AQUAvalve5 at AutoPot R&D

It is time for some intensive innovation and product development at AutoPot. Exciting no doubt but necessarily rigorous too. New tech credentials have to proven beyond doubt and there’s only one way to do that. Send. Jason. Upstairs. Bouncing up the wooden hill, completely Chris Rea-invigorated after his Yuletide nap, our MD has ascended with a boxful of tricks, a fistful of wizardry and another fistful of common sense approaches. Ripe for final testing? AQUAvalve5 amongst other joys.

Above: The first task for the revamped R&D room – testing on AQUAvalve5.

Granted, it’s been a long time coming but we’re now entering the ultimate test phase for AQUAvalve5; designed for faster flow, a quicker fill, and reduced risk of blockage from nutrient deposits. We’ll be needing some plants for those tests won’t we? And where better to cultivate these than the revamped R&D Grow Room. Who better to bear witness than your good selves via an upcoming programme of progress reports and individual AutoPot product vids. A series detailing best use, tips and fresh techniques to try.

Above: Why ‘AQUAvalve5’? A 5mm inlet port for faster flow,
a quicker fill and reduced risk of blockage from nutrient deposits.

With LED-kitted Danish trolleys installed and easy2Propagate modules racked up, sowing is well underway. We’ll be testing the AQUAvalve5 with all manner of fruit and veg plants. These will include some real treasures drawn from the seed banks of Champion NVS and RHS Chelsea growers. Gareth Cameron has kindly furnished us with Red and Gold Star Tomatoes, Medwyn Jones has stuffed some “Red Dragon or something in Welsh” tomatoes into Jason’s pocket and told him to get on with it. Alongside these are a host of standards from the worlds of tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, asparagus, peas, onions, lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, and melons plus some curios in the shape of Electric Daisies, mini Dahlias, Rhubarb Chard and loofahs.

Above: Propagation modules (sans lids) racked up and producing
the plants with which we’ll soon be testing.

The Grow Room’s new polycarbonate roof may have burned a lil’ hole in the wallet but is now providing superior heat-retention for our plants. It’s warm as toast in there. We weren’t about to squander that warmth through the walls though so we’ve had a Mylar reboot. Strong like armour, warm like amour – EasyGrow Diamond Lightite has been used to upholster the vertical surfaces and reflects diffused light and thermal energy back onto the plants from all angles. This provides us with lovely all round growth as well as keeping our energy costs kitten-soft. Jason fancies the Litetite Diamond pattern most resembles chain mail so any offcuts should be a real red letter day for the AutoPot Battlefield Reenactment Department. Could you install it in your growing space? Can you work scissors and M3 double sided tape?

Above: Asparagus peas coming along nicely.

Currently the propagation arena is basking under a selection of Cropmaster and Sunblaster LEDs with further brands incoming in order to facilitate future side-by-side testing. Want to get your lights involved? Just holler! Heat pads feature under the easy2Propagates all watched over by a nifty little controller courtesy of Ian Collins at G.A.S.. Primed to assist with mist in our midst are misters from Mr Dean Finley. Much like their mysterious inventor, Dean’s contraptions are ever-ready to add to the atmos’ and sternly police EC to zero parts per million – motes on plants? No chance! Dean don’t dust ‘cus Dean don’t have to.

Above: Take a gander at the Coriander.

We’re squirrelling maximum footage of techniques for propagation. This is all in the name of giving viewers some shiny new info on how seeds, seedlings, cuttings and young plants can be raised effortlessly using CocoMat

As if you didn’t know, CocoMat is packed with coco coir fibres and natural latex to produce a wicking action that negates hand-watering for up to ten days. Cut to size, pre-soak to pH balance, drop in a tray, pop a quick-soaked Root Control Sheet (RCS) on top and you’re ready. Place the seed trays or pots on the RCS, or even go bare-back with seeds directly on the RCS. If you’re growing from seeds then water through the seed trays or pots and await germination, whereupon simply fill the tray to 20mm and then that’s you for ten days. If you’re raising young plants just cut straight to filling the tray. Look forward to some vivid video from Jason in the near future on little hacks or flourishes for next level propagation.

Above: The Dill.

Also rumbling into view will be a series of comparative substrate tests using cells. Rock wool, Root Riot by Growth Technology, and EAZY Pyramid are all slated to feature. If you’re hankering to see more of the creator during these adventures then fear not! Jason will have his own micro-studio in the room in order to present to camera – jazzhands! You will see product use and technique tips including fascinating uses of AutoPot with a vast range of hydro/horti brands. You will see innovative little tricks to give your growing a pinch of magic at every stage. And we will be surprised/amazed if you don’t hear some forthright views about the shape of growing in the U.K. today. 

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Comments 3

  1. The auto valve works by being a little higher than the plants in the pots and has no need for electricity for this to work. Given that, how does the autopilot system work with the vertical system with the pots up high in the trays?

    1. Post

      When using the system vertically the tank goes ontop of the racking, you can have an auto top up on the tank or pump water up to this tank from a header tank at ground level.

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