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The Proper Way To Water A Potted Plant

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
Absolutely loved ur article. Would adding air to the water help the plants? Doing my first medicinal grow now and decided on compost teas (until I learn more I went with Boogie Brew for the main base US organics Terp tea as a lil supplement and worm castings) to deliver nutes thru microbes. Since I have the air pump I've been thinking about running it with just water for a lil extra 02. I also like to water with 1 teaspoon organic blackstrap molasses and 1 teaspoon organic aloe powder. Do you think these are a waste of time money? Personally I enjoy it, but it's not about me haha.
sounds like all good stuff! Air is always helpful when you mix it into the water too
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
I am going to add this link to cover the special watering requirements for the Auto growers who start their plants in their final container. This link, being a later reformulation of some of my thoughts covered earlier in this document, provides an added explanation of the watering mode changeover that happens as we transition to flower and this link is intended to go along with and supplement the flowering addendum added in a few pages back.

 

Propmstr416

New Member
The Proper Way to Water a Potted Plant
Also covered: the importance of pH and why we successively up-pot


How to Water
Over the last several years I have put a lot of study into this, and I feel that I can now define the proper way to water a potted plant. Keep in mind that this discussion applies to at least 3 gallon containers and bigger. Please realize that this special plant of ours does not grow like anything else you have ever tried to grow, and no matter how good you are at growing peas, beans and tomatoes, you will have to change your methods to grow a weed.


The first rule of watering is to always water slowly, using no more than a quart at a time, pausing often to let the soil suck air in behind the water as it pools on the top. For me, that involves a routine of watering each of my plants with 1 quart, then taking a nice relaxing drink of whatever beverage I have brought with me to the tent. Then I take a deep breath, making sure to exhale deeply onto this plant, letting her know that I love her. After this, I take a nice big hit off of the pipe that also followed me into the tent, and then after a nice pause and maybe another drink, I go back to plant #1 and repeat the cycle. For 2 rounds, I water the entire surface of the soil, watching it pool up and get sucked down.


After this initial wetting of the top, my watering method changes a bit. Now, I want to do whatever I can to make the outside edges of the container, the wettest areas. Still only using a quart at a time, I now carefully water only there, all around the plant, only on the edges. While doing this, I slow down a bit so that the water doesn't pool as much in the center, always concentrating on the edges. The center will end up getting some too, and that's fine, but the wettest areas of the pot will be on the outside edges and you will be driving nutrient rich soil into the dense original root ball. Continue this, again going slow, maybe with a deep breath in the middle of it, and then continue all around, taking drinks, deep breaths and hits in between each round. Continue until you see the first signs of runoff, and then stop.


Look carefully at the surface of your container now. You will clearly see where the root ball is from your last transplant, because it will now be sticking up just a little bit above the original outer rim. Very fine soil has been driven through the original root ball with the flow of water and soil from the outer edges. This micro fine soil is very rich with nutrients because of its mobility. When you water from the outside edges, you force this micro fine sludge into the dense root ball, where it can do the most good. Once you establish this flow pattern in the container, you can be assured of totally replacing the micro soil in the center of the root ball with new soil, every time you water. Watering in the normal way does not create his circular flow, and root growth cannot be nearly as aggressive.
soil_with_arrow_640_1_.png

Lastly, take one last quart of water, and water very very slowly, just in the raised area where the original root ball is. As you do so, watch what happens at the outer edge of the original root ball.

You will see the very finest soil, almost a mud, migrating out of the old root ball, and into the middle! This completes the process of soil exchange in the container. In this manner, all the roots get to take advantage of the nutrients in the soil, and the roots follow the migration of the nutrient rich soil, toward the outer edges, creating lateral growth. I strive to actively drive the soil out of the middle, making room for the roots to grow more dense and bigger there, and as they do, the lateral growth also has to increase. Using this method, I have seen a steady increase in the amount of water needed to get to run off throughout the grow and by the end, plants watered in this way use approximately 30% more water than is seen using standard watering techniques. Watering in the manner I have described allows for a constant circular flow of soil throughout the container and will create an extremely dense root ball.
proper_potted_plant_number_2.jpg



Now it is time for a truism. It is best to water the roots, not the plant. A healthy and robust root system means a happy and productive plant. Neglect the roots and your plants can die, and certainly will be less than they could have been.

When do we water?
By far, one of the most common plant problems that I see with new gardeners is a lack of understanding as to when to water. New people get it set in their mind that watering every day or every other day is best, or that somehow, mysteriously, they know in their own human minds exactly how much water the plants need. These well-meaning new gardeners will determine that they will give exactly one quart or some other random amount, each time, no more... and no less, and really believe that they are doing a good thing for their plants, making these decisions for them.
Just as bad as these over-thinkers are the tomato gardeners, the "stick your finger in the ground" crowd, who proclaim: it's time to water when it is dry below the second knuckle. What they fail to realize is that when the top 2 inches is dry, the lower half of the container could still be saturated with water. Both of these common mistakes in watering methods are quick ways to drown your plants. These methods are not correct for growing weeds, and using them can actually kill your plants.


