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AutoPot News - 2013

AutoPot celebrate another great year at Brill View Farm

The 2013 growing season at Brill View Farm has been a real success. Great weather, informed plant choices and a fantastic watering system (of course!) all contributed to our bumper harvests.

We started our season indoors in February propagating a selection of Chilli plants, Tomatoes and Thai Aubergines, before moving them to the heated beds in our propagation area in April.

Brill View Farm Brill View Farm

By May the plants had been transplanted into the AutoPot systems. We then sowed a selection of oriental herbs including Vietnamese Coriander and Thai Basil. These were planted out in stages, ensuring that we enjoyed a perpetual harvest of ‘cut and come again’ herbs throughout the season. A simple technique that we wholeheartedly recommend you recreate at home.

Brill View Farm

The image above shows the easy2grow Extension Trays in lines of four wide. The 8.5‎ litre pots are filled with Perlite to a depth of 50mm. Small 10cm square pots are then placed on the bed of Perlite.

The plants flourished throughout the warm summer and we saw temperatures in the greenhouse reach an incredible 51°C!

During the warm months we also conducted several trials using our AutoPot systems with no growing media whatsoever. Our Chives and Thai Beans thrived with their roots constantly bathed in nutrient enriched water, with no signs of root rot or oxygen starvation. We’ll be conducting some further trials next season. Watch this space for future developments!

Brill View Farm

The image above shows the 1Pot XL Tray being used aeroponically, without the need for pots or soil.

To celebrate a successful season, we decided to hold an open day in September and invited our UK retailers and distributors. For many, it was their first visit to a commercial installation and they were mightily impressed with what’s achievable.

To see all of the photos from Brill View Nurseries and to stay updated with other AutoPot news, simply click here and ‘like’ our Facebook page. Look out for the next Open Days in 2014.

AutoPot USA Hit The Ground Running!

Marcel Palm

 

AutoPot USA are pleased to announce the relocation of their Business Development Director, Marcel Palm, to their HQ in California. As well as supporting retailers and developing new business, Marcel will oversee all US operations, including the introduction of the full AutoPot product range to the North American market.

 

Speaking of his role, Marcel said “We’ve built up an incredible momentum over the past 18 months. Our AutoPot systems have proved extremely popular with hobby and commercial growers alike. Now, by visiting retailers and holding in-store open days for their customers, I know that we’ll take things to the next level. We’ve received many enquiries for our new – 6.6 gallon (25 litres) - XL Pot  and it will be a pleasure to finally bring the product to market.”

For US retailers interested in pricing and product information or to request a store visit and demonstration, please contact Marcel directly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

AutoPot USA

BioTabs organic fertiliser: tried, tested... and recommended

Here at AutoPot, we’re aware that some of you growers out there wish to use organic nutrients AND have the benefits of an automated watering system. Until recently this wasn’t possible, as organic nutrients tend to seperate when added into a reservoir.

Well, this year we’ve been extensively trialling BioTabs organic fertiliser; a slow release nutrient that is mixed into your soil and releases food for your plants throughout the growing season. The only thing you fill the reservoir with is water, no additional fertiliser is required. Perfect for the gardener who is short on time!

The results are in and we’re pleased to announce that we had great success with the BioTabs fertiliser, even compared to our regular mineral liquid feed. Check out the comparison photo, the tomatoes in the green pots are grown with BioTabs and the black pots are grown with mineral feed.

BioTabs Organic Fertiliser

A photo is worth a thousand words!

Order your BioTabs starter pack from our online shop. Click Here

We head back to school!

Todmorden High School, UK

This year we’ve been involved in a couple of exciting academic projects… on both sides of the Atlantic! In the UK we supplied systems to Todmorden High School who have received a lottery funding grant to produce vegetables and herbs for the pupils in the school as well as supplying to local businesses. They are using AutoPots exclusively in their purpose built greenhouse and we have been consulting with them directly alongside George and Ben from The Hydro Store in Halifax – who were former pupils at Todmorden. Keep checking our Facebook page for more pictures next season.

