

Note:
Use a root stimulator during veg growth to help accelerate the root growth process and make sure there is a strong root mass in flowering. The last things you want in flower are wimpy roots (unless you want wimpy yields).
 

InkBuddy

New Member
ROOTMAKER air pots
Can you describe them? I buy one at Walmart that waters from the bottom and has air slots in the bottom of the pot that sits on a clip-on tray. Part of the pot sits into the water in the tray and the soil wicks only the water that it needs and part of the soil sits above the water over air/drainage slots. They hold about 3+ gallons. It's easy to flush by watering with RO water from the top and letting it drain into the bottom. It's important to soak the soil when first planting in order for the wicking action to take hold.
 

mangosnapper

Well-Known Member
During a soil grow. What would be the recommended pot size container to work with ?

example : when I first start the cycle...would I go with a (1) gallon pot, then proceed to a (2) gallon pot? And when I go to flowering phase start with a (3) gallon pot and finish with a (5) gallon pot for my grow cycle? I understand letting your root growth dictate the size pot. But is there a general rule of thumb?

continued thanks, and happy yields... :Namaste:
 

BudTester420

On Vacation
During a soil grow. What would be the recommended pot size container to work with ?

example : when I first start the cycle...would I go with a (1) gallon pot, then proceed to a (2) gallon pot? And when I go to flowering phase start with a (3) gallon pot and finish with a (5) gallon pot for my grow cycle? I understand letting your root growth dictate the size pot. But is there a general rule of thumb?

continued thanks, and happy yields... :Namaste:

I've heard it done the way you described or they start in a solo cup then to a 2 or 3 gallon then to a 5 or 7. But wait a week or two before flower in their final pot size so you don't cause stress during flower
 

mangosnapper

Well-Known Member
Thanks BT, that's kinda what I was thinking too. I have always used just regular buckets. But I think for my next grow. I want to try something different, like maybe a grow pot ( fabric ) or maybe the aero pot with all the holes to air prune. I watched a video on the AP and the roots looked super when they took the thing off a tree or something like that. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, again Thanks

happy growing...:thumb:
 

Thehalobluntm

Active Member
Would the hydroton work with a 100% mulch grow? Would love to try it if anyone thinks it'd b a good idea. Check my post for my progress so far please
 

Kingsnake235

New Member
i read this post a while back and checked my local supplier; they don't sell the clay balls in small quantities, but i figured lava rock may be a good substitute?

does anyone have any experience trying this?
 

yankeetoker

Well-Known Member
i read this post a while back and checked my local supplier; they don't sell the clay balls in small quantities, but i figured lava rock may be a good substitute?

does anyone have any experience trying this?

Try Amazon, you can get a couple of pounds for about $10.
 
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