Advantages With Autopot Systems

Smart valve diagram

Let's use an example to explain.  Imagine you have two plants, one a young seedling, the other a large mature plant.  The mature plant may require four times more water during the day than the small seedling.  In an Autopot system, this is no problem - both plants will receive a wet and dry cycle according to their own needs (without the use of complex electronic equipment).  So each plant will become virtually dry again before the water is replenished, and as nature intended both of your plants will flourish. For more technical details about the Smart Valve, see this pdf attachment Smart valve testing Mark 2. Note, we currently stock the Smart Valve Mark 3i which features many improvements over the Mark 2.

Advantages of the Autopot System

  1. Nutrient Efficiency - Every drop of nutrient delivered via the smart valve to the growing container is available to the plant. Application rate is accurate with no run-off. Thus there is no necessity for recycling of nutrient solution.
  2. Irrigating According to Demand - The timing of every irrigation cycle (wet/dry) is determined by the plant.  As a result it is always accurate right through the year, even though nutrient solution consumption of the plants varies constantly - by the hour.
  3. Electricity Supply Not Crucial - The automating forces for the working of the smart valve derive either from gravity in the case of a tank fed system, or in-line water pressure generated by the pressure switch pump. No electricity or batteries are needed to drive the individual smart valve - it is purely a mechanical device which determines exactly when to turn on and off the nutrient supply with perfect timing.
  4. Inexpensive to Buy and Maintain - The low cost of the smart valve, along with the fact that no electricity is required to run it, means that the Autopot Hydro-Pak systems are cheap to maintain, both in terms of money and time. Also, Autopot systems have no problem working with thin walled tubing as they work on low water pressures. Thin walled tubing is an inexpensive form of irrigation tubing.
  5. Self-Scheduling - Conventional hydroponic systems, especially the drip systems, require expertise in scheduling an irrigating programme. They rely on human judgement for interpretation of the needs of the average plant. The Autopot systems do not need any human intervention in scheduling nutrient requirements to the plant. The smart valve has the capacity to service the individual plant. The smart valve operates automatically and easily with no fuss at all and yet is able to meet the plant's ever-changing needs right through the year, be it winter or summer.
  6. Water Conservation - The cost of purification or supply of good quality water is one that increases as time goes by. Being highly efficient in water usage, Autopot systems are least effected by rising costs of water.
  7. Avoidance of Recycling Costs - Particularly where legislative or financial constraints dictate the elimination of pollution by runoff or the cost of water supply is high. the Autopot systems are truly ideal. The systems require no capital costs for pumps, ponds, disposal or treatment.
  8. Reduced Risk of Root Diseases - As the plants are individually separated and fed the nutrient solution is used only once, the risk of root disease is minimised.
  9. User Friendly - Autopot Systems are user friendly. No plumbing or specialist job is needed to install and maintain a system (even if you want to install a large commercial system). Anyone should be able to install it easily and quickly with a few simple tools such as a knife and a pair of scissors.