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Soil growing is the most common form of cannabis cultivation. It is known as being the easiest way to grow a crop. It typically has the most flavorful harvest. However, it is not for the faint of heart or wallet. A substantial amount of effort, time and financial resources are required to be successful. Choosing the container for your roots is as important as choosing the light for your shoots. Going for the most inexpensive choice to begin may end up costing far more in the long run. Is the Octopot a good investment compared to a plain pot? The Octopot was easier to use because it was automatic and there was no guessing or stressing about how much water or air the plant getting. The Octopot out yielded the fabric and plastic pots and required much less time to maintain resulting in a significant return on investment which translates to more income for the grower.
All plants had the same nutrition, light, air and soil. The goal of this study was to see the difference the container makes. The conditions that these plants were grown in were not ideal. It was frequently too hot or too cool. Humidity was not controlled, CO2 was not used. Pruning was not done to remove small lower branches to eliminate the risk of that being a difference between plants final outcome. The light received was from brand new Hortilux MH and HPS 1000 w bulbs thus top quality. Note: As stated previously, the light schedule experiment most likely affected the final outcome of all three plants. The reduced light schedule caused a lower than expected yield from all three plants. However, measurements prove that in spite of the reduced light schedule, Octopot Grow Systems outperformed the other two containers in this trial.
RESULTS: THE EFFECTS OF WATERING
Several differences were observed but the most significant was the size and yield of the plant grown in the Octopot Grow System compared to the plants grown in the fabric and plastic containers. This may be attributed to the Octopot Grow System’s self-watering feature because it allowed the plant to uptake water and nutrients on as needed. The decision to water the plant was made by the plant, not the grower. Taking out human error allowed the plant to feed on demand so it was never too wet or too dry, as happened to the plants in the plastic and fabric pots. As long as the Depth Gauge on the Octopot was in the proper range, the plant seemed to receive the optimum moisture level. With plastic and fiber pots it is very easy to overwater or underwater the plants. The biggest killer of container grown plants is improper watering.
RESULTS: TIME MANAGEMENT
It is important to mention the frequency and amount of time spent watering. The plants in the plastic and fabric pots were watered up to every three days. Each pot had to be hand filled which took a couple minutes each. The Octopot Grow System was connected to the control reservoir so the only time spent watering was when the main reservoir needed filling, and the single act of moving the 6 gallon Gro Sleeve with plant from the 3 Gallon Hydro Reservoir into the larger 6 Gallon Hydro Reservoir before flowering. Octopot’s auto fill feature is a real time saver for growers with more than a few plants.
RESULTS: ROOT HEALTH
A main difference between the containers was that the plant in the Octopot Grow System grew two distinct sets of roots, one in the soil and one growing in water inside the Hydro Reservoir. The ability for the plant in the Octopot Grow System to have two root systems gave the plant several advantages over the plants grown in the other two containers. One obvious advantage is that there were more plant roots in the Octopot Grow System than the other two containers.
The second root system growing in Octopot’s Hydro Reservoir allowed the automatic watering feature to run smoothly because there was an availability of air to the plant roots. A balance of air and water is necessary for root health and capillary action. The Octopot Grow System did not require aeration for the second root mass to grow in the water and no root rot or stagnant water was observed. In comparison, air movement inside the plastic container restricted root growth and contributed to poor plant health when the soil became saturated from over watering (human error). The fabric pot had more air movement than the plastic pot but ultimately its plant produced a smaller root system and a smaller plant compared to the Octopot Grow System. It is likely that the Octopot Grow System achieved a balance of water and air thus producing a larger plant with more yield than the other two.
Another advantage is that plant loss can be reduced by using the Octopot Grow System instead of a plastic or fabric pot. If the roots in the Hydro Reservoir are damaged, the soil borne roots can keep the plant alive for an extended period in the Octopot Grow System. The plant then has a much better chance of recovery or survival. Plastic and fiber pots have one root zone and if it is damaged it can be extremely difficult for a plant to recover.
Thank you & we hope you learned a lot from this study!