Its time to revisit our "no brainer" garden and the progress I have been making.
I can happily report back that I'm totally stoked with the progress we have made this year growing in our AutoPots.
The combination of growing delicate plants in the hot house in AutoPots, and planting cool tolerant plants outside in AutoPots, we are going great guns. From the hot house we are already harvesting cucumber, runner beans, and basil and outside we have lettuce, spring onions, zucchini and of course strawberries. It has been easy to manage,(no weeds of course), and by moving a few plants in and out of the hot house, I have been able to have early produce plus make room for later plants like tomatoes, chilli, pepper and eggplant.. I can't believe how easy and just how productive it has all been. Tomatoes for Christmas is definately a go this year, and that will be a first for me.
I have a mixture of pot sizes and nutrient strengths all running at the same time using different tanks depending on what the plant requirements are.
Keeping the nutrient at the right strength has been made easy by simply letting the tank run to the last few cm. I tip the remainder in a bucket, wash out the tank, clean around the trays and start again....it's that easy.
I am only just starting to notice a few aphids appearing, however with a quick spray of neem oil and all is back under control.
For growing medium I have used clay balls in some pots, and Canna Coco in others. Both have good value, although I think I am starting to favour the clay balls mostly because I can recycle them. After I have finished growing in clay balls I simply shake the plant free of the clay balls into the wheel barrow, wash the clay balls with the hose and then tip them back into my AutoPots. My plants grow well in the clay balls because there is more air around the roots. The only part I need to be careful with is planting up my pots at the begining, I leave some soil around the base of the plant when I put them into the clay balls and then I top feed them for a few days just to give the plants a good start.
By planting in a mix of coco and clay balls it gives the best of both worlds.
Pot size is not an issue because whatever the pot size or plant, it has free access to both food and water. The root system is not compromised in anyway at all.
I grow in three different sizes of pot depending on what the plant is. The likes of a zucchini or aubergine benefit from more air space around the base of the pot and not being crammed up next to other plants. I use the 15 litre pots and as the plant grows and spreads I can move the pot away from other plants and create more air flow(reducing the breeding ground for bugs and pests)
The smaller 8 litre pots work fantastically for the likes of strawberries, spinach spring onions lettuce and basil.
The XL 25 litre pots currently have an apple tree and a lemon tree both thriving.
I mostly grow tomatoes, chilli, peppers and aubergine in the hot house at this time of the year, these all fruit continually over the season from December through to June or longer. The best part is these plants simply keep reproducing well into the cold months.
If I am particular and choose carefully what I grow I can save a lot of money at the green grocers, plus enjoy the sheer pleasure of continous supply.
If you are new to this concept of growing, I suggest you start with our ever popular AutoPot Starter Kit. The starter kit has everything in it ready for you to put together and plant.
'Its a no brainer" give it a go.