Marijuana is a weed, and the main thing that this scientific term refers to, is a class of plant that thrives in adversity. In order to grow it well, you need to understand that this incredibly robust plant works differently than other, less hardy plants. It is an extremely aggressive grower if you allow it to be, and to grow prize winning pot, you need to use its abilities to send out new roots to your advantage.


Watering incorrectly is the most common mistake that new weed farmers make. This plant needs a clear wet/dry cycle in order to thrive. If you keep it moist, you will kill it. The roots will aggressively chase your water, whatever you give them. If you just give a small amount every couple of days, that water will drop right to the bottom of the container. Your roots will follow, and will cluster on the bottom, instead of growing laterally throughout the container, and since they continually sit in the nutrient rich water, the plant sees little need to grow additional roots. How you water makes a huge difference in the formation of the root ball, and how this development happens is up to you.


There are many ways to tell when it is time to water, and if you wait long enough the girls will actually tell you that they are thirsty. They do two things when they see that they need water, they throw out a smell, and they begin to wilt, starting at the bottom, moving up. You can also use the lift method to tell when the container is dry, and almost always you will "feel" a dry container, before the above mentioned wilt and fragrance pump happens. Rusty Trichome taught me an important lesson; every time I think that I need to do something to my plants, I wait a bit... and I try to move at the speed that my plants are moving. "Patience, above all else." --Rusty


If you have a moisture meter you can also use it to find where the wet/dry (water table) line is in your container, and you can watch that wet/dry line move down over time. I used to graph my water table level by day, so that I could project ahead when the wet dry line would reach the last inch of container. Your wet/dry line will never go lower than that last inch or so, because once you get down in there, you are in all the big tap roots and mass at the bottom, and it tends to stay wet there longer because of capillary effect. Again, if you wait for the first sign of wilt and that perfume pump that happens at "water me" point, it will usually be just a bit longer than your measurements would indicate. Once the water table line is anywhere in that bottom inch is ok to water. You have dried out 95% of the water by that time and the roots have been chasing it as the wet/dry line progresses both downward and outward. The suction caused by the diaphragm that is the water table, will have pulled oxygen down deep into the container, and filled any voids. The roots will be happy.


Why do we up-pot?
The art of successive up-potting is important in growing a healthy root system. People like to be lazy. I am constantly seeing new gardeners take a little sprig of a weed and put it in a big 3 or 5 gallon container, thinking that they have done a good thing, and are now done with it... it's on to harvest time! The problem is, this doesn't work, because it gives you zero control over developing the roots, and without crazy watering techniques, almost no chance of a solid root ball forming. It is imperative to successively up pot your plants through stages so that the root system can roughly take on the same size and shape as the plant in order to get the maximum productivity. The roots grow aggressively in these weeds, and if you confine them to a container the size of the plant, they will fill that space in a short time with a dense root system. Putting a plant in an oversized container can and often does, result in all the roots going to the bottom, drowning the plant, root rot and overall poor health because of a lack of a root ball, and certainly less than optimum harvests. It is important to force these weeds into producing a root ball at various stages, to give the plant the ability later on to take in the massive amounts of nutrients needed to produce lots of quality buds.
The plants in the smaller containers can also more directly show you when they are thriving or more importantly when they are not. A strong healthy plant will eventually outgrow its container and an observant gardener is carefully watching the length of time between wet/dry cycles, and directly relating shorter cycles with more robust roots. A smaller container also gives the gardener the ability to see when the moment arrives that the amount of soil the plant is in is no longer large enough for the plant's abilities to be happy in it, because it will be obvious when the plant can drain the water that soil is able to hold, in less than 24 hours. Your soil and your container at that point have ceased at that point to be a good enough buffer, and it is time to double the space the roots have to work with. Let your plant show you when that time is, and try not to make decisions for her.


Why is pH important?
Some people claim that pH is not important, and if you are a pure organic gardener, never applying chlorinated water or salt based synthetic nutrients at your plants, pH indeed is not important. For the 99.9% rest of the world, a very important lesson for the new gardener to learn is the importance of pH. There is a scientific reason why a proper pH allows the plants to use synthetic nutrients, and why being outside of the proper range can cause deficiencies. If you want to grow pot using chemicals, you need to invest in a method to test the pH of any water going into the plant, whether it is plain water or water mixed with nutrients, and whether it is applied to the roots or sprayed on the leaves. If you neglect the pH, you can easily create deficiencies in your plants, and if left unchecked, you can even kill them. If you spend a lot of money on nutrients, it makes sense that you would want to also create the proper environment so that the plant can use these nutrients, but with a pH way out of the 6.3-6.8 range in soil, a lot of those expensive nutrients will just sit there, not doing the plant any good. If you are in a soilless mix, pH in the range of 5.5-6.1 is necessary. It is only within these ranges that all the nutrients are mobile, are able to be broken free of their salt bonds and be in the form that can go into the plants. Most soils and systems are designed so that you can apply liquids at a lower pH and then the soil or the soilless mix causes a drift, so that the pH can visit each spot in the usable pH range for that medium, and all of the 17 needed nutrients will be picked up, each in its turn.


