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  #11  
Old 05-15-2021, 09:07 AM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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Ray- you seem to be the expert. I've read your article on Semi-hydro and its very informative. One question I have is: If I convert to S/H, can I use a self watering pot with LECA?
LECA seems to be the way to go. I am a bit confused about using a container without drainage holes such as you describe on your website.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2021, 09:31 AM
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If by "self-watering pot", you mean the 3-component ones with outer pot, inner, mesh pot to hold the plant and LECA, and gauge, then yes, you can use them, but I will warn you in advance of two potential shortcomings: you can overfill them, drowning roots that are not accustomed to being submerged, and they tend to "lull" growers into just topping up the liquid, rather than dumping/flushing/refilling at every watering, which should be done for the long-term benefit of the plant.

The containers I use do have drainage holes, but they are in the sidewall of the container, not the bottom.

For most pots up to about 6" in diameter, I put two, 1/4" holes right next to each other about 1"-1.5" up from the bottom, setting the maximum depth for the reservoir. When you water (using a very dilute fertilizer solution), you fill the pot rapidly to the top and let it drain. That flushes the LECA, saturates it, and refreshes the chemistry in the reservoir in one step.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2021, 02:02 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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I grow almost everything in SH. Self-watering or wicking pots have a couple of disadvantages. One is not flushing regularly, as Ray mentions, unless you disassemble it each time you water. Second is they're really pricey as compared to any container you can repurpose or readily buy for a much cheaper price.
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  #14  
Old 05-15-2021, 03:09 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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There is another kind of self-watering container:.

Self watering wicking pots-self-watering_pot_20210515_seca-jpg

It has a glazed outer container, which holds a water reservoir, and an inner container with an unglazed section, which permits water to seep into the inner pot. I have found this kind of container only works with very fine potting mix. Bagged potting soil that has relatively large particles doesn't draw in the water. I have to add a little fine sand to the mix in this kind of pot. These are a lot more expensive than other pots, but I find them occasionally at second-hand stores, or on clearance at other shops.
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