When it comes to watering your plants, you’ve got just about any many options as how to light them and how to cool your grow. Indeed, your method of watering may ultimately depend largely on how your grow area is set up, including your light and cooling systems.
Luckily, you can always go with the tried and true method: hand watering. Although hand watering your plants can be time consuming and even tedious at times, it does have advantages. First and foremost: it’s cheap! For the grower on a tight budget, hand watering costs practically nothing, compared to the sometimes exorbitant costs of auto-watering systems.
Second, when you hand water your plants, you are required to be in close proximity with them on a regular basis. It means that you’re in your grow room regularly, you see your plants, and you can pay attention for signs of nutrient burn or deficiency, CO2, heat and humidity levels as well as bug problems. Whether you hand water or not, maintaining a regular presence in your grow room is essential if you want to harvest the best possible bud from your crop.
But if you’re growing on a larger scale, or you simply don’t want to deal with keeping track of a manual watering schedule, there are a variety of automated systems available to choose from too. These include ebb and flow systems as well as steady-drip systems. Predesigned systems can get to be somewhat expensive, but an intrepid grower with decent DIY skills can save money and build their own system if they’re willing to invest the time.
When you set up a watering schedule, try to avoid ending up in a watering cycle of wet – dry periods where your soil dries out too much. If your plants start wilting and drooping from dehydration, you’re stressing them and ultimately decreasing your end yield. Plants that are repeatedly stressed like this can have a hard time recovering, and won’t flourish as well.
While setting up your watering cycle, chances are also good that you’ll be including nutrients somewhere along the line. If you are using additional nutrients in the water, be sure to determine how you will apply them with your watering method of choice.
With hand watering, for instances, a good practice is to use a water – water- nutrients- water – water- nutrients cycle. This cycle, with two rounds of pure water between each feeding helps prevent burn and nutrient overload. When you use a flow system or a steady drip watering system, you’ll need to experiment a bit with your nutrient blend to ensure your plants receive what they need without overdosing.
A final tip for establishing and maintaining your water cycle: don’t be afraid to invest in an electronic device or disposable strips that measure the moisture content of your soil. While the good old finger-in-the-topsoil test can tell you if your plants are bone dry or sopping wet, there’s no substitute for being able to tell exactly what the moisture content of your soil is.