I hope that this study on containers, watering and pH helps someone who reads it. This paper was a result of having to explain these same concepts over and over and over again to new growers at they hit the forums, until finally I put all these thoughts together into this paper. Some of the thoughts previously given have also been refined for this publication, as questions were asked and answered the last time I posted it, and I have learned better ways of explaining my thoughts. Here, I give you, approximately draft 10 of this paper.


Be well everyone and blessings from my garden to yours,
Sense Emilya
The Proper Way to Water a Potted Plant
Also covered: the importance of pH and why we successively up-pot


How to Water
Over the last several years I have put a lot of study into this, and I feel that I can now define the proper way to water a potted plant. Keep in mind that this discussion applies to at least 3 gallon containers and bigger. Please realize that this special plant of ours does not grow like anything else you have ever tried to grow, and no matter how good you are at growing peas, beans and tomatoes, you will have to change your methods to grow a weed.


The first rule of watering is to always water slowly, using no more than a quart at a time, pausing often to let the soil suck air in behind the water as it pools on the top. For me, that involves a routine of watering each of my plants with 1 quart, then taking a nice relaxing drink of whatever beverage I have brought with me to the tent. Then I take a deep breath, making sure to exhale deeply onto this plant, letting her know that I love her. After this, I take a nice big hit off of the pipe that also followed me into the tent, and then after a nice pause and maybe another drink, I go back to plant #1 and repeat the cycle. For 2 rounds, I water the entire surface of the soil, watching it pool up and get sucked down.


After this initial wetting of the top, my watering method changes a bit. Now, I want to do whatever I can to make the outside edges of the container, the wettest areas. Still only using a quart at a time, I now carefully water only there, all around the plant, only on the edges. While doing this, I slow down a bit so that the water doesn't pool as much in the center, always concentrating on the edges. The center will end up getting some too, and that's fine, but the wettest areas of the pot will be on the outside edges and you will be driving nutrient rich soil into the dense original root ball. Continue this, again going slow, maybe with a deep breath in the middle of it, and then continue all around, taking drinks, deep breaths and hits in between each round. Continue until you see the first signs of runoff, and then stop.


Look carefully at the surface of your container now. You will clearly see where the root ball is from your last transplant, because it will now be sticking up just a little bit above the original outer rim. Very fine soil has been driven through the original root ball with the flow of water and soil from the outer edges. This micro fine soil is very rich with nutrients because of its mobility. When you water from the outside edges, you force this micro fine sludge into the dense root ball, where it can do the most good. Once you establish this flow pattern in the container, you can be assured of totally replacing the micro soil in the center of the root ball with new soil, every time you water. Watering in the normal way does not create his circular flow, and root growth cannot be nearly as aggressive.
soil_with_arrow_640_1_.png

Lastly, take one last quart of water, and water very very slowly, just in the raised area where the original root ball is. As you do so, watch what happens at the outer edge of the original root ball.

You will see the very finest soil, almost a mud, migrating out of the old root ball, and into the middle! This completes the process of soil exchange in the container. In this manner, all the roots get to take advantage of the nutrients in the soil, and the roots follow the migration of the nutrient rich soil, toward the outer edges, creating lateral growth. I strive to actively drive the soil out of the middle, making room for the roots to grow more dense and bigger there, and as they do, the lateral growth also has to increase. Using this method, I have seen a steady increase in the amount of water needed to get to run off throughout the grow and by the end, plants watered in this way use approximately 30% more water than is seen using standard watering techniques. Watering in the manner I have described allows for a constant circular flow of soil throughout the container and will create an extremely dense root ball.
proper_potted_plant_number_2.jpg



Now it is time for a truism. It is best to water the roots, not the plant. A healthy and robust root system means a happy and productive plant. Neglect the roots and your plants can die, and certainly will be less than they could have been.

When do we water?
By far, one of the most common plant problems that I see with new gardeners is a lack of understanding as to when to water. New people get it set in their mind that watering every day or every other day is best, or that somehow, mysteriously, they know in their own human minds exactly how much water the plants need. These well-meaning new gardeners will determine that they will give exactly one quart or some other random amount, each time, no more... and no less, and really believe that they are doing a good thing for their plants, making these decisions for them.
Just as bad as these over-thinkers are the tomato gardeners, the "stick your finger in the ground" crowd, who proclaim: it's time to water when it is dry below the second knuckle. What they fail to realize is that when the top 2 inches is dry, the lower half of the container could still be saturated with water. Both of these common mistakes in watering methods are quick ways to drown your plants. These methods are not correct for growing weeds, and using them can actually kill your plants.


Marijuana is a weed, and the main thing that this scientific term refers to, is a class of plant that thrives in adversity. In order to grow it well, you need to understand that this incredibly robust plant works differently than other, less hardy plants. It is an extremely aggressive grower if you allow it to be, and to grow prize winning pot, you need to use its abilities to send out new roots to your advantage.


