The Wet and Dry Cycle

in Beginners Starting out Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:09 pm
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.474 Posts | 11542 Points

The Wet and Dry cycle
I was looking over another forum I go to (from my main seedbank dutchbreed) and I came across an AMAZING thread they had on the wet and dry cycle of this wonderful plant. So, I decided to use it to help aid me in making a thread to help keeping you from overwatering! I would credit them, but I'm unsure if they want credit or not.

I posted this with hope for it to be stickied, because I think that hopefully new growers reading this will realize how important the wet/dry cycle of this plant can be. I realized that these stickies are mostly used by newer growers, so I have this aimed towards those who have tried to grow their own meds before but always seem to overwater their plants.

So here's the scoop. Pythium is a harmful fungi that thrives in warm moist environments with a low oxygen content. Pythium attacks the root systems in plants that have not been properly dried out before their next watering. It's more common along people growing in hydro systems while its warm, but occurs sometimes when you overwater. Want to know how you can "properly" water your plants?

1. A wet/dry cycle works best in a compost based soil

2. Water slowly, so when following my directions, the plant has enough water saturation in the rootball to last untill next watering.

3. To do this, learn with smaller sized pots with larger sized drip trays. Get some 1/2 gallon pots (about 1.8 liters) and grow a plant in it. When it's time to water, water slowly and evenly until your plant drips. Wait 15-30 minutes and see if it has been sucked up. If so, water a little more untill drip. Wait again, and if theres a thin layer of water pour it out. If not, repeat untill you think the rootball is fully saturated.

4. Don’t ever leave the plant in the drip tray for more than 30 minutes. After then, if there's still water in the tray then the rootball is fully saturated. You can now safely pour the rest of the water out.

5. You should not water or feed again until you get back to the dry stage again. This means if you forgot to add nutes, do not try to go back and add them. Just wait until next watering. Plants can survive without them for weeks, you WILL still get around to it.

6. (The drying process) You don’t want your soil to completely dry out. Do let it get pretty dry to the touch, but not enough for your soil to start shrinking away from the sides of the pot.

What happens is as the plants use up the water you administered, the oxygen gets pulled through the compost keeping the medium aerobic. When you water to the point of saturation, all stale gasses get driven out the the cycle starts again.

Note: A totally dry 6 liter root ball will take .75 to 1 litre of water before being fully saturated depending on the compost and grow medium. Keep in mind that every strain is diffrent though, and each strain needs special attention. Take into account what I say and eventually with experience you will be growing like a pro.

I have also read on here alot of people who don't know what to do when they go on vacation. First of all I am happy to tell you that your plant should be fine for up to about 6 days before they get too dry, but any longer than that and you'll be needing a sitter.

*This is based on a 20 liter pot. If your pot is smaller, you should have slightly less time, and slightly more for a bigger pot.*

Assuming your vacation is 6 days or less, try this. Follow my above method and make sure that rootball is VERY saturated. Then, just leave and enjoy! When you come back, you should have tons of nice new growth. If your leaves are severely drooping, that's okay. Now it's time to water again to the point of saturation. Look at your plants next time the lights go on, they should be NICE and perky reaching towards that light! Now go enjoy your vacation. Your safe.

GOOD LUCK and have fun learning and growing!!!

Muddy Paws Posted

Hear hear, Doms!

I see too many plants that are overwatered!

I make my roots work for their food...it builds a stronger rootbase and increases yields overall

I use the weight of the bucket to indicate when it needs water and when the plant is younger (or freshly transplanted) I only water along the top so the roots will spread out to the sides a bit and utilize more of the space.

It keeps the gnats under control, as well...

Great post, M8

I think if a lot of newbies (its what I do cause I'm def a newb) would keep a watering and fert chart they would find the whole process much easier. Once I found what my plants like watering wise, I made a chart of it with check boxes for every day, and I administer water and or nutes accordingly. Helps when I'm too baked to remember what I did 10 minute ago too

Let's help each other, by spreading our knowledge of the plants we love
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