Todmorden High School Todmorden High School

 

Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, USA

We have recently provided several large systems to Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA who are going to produce tomatoes for their population of 25,000 students! We’ve been consulting with them on the phone and over Skype for several months and our MD, Jason Ralph-Smith, has recently flown over to consult on-site… the perks of owning a company, eh? The photos below show the growth achieved in just two weeks, pretty impressive! We look forward to showing you more photos in the New Year.

Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University

All aboard the AutoPot roadshow

Since the last newsletter, we’ve been busy supporting our distributors and wholesalers at various tradeshows and events across the globe. We exhibited at the HydroponEast tradeshow in Moscow where we introduced our systems to various commercial farmers and small holders. The hydroponic market there appears to be in the early stages of development and growers were very enthusiastic about the simplicity and performance of AutoPot systems.

Moscow Moscow

 

We then travelled to Fermo in Italy to support our distributor, Indoorline, at a trade show held in the beautiful Italian countryside. We received several orders from commercial growers who have all reported excellent results. From there it was on to the French / Spanish border town of Irun to support the newly formed AutoPot France.

Fermo, Italy GROW2013

Finally, our last trade show of the year was GROW2013 in Manchester where we brought along a selection of plants from our greenhouse to show UK retailers and growers AutoPot grown produce in the flesh. A few brave customers even sampled some of our super-hot Rooster’s Spur chillies…. and then wished they hadn’t!

See you on the road in 2014!

Not your typical greenhouse pest!

We receive queries on pest control on a nearly daily basis here at AutoPot HQ; lacewings, aphids, spider mites… even rats and mice! We thought we’d heard them all. So it raised a few eyebrows when we got a Skype call from Nihal, our customer in Sri Lanka complaining that the local monkey population had taken a liking to the produce growing in his greenhouse.

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Nihal has built a greenhouse in a clearing close to the jungle and is trialling several crops in his AutoPots before deciding what to produce on a commercial scale. It seems that the pesky primates have taken an interest in his selection of chillies, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. Still, as pests go we think we’d settle for monkeys over aphids… especially if we had that view to look at every day!

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Italian grower achieves 300% increase in yield after switching to AutoPot!

Recently we received some interesting news from our Italian distributor, Indoorline. One of their customers commercially producing Saffron has achieved an increase in production of 300% compared to last year’s traditionally irrigated crop!

Saffron Saffron

 

They switched their entire greenhouse to AutoPot’s at the start of the season following excellent feedback from commercial tomato growers who had been advised by Indoorline to move to AutoPot’s. With Saffron being one of the most lucrative crops in the world, it’s fair to say that the customers were pleased with the results. Bellissimo!

Indoorline

AutoPot hit the small screen!

In the past month we’ve starred in a couple of features for television and online programmes. First up Just4Growers - the online global gardening community – very kindly put together a video presentation of our XL system. The feature shows the assembly of one of our 8Pot XL systems and the potting up of several varieties of Chilli plant. The video team then return to the system a few weeks later to document the phenomenal growth.

Click the screen shot to see the video; it’s really worth watching…

Just4Growers

Our second appearance was on HydroShow.tv and features an in-depth interview with Jason (our MD) at the greenhouse at Brill View. If you’ve been following the updates from Brill View on our Facebook page, then this video is a must-watch! The 20 minute interview is jam packed full of tips and growing advice and showcases the greenhouse superbly.

Click the screen shot to watch…

HydroShow.tv

 If you haven’t ‘liked’ us on Facebook yet click here to go to our page.

Welcome baby Jenna!

Baby Jenna

Great news from the AutoPot office – Nick Bamford - our Accounts Manager is celebrating the birth of his first child!

Jenna Jane Bamford was born on Thursday 14th of November and weighed in at a healthy 7lbs 6oz. Please join us in wishing huge congratulations to Nick and his partner Kerrie. Well done guys!

AutoPot France is officially launched

We’re pleased to announce that AutoPot France was officially launched in September of this year. AutoPot France will assist our current distributors in promoting and distributing our full range of systems and accessories into the French market. C’est bon!

AutoPot France

Click Here to visit AutoPot France

AutoPot France

Calling all AutoPot retailers!