Watering incorrectly is the most common mistake that new weed farmers make. This plant needs a clear wet/dry cycle in order to thrive. If you keep it moist, you will kill it. The roots will aggressively chase your water, whatever you give them. If you just give a small amount every couple of days, that water will drop right to the bottom of the container. Your roots will follow, and will cluster on the bottom, instead of growing laterally throughout the container, and since they continually sit in the nutrient rich water, the plant sees little need to grow additional roots. How you water makes a huge difference in the formation of the root ball, and how this development happens is up to you.


There are many ways to tell when it is time to water, and if you wait long enough the girls will actually tell you that they are thirsty. They do two things when they see that they need water, they throw out a smell, and they begin to wilt, starting at the bottom, moving up. You can also use the lift method to tell when the container is dry, and almost always you will "feel" a dry container, before the above mentioned wilt and fragrance pump happens. Rusty Trichome taught me an important lesson; every time I think that I need to do something to my plants, I wait a bit... and I try to move at the speed that my plants are moving. "Patience, above all else." --Rusty


If you have a moisture meter you can also use it to find where the wet/dry (water table) line is in your container, and you can watch that wet/dry line move down over time. I used to graph my water table level by day, so that I could project ahead when the wet dry line would reach the last inch of container. Your wet/dry line will never go lower than that last inch or so, because once you get down in there, you are in all the big tap roots and mass at the bottom, and it tends to stay wet there longer because of capillary effect. Again, if you wait for the first sign of wilt and that perfume pump that happens at "water me" point, it will usually be just a bit longer than your measurements would indicate. Once the water table line is anywhere in that bottom inch is ok to water. You have dried out 95% of the water by that time and the roots have been chasing it as the wet/dry line progresses both downward and outward. The suction caused by the diaphragm that is the water table, will have pulled oxygen down deep into the container, and filled any voids. The roots will be happy.


Why do we up-pot?
The art of successive up-potting is important in growing a healthy root system. People like to be lazy. I am constantly seeing new gardeners take a little sprig of a weed and put it in a big 3 or 5 gallon container, thinking that they have done a good thing, and are now done with it... it's on to harvest time! The problem is, this doesn't work, because it gives you zero control over developing the roots, and without crazy watering techniques, almost no chance of a solid root ball forming. It is imperative to successively up pot your plants through stages so that the root system can roughly take on the same size and shape as the plant in order to get the maximum productivity. The roots grow aggressively in these weeds, and if you confine them to a container the size of the plant, they will fill that space in a short time with a dense root system. Putting a plant in an oversized container can and often does, result in all the roots going to the bottom, drowning the plant, root rot and overall poor health because of a lack of a root ball, and certainly less than optimum harvests. It is important to force these weeds into producing a root ball at various stages, to give the plant the ability later on to take in the massive amounts of nutrients needed to produce lots of quality buds.
The plants in the smaller containers can also more directly show you when they are thriving or more importantly when they are not. A strong healthy plant will eventually outgrow its container and an observant gardener is carefully watching the length of time between wet/dry cycles, and directly relating shorter cycles with more robust roots. A smaller container also gives the gardener the ability to see when the moment arrives that the amount of soil the plant is in is no longer large enough for the plant's abilities to be happy in it, because it will be obvious when the plant can drain the water that soil is able to hold, in less than 24 hours. Your soil and your container at that point have ceased at that point to be a good enough buffer, and it is time to double the space the roots have to work with. Let your plant show you when that time is, and try not to make decisions for her.


Why is pH important?
Some people claim that pH is not important, and if you are a pure organic gardener, never applying chlorinated water or salt based synthetic nutrients at your plants, pH indeed is not important. For the 99.9% rest of the world, a very important lesson for the new gardener to learn is the importance of pH. There is a scientific reason why a proper pH allows the plants to use synthetic nutrients, and why being outside of the proper range can cause deficiencies. If you want to grow pot using chemicals, you need to invest in a method to test the pH of any water going into the plant, whether it is plain water or water mixed with nutrients, and whether it is applied to the roots or sprayed on the leaves. If you neglect the pH, you can easily create deficiencies in your plants, and if left unchecked, you can even kill them. If you spend a lot of money on nutrients, it makes sense that you would want to also create the proper environment so that the plant can use these nutrients, but with a pH way out of the 6.3-6.8 range in soil, a lot of those expensive nutrients will just sit there, not doing the plant any good. If you are in a soilless mix, pH in the range of 5.5-6.1 is necessary. It is only within these ranges that all the nutrients are mobile, are able to be broken free of their salt bonds and be in the form that can go into the plants. Most soils and systems are designed so that you can apply liquids at a lower pH and then the soil or the soilless mix causes a drift, so that the pH can visit each spot in the usable pH range for that medium, and all of the 17 needed nutrients will be picked up, each in its turn.


I hope that this study on containers, watering and pH helps someone who reads it. This paper was a result of having to explain these same concepts over and over and over again to new growers at they hit the forums, until finally I put all these thoughts together into this paper. Some of the thoughts previously given have also been refined for this publication, as questions were asked and answered the last time I posted it, and I have learned better ways of explaining my thoughts. Here, I give you, approximately draft 10 of this paper.


Be well everyone and blessings from my garden to yours,
Sense Emilya
 

CannaFish

Well-Known Member
Great read. I'm a lot more aware of when to water after reading this thread.

What do you think about extending the dry cycle during late flowering to expose the plant to drought stress. The drought stress activating the plant into responding with increased oil and THC resins?
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
Great read. I'm a lot more aware of when to water after reading this thread.

What do you think about extending the dry cycle during late flowering to expose the plant to drought stress. The drought stress activating the plant into responding with increased oil and THC resins?
Glad you got something out of this! Thank you.
Drought stress is definitely an aggressive tool that can be used to cause the plant to accelerate toward the end, but in my opinion this technique is near the bottom of the list of things I would normally do in that regard. In an organic grow, an extended dry cycle drastically reduces the number of active microbes working in the soil, and this can lead to a premature stopping of the feeding cycle, so this technique would never be used there. The plants need lots of water to properly finish out, and while an overly thirsty plant may hasten its demise, and while doing so does produce a surge of oil and resins, there are other and better ways to accomplish this same thing without forcing the plant toward an early death and a premature finish. There is an advantage to keeping a short and regular watering cycle during bloom, because with more waterings you are able to get more water up into the plant over the span of the grow, and with each of those waterings are the added potential to supply even more nutrients, so you can keep growth strong and rapid. Let's say that you extend the watering cycle for 1 day and move to an every three day watering cycle half way through bloom... compared to every other day watering, you will miss out on some waterings, roughly 6 of them during the back half of bloom. That is 6 times that they get less water, water that cumulatively goes into the final harvest, and 6 applications of nutes that didn't get a chance to be used. In my current grow, that would equate to 6 gallons of water that my plant would not have drank, along with 30 grams of nutes. I believe that any gain you might have from the plant feeling stress from a lack of water will be offset by the missed potential of that much more water and nutes coming in and being able to be used.

There are other less diminutive ways to make the plants finish strongly at the end rather than regularly making the plant overly thirsty. I regularly will dim or raise the light in the last 2 weeks in order to tell the plant that the end of the season is near. I will reduce the temperature in my grow room by 10 degrees. In the last week I have been known to drive a nail or a screw through the base of the trunk. Back before I knew better, I would starve my plants in the last week or even two, giving water but no nutrients. All these help the plant to make the decision that it is time to hurry up and by sending the message in less forceful ways, you don't give the plant an artificial and premature death.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
This study is what prompted me to think about the drought stress...


I have more questions after reading it. But it sounds like they withheld water for 11 days starting on week 7 of flower and saw an increase in THC. Something to think about.
If you are going 11 days between watering this weed, you are doing this all wrong.

You have misread the thesis... This cut backs up exactly what I said above about watering frequency and the increase in growth from watering and fertilizing more often:
High irrigation frequency is known to increase plant growth in some species (de Kreij and Straver, 1988; Katsoulas et al., 2006; Morvant et al., 1998; Silber et al., 2003, 2005). In greenhouse-grown roses (Rosa hybrid L., ‘First Red’), doubling irrigation frequency while maintaining constant total irrigation volume increased the dry weight of cut flower shoots by approximately 30% over a lower frequency irrigation (Katsoulas et al., 2006). Similar effects have been reported in greenhouse-grown Codiaeum variegatum L.; using a flood and drain irrigation system, de Kreij and Straver (1988) found that high irrigation frequency combined with high-porosity substrates increased plant growth and reduced substrate nutrient leaching. Increased irrigation frequency can also increase aboveground biomass in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L., 'Iceberg'; Silber et al., 2003) and peppers (Capsicum annum L., 'Selika'; Silber et al., 2005). The increased growth from frequent irrigation has been attributed to enhanced nutrient uptake, specifically improved P mobilization and uptake (Silber et al., 2003, 2005).
In this next quote, you can see that he is talking about the substrates, where one dries out faster than the other, and he found that the one that suffered from the most drought stress, ie, running out of water more often, ended up being the healthier plant because it had to be watered more often.

The drier substrate produced higher floral yield, GI, THC concentration, THC yield, THCA yield and, CBGA yield than U2, possibly because of higher fertigation frequency and/or adequate root zone oxygen leading to a more favorable root zone environment.
In chapters 5 and 6 where he finds the higher concentrations in all the major cannabinoids in the drought stressed plants simply speaks to what we were discussing above about the various techniques available to us to make the plants finish at the end instead of dragging things out and maybe trying to initiate a second flowering. I would like to see this study continued by comparing a drought stressed plant with its lessor overall growth, against a plant given copious amounts of water, but end stressed in different ways, maybe in an attempt to find the BEST way to stress the plants at the end. I continue to bank on my experimental data that says to feed and water the plant right to the end, and provide alternative means to signal to the plant that it is time to finish up and that this would equal the rise in cannabinoids seen in this experiment, along with overall superior growth.
 