Contact Us

The technical support team in the AutoPot office have been busy putting together the ultimate AutoPot Retailer Support Pack with the single goal of making your life easier. The pack contains our full price list – including complete systems – plus packing lists for all system configurations and plenty of sales tips and growing advice. Contact your AutoPot sales representative now for further information.

Wrap up warm... it's Baltic out there!

Earlier in the year, our Estonian distributors – EcoSlider – exhibited our products at the Pirita Fair Centre in Tallinn. The name of the fair is (deep breath) "Interjöör ja Aiandus" or "Interior and Gardening" in English. This is one of the largest annual fairs in Estonia and the products drew lots of attention, particularly from farmers and small holders. Great work guys!

 

EcoSlider Pirita Fair Center

Viva Espana! AutoPot put on a show at Barcelona for the third year running

For our third year exhibiting in Spain we decided to go big or go home! We ran a competition to give away an ultimate growing area featuring AutoPot Watering Systems. Our prize setup consisted of 1Pot, easy2grow and our all-new 1Pot XL, complete with FlexiTanks and everything needed to grow.... we even provided the plants!

Barcelona

Over the long-weekend we held daily draws in which three lucky visitors won a 4Pot system and one of the three went through to the final draw on Sunday. Thousands entered, but there could be only one winner.... and what a lucky winner he was, scooping thousands of pounds worth of growing equipment!

We’d like to say a big thanks to all the companies who donated products for this fantastic giveaway; Can Filter, BioTabs, Lux Lights, Canna, HortiLine, Growth Technology and BlueLab. Without your support, it wouldn’t have been possible.

Next up in the exhibition calendar is the HydroponEast Expo in Moscow. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Cucumbers and tomatoes in the UAE!

A quick update from our customer Emad Ali in the UAE. After some trial growing in our 1Pot and easy2grow systems at the end of 2012, Emad is now ready to move onto the  next step; the commercial production of 1400 of cucumber and tomato plants. The produce then goes to  social community developments, future plans are to run the projects into Oman.

Cucumbers and Tomatoes in the UAE Cucumbers and Tomatoes in the UAE

More updates to follow later in the growing season.

 

Fresh produce in the world's most Northerly town - grown in an AutoPot!

Chef Ben Vidmar has started a revolution in the most Northerly town in the world, Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway. He had a vision 6 months ago that it was possible to cultivate locally grown produce in his high Arctic wonderland and went on a search for the best available growing system.

He settled on the AutoPot easy2grow system and hasn’t looked back since.

AutoPot in world's most Northery town AutoPot in world's most Northery town

"I am really enjoying the system and am having great success with my setup,” Ben told us recently. “When I started this project 6 months ago, I was hungry for the freshest locally grown produce available to serve in my kitchen. By growing some of the produce that is required locally, I hope to find a more sustainable way to run my kitchen and I strongly feel that shipped vegetables can never be as fresh as vegetables that are grown locally.”

Since starting his project in October 2012, Ben’s company Polar Productions has become an official wholesaler of AutoPot products and Ben is operating a fully-functioning easy2grow 60Pot set-up, which he has used to grow salad, tomatoes, eggplant, chillies and herbs – all of which he is selling locally at his place of work, the Svalbard Pub AS.

AutoPot in world's most Northery town

Prior to this, all produce had to be either shipped or flown in from overseas.

“Nothing can be better than picking fresh vegetables from my garden and serving them the same day to my guests!"

What makes this project unique to any other that AutoPot have been involved in, is its location – Svalbard is located just 500 miles away from the North Pole, with sub-freezing average temperatures and nearly four months of Polar night in the winter period.

Ben is now busy organising his greenhouse in preparation for the busy season and looks forward to working with very fresh salad from his garden in the near future.

For more information on what Chef Ben is up to in the high Arctic, please visit www.sprock3t.com.