CannaFish

Well-Known Member
What I took from the study is that there is possibly a higher concentration of THC related to drought stress. I would think that would catch the attention of any stoner.

No doubt you will get increased plant growth from more waterings and fertigation.

If there is a lack of yield from the drought stress, that can be offset by increasing plant densities or longer veg time.

I read the study as they did not water for 11 days starting at week 7, then watered the plants after the 11 days, then harvested right after that at day 54 of flower. They did it right at the very end of the flower cycle. I can see this possibly working and worth trying on an extra clone sometime. We should make a show called Spliff Busters where we test these thc enhancing techniques like putting a nail through the stem, or cincturing, or cold shocking, or leaving in darkness for 72 hrs.
 

dr0id

New Member
thanks that is a ton of great info.
I have been tracking moisture level and soil temp with an arduino for my plants and they seem to grow best if they need water(360 level) about every 3 days. Do you have any thoughts on the temperature of the soil in relation to growth? I have 4 plants in a 4 by 4 tent, the soil temp goes down during the day and up at night, also drops when watered(water is about 58 degrees), I should track the air temperature to see if the soil temperature is changing in relation to it at night. I added pics for the data below, one of the plants isnt as thirsty as the others, i will cut back on the amount of water it receives. the temperature reading is in Celsius and needs the decimal moved one digit to the left
Screenshot_20200320-194327.png
Screenshot_20200320-194356.png
Screenshot_20200320-194356.png
Screenshot_20200320-194516.png
Screenshot_20200320-194543.png
Screenshot_20200320-194606.png
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
thanks that is a ton of great info.
I have been tracking moisture level and soil temp with an arduino for my plants and they seem to grow best if they need water(360 level) about every 3 days. Do you have any thoughts on the temperature of the soil in relation to growth? I have 4 plants in a 4 by 4 tent, the soil temp goes down during the day and up at night, also drops when watered(water is about 58 degrees), I should track the air temperature to see if the soil temperature is changing in relation to it at night. I added pics for the data below, one of the plants isnt as thirsty as the others, i will cut back on the amount of water it receives. the temperature reading is in Celsius and needs the decimal moved one digit to the left
Screenshot_20200320-194327.png
Screenshot_20200320-194356.png
Screenshot_20200320-194356.png
Screenshot_20200320-194516.png
Screenshot_20200320-194543.png
Screenshot_20200320-194606.png
That is a fascinating study, and thank you for that. I have not looked into correlations between growth rates and temperature, but have always assumed that a springtime moderate temperature was best. I would be interested to see what you determine with your study. As far as more aggressive growth being seen up top when they are the most thirsty, this can be explained by the belief that this is when the roots are doing the most growing as they are seeking out the last of the water left in the soil. As below, so above... so you see signs of that aggressive root growth in the green growth up top
 

goincafe

New Member
Hi Emilya
I saw your article at CannaBeard Grows two years ago
After two years, this is my second visit to 420 magazine. I just registered an account
Just to say thank you !
greetings from China
The Proper Way to Water a Potted Plant
Also covered: the importance of pH and why we successively up-pot


How to Water
Over the last several years I have put a lot of study into this, and I feel that I can now define the proper way to water a potted plant. Keep in mind that this discussion applies to at least 3 gallon containers and bigger. Please realize that this special plant of ours does not grow like anything else you have ever tried to grow, and no matter how good you are at growing peas, beans and tomatoes, you will have to change your methods to grow a weed.


The first rule of watering is to always water slowly, using no more than a quart at a time, pausing often to let the soil suck air in behind the water as it pools on the top. For me, that involves a routine of watering each of my plants with 1 quart, then taking a nice relaxing drink of whatever beverage I have brought with me to the tent. Then I take a deep breath, making sure to exhale deeply onto this plant, letting her know that I love her. After this, I take a nice big hit off of the pipe that also followed me into the tent, and then after a nice pause and maybe another drink, I go back to plant #1 and repeat the cycle. For 2 rounds, I water the entire surface of the soil, watching it pool up and get sucked down.


After this initial wetting of the top, my watering method changes a bit. Now, I want to do whatever I can to make the outside edges of the container, the wettest areas. Still only using a quart at a time, I now carefully water only there, all around the plant, only on the edges. While doing this, I slow down a bit so that the water doesn't pool as much in the center, always concentrating on the edges. The center will end up getting some too, and that's fine, but the wettest areas of the pot will be on the outside edges and you will be driving nutrient rich soil into the dense original root ball. Continue this, again going slow, maybe with a deep breath in the middle of it, and then continue all around, taking drinks, deep breaths and hits in between each round. Continue until you see the first signs of runoff, and then stop.


Look carefully at the surface of your container now. You will clearly see where the root ball is from your last transplant, because it will now be sticking up just a little bit above the original outer rim. Very fine soil has been driven through the original root ball with the flow of water and soil from the outer edges. This micro fine soil is very rich with nutrients because of its mobility. When you water from the outside edges, you force this micro fine sludge into the dense root ball, where it can do the most good. Once you establish this flow pattern in the container, you can be assured of totally replacing the micro soil in the center of the root ball with new soil, every time you water. Watering in the normal way does not create his circular flow, and root growth cannot be nearly as aggressive.
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Lastly, take one last quart of water, and water very very slowly, just in the raised area where the original root ball is. As you do so, watch what happens at the outer edge of the original root ball.

You will see the very finest soil, almost a mud, migrating out of the old root ball, and into the middle! This completes the process of soil exchange in the container. In this manner, all the roots get to take advantage of the nutrients in the soil, and the roots follow the migration of the nutrient rich soil, toward the outer edges, creating lateral growth. I strive to actively drive the soil out of the middle, making room for the roots to grow more dense and bigger there, and as they do, the lateral growth also has to increase. Using this method, I have seen a steady increase in the amount of water needed to get to run off throughout the grow and by the end, plants watered in this way use approximately 30% more water than is seen using standard watering techniques. Watering in the manner I have described allows for a constant circular flow of soil throughout the container and will create an extremely dense root ball.
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Now it is time for a truism. It is best to water the roots, not the plant. A healthy and robust root system means a happy and productive plant. Neglect the roots and your plants can die, and certainly will be less than they could have been.

When do we water?
By far, one of the most common plant problems that I see with new gardeners is a lack of understanding as to when to water. New people get it set in their mind that watering every day or every other day is best, or that somehow, mysteriously, they know in their own human minds exactly how much water the plants need. These well-meaning new gardeners will determine that they will give exactly one quart or some other random amount, each time, no more... and no less, and really believe that they are doing a good thing for their plants, making these decisions for them.
Just as bad as these over-thinkers are the tomato gardeners, the "stick your finger in the ground" crowd, who proclaim: it's time to water when it is dry below the second knuckle. What they fail to realize is that when the top 2 inches is dry, the lower half of the container could still be saturated with water. Both of these common mistakes in watering methods are quick ways to drown your plants. These methods are not correct for growing weeds, and using them can actually kill your plants.


Marijuana is a weed, and the main thing that this scientific term refers to, is a class of plant that thrives in adversity. In order to grow it well, you need to understand that this incredibly robust plant works differently than other, less hardy plants. It is an extremely aggressive grower if you allow it to be, and to grow prize winning pot, you need to use its abilities to send out new roots to your advantage.


Watering incorrectly is the most common mistake that new weed farmers make. This plant needs a clear wet/dry cycle in order to thrive. If you keep it moist, you will kill it. The roots will aggressively chase your water, whatever you give them. If you just give a small amount every couple of days, that water will drop right to the bottom of the container. Your roots will follow, and will cluster on the bottom, instead of growing laterally throughout the container, and since they continually sit in the nutrient rich water, the plant sees little need to grow additional roots. How you water makes a huge difference in the formation of the root ball, and how this development happens is up to you.


There are many ways to tell when it is time to water, and if you wait long enough the girls will actually tell you that they are thirsty. They do two things when they see that they need water, they throw out a smell, and they begin to wilt, starting at the bottom, moving up. You can also use the lift method to tell when the container is dry, and almost always you will "feel" a dry container, before the above mentioned wilt and fragrance pump happens. Rusty Trichome taught me an important lesson; every time I think that I need to do something to my plants, I wait a bit... and I try to move at the speed that my plants are moving. "Patience, above all else." --Rusty


If you have a moisture meter you can also use it to find where the wet/dry (water table) line is in your container, and you can watch that wet/dry line move down over time. I used to graph my water table level by day, so that I could project ahead when the wet dry line would reach the last inch of container. Your wet/dry line will never go lower than that last inch or so, because once you get down in there, you are in all the big tap roots and mass at the bottom, and it tends to stay wet there longer because of capillary effect. Again, if you wait for the first sign of wilt and that perfume pump that happens at "water me" point, it will usually be just a bit longer than your measurements would indicate. Once the water table line is anywhere in that bottom inch is ok to water. You have dried out 95% of the water by that time and the roots have been chasing it as the wet/dry line progresses both downward and outward. The suction caused by the diaphragm that is the water table, will have pulled oxygen down deep into the container, and filled any voids. The roots will be happy.


Why do we up-pot?
The art of successive up-potting is important in growing a healthy root system. People like to be lazy. I am constantly seeing new gardeners take a little sprig of a weed and put it in a big 3 or 5 gallon container, thinking that they have done a good thing, and are now done with it... it's on to harvest time! The problem is, this doesn't work, because it gives you zero control over developing the roots, and without crazy watering techniques, almost no chance of a solid root ball forming. It is imperative to successively up pot your plants through stages so that the root system can roughly take on the same size and shape as the plant in order to get the maximum productivity. The roots grow aggressively in these weeds, and if you confine them to a container the size of the plant, they will fill that space in a short time with a dense root system. Putting a plant in an oversized container can and often does, result in all the roots going to the bottom, drowning the plant, root rot and overall poor health because of a lack of a root ball, and certainly less than optimum harvests. It is important to force these weeds into producing a root ball at various stages, to give the plant the ability later on to take in the massive amounts of nutrients needed to produce lots of quality buds.
The plants in the smaller containers can also more directly show you when they are thriving or more importantly when they are not. A strong healthy plant will eventually outgrow its container and an observant gardener is carefully watching the length of time between wet/dry cycles, and directly relating shorter cycles with more robust roots. A smaller container also gives the gardener the ability to see when the moment arrives that the amount of soil the plant is in is no longer large enough for the plant's abilities to be happy in it, because it will be obvious when the plant can drain the water that soil is able to hold, in less than 24 hours. Your soil and your container at that point have ceased at that point to be a good enough buffer, and it is time to double the space the roots have to work with. Let your plant show you when that time is, and try not to make decisions for her.


Why is pH important?
Some people claim that pH is not important, and if you are a pure organic gardener, never applying chlorinated water or salt based synthetic nutrients at your plants, pH indeed is not important. For the 99.9% rest of the world, a very important lesson for the new gardener to learn is the importance of pH. There is a scientific reason why a proper pH allows the plants to use synthetic nutrients, and why being outside of the proper range can cause deficiencies. If you want to grow pot using chemicals, you need to invest in a method to test the pH of any water going into the plant, whether it is plain water or water mixed with nutrients, and whether it is applied to the roots or sprayed on the leaves. If you neglect the pH, you can easily create deficiencies in your plants, and if left unchecked, you can even kill them. If you spend a lot of money on nutrients, it makes sense that you would want to also create the proper environment so that the plant can use these nutrients, but with a pH way out of the 6.3-6.8 range in soil, a lot of those expensive nutrients will just sit there, not doing the plant any good. If you are in a soilless mix, pH in the range of 5.5-6.1 is necessary. It is only within these ranges that all the nutrients are mobile, are able to be broken free of their salt bonds and be in the form that can go into the plants. Most soils and systems are designed so that you can apply liquids at a lower pH and then the soil or the soilless mix causes a drift, so that the pH can visit each spot in the usable pH range for that medium, and all of the 17 needed nutrients will be picked up, each in its turn.


I hope that this study on containers, watering and pH helps someone who reads it. This paper was a result of having to explain these same concepts over and over and over again to new growers at they hit the forums, until finally I put all these thoughts together into this paper. Some of the thoughts previously given have also been refined for this publication, as questions were asked and answered the last time I posted it, and I have learned better ways of explaining my thoughts. Here, I give you, approximately draft 10 of this paper.


Be well everyone and blessings from my garden to yours,
Sense Emilya
Hi Emilya
I saw your article at Youtube two years ago
After two years, this is my second visit to 420 magazine. I just registered an account
Just to say thank you
greetings from China
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
Hi Emilya
I saw your article at Youtube two years ago
After two years, this is my second visit to 420 magazine. I just registered an account
Just to say thank you
greetings from China
Hi Goincafe thank you and welcome to the forum! :welcome:
Also, a big thanks again to Cannabeard for his support on YouTube... you have brought a lot of great new members to 420Mag with your videos!
Wow, China! I think I can now say that I have followers from every corner of the globe! I have so many questions for you... what sort of pot are you growing in China? Do you have accessibility to the seed banks and seller outlets for nutrients and supplies or do you have similar products available to you there?
 

goincafe

New Member
Hi Goincafe thank you and welcome to the forum! :welcome:
Also, a big thanks again to Cannabeard for his support on YouTube... you have brought a lot of great new members to 420Mag with your videos!
Wow, China! I think I can now say that I have followers from every corner of the globe! I have so many questions for you... what sort of pot are you growing in China? Do you have accessibility to the seed banks and seller outlets for nutrients and supplies or do you have similar products available to you there?
[/引用]
Hi Emilya Nice to see your reply!
In China, I will buy favorite seeds in some European countries through the Internet
Such as dutch-passion or royalqueen
But I have to admit that this is illegal in China
So for my own hobby, the CBD seeds I bought in the US now conform to local laws
The following shows you some usual photos
 

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Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020
[/引用]
Hi Emilya Nice to see your reply!
In China, I will buy favorite seeds in some European countries through the Internet
Such as dutch-passion or royalqueen
But I have to admit that this is illegal in China
So for my own hobby, the CBD seeds I bought in the US now conform to local laws
The following shows you some usual photos
Very good! You are one of us then, doing what you can and must to get your medicine, and it sounds like maybe the laws are starting to relax in China too. It has not been legal here in the USA until recently, and only in around 1/4 of the states is there even a degree of legality beginning to emerge. I hope things go well for you with your grow, and I can see that you have done a lot of research so that you can grow your legal CBD plants. If you should ever need any growing advice, I hope you will be able to check in here. I am very happy that you found my watering guide and that I have been able to meet you as you begin on this journey. I also have to comment on your English... it is perfect! It sounds like you do some traveling to the USA; may I ask if you went to school here?
 

MackMurder

Well-Known Member
Marijuana is a weed, and the main thing that this scientific term refers to, is a class of plant that thrives in adversity
Marijuana is an annual, not a weed.
 
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MackMurder

Well-Known Member
Great write up on watering emilya
 
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