 

New customer sets up urban polytunnel in Pakistan

Last month we sent over our first AutoPots to Pakistan where our customer - Bilal Ahmed - hopes to raise a food crop of over 100 plants! The 16Pot easy2grow system that you can see in the photos will be extended to 100Pots, with further pots added throughout the growing season. Bilal has very little knowledge in the horticultural industry but, if Simon Cannon in Barbados is anything to go by, we can help turn Bilal into an expert grower over the next few years.

Urban Polytunnel Urban Poytunnel

We’re looking forward to the next update!

If you’re undertaking a commercial project contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a quote.

 

AutoPot USA secures Sunlight Supply as distributor

AutoPot Watering Systems USA

Since opening its doors in August 2012; AutoPot Watering Systems USA has gone from strength to strength. Stores across the state of California have really taken to the 4Pot Retail Pack and we are now sending orders into the east coast and Canada.

We are very pleased to announce that AutoPot Watering Systems are now available for retailers to purchase through Sunlight Supply!

Sunlight are one of the biggest distributors in the gardening industry and supply equipment to garden centres, specialist gardening retailers and prestigious US organisations, such as; Cornell University, United States Dept. of Agriculture and the Epcot Center.

We have high hopes that our partnership with them will ensure AutoPot Watering Systems are available to gardeners across the whole of the United States.

Sunlight Supply

For US retail, wholesale or distribution enquiries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.autopot-usa.com.

Calling all retailers - New display posters have arrived!

Communicate the flexibility of AutoPot Watering Systems, without taking up any floor space! Our new retail posters illustrate a wide range of AutoPot layouts - from 1 to 100 pots - and are available for the 1Pot, easy2grow and the new 1Pot XL. They’re ideal for talking your customers through the different layout options as they include details on all AutoPot fittings and fixtures - there’s also a poster for the FlexiTank range.

Ask your AutoPot distributor to send you the new retail posters on your next order or, alternatively, request a visit from an AutoPot sales representative This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If you are currently retailing AutoPot products, please check that you are listed on the distributors and retailers section of our website here. To request a listing, please email your contact details and company logo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

750L FlexiTank - now available!

AutoPot Watering Systems | 750L FlexiTank

Our revolutionary range of water storage systems now includes a huge 750L size! The new 750L FlexiTank is supplied in a compact box, measuring just 14cm x 18xm x 119cm, making it simple to ship and store.

It requires no tools for assembly and can be put together - or taken down and packed away - in a few minutes.

When combined with a large AutoPot Watering System, the 750L FlexiTank drastically reduces watering workloads and will ensure that large numbers of plants are kept fed and watered, with zero waste. It is ideal for AutoPot systems of 80 plants and above.

Also available in 100L, 225L and 400L sizes. Click here for further information.

1Pot XL - finally available!

After months of waiting, our 1Pot XL is now available to growers worldwide! The new XL is supplied with a huge 25L pot and was developed specifically for growers looking to cultivate much bigger and heavier yielding plants than ever before. The system also provides an ideal environment for maintaining huge stock plants.

AutoPot Watering Systems |1Pot XL

The XL features newly designed square round pot and clam shaped base, which allows growers to easily rotate a large plant whilst it is still in the tray.

The 1Pot XL is available now! Click here for prices.

 

New Distributors

We have now taken on additional distributors in Austria, Chile, Hungary, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Spain and Poland. We know that growers worldwide can benefit from using AutoPot Watering Systems and we’re always looking to expand into new markets. Recently we’ve received interest from India and the South Pacific Islands, so watch this space!

 

New Distributors

If you’re interested in becoming an AutoPot distributor, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Staff

We’re pleased to announce the arrival of four new team members;

  • Nick Bamford - Accounts Manager
  • Dan Gulliver - Business Development Manager
  • Daniel Dozzini - Sales Representative
  • Thatsawan Dozzini - Stock Control Assistant

Be sure to say hello next time you call the office!

For retailers requesting a visit from a sale representative, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +44 (0) 844 8581520. 

Brill View Farm Results

Last year’s AutoPot chilli trials at Brill View Farm in Oxfordshire, UK, saw some huge harvests.

Brill View Farm Results

Following several delays in the growing schedule throughout the summer, due to the heavy rainfall and below-average temperatures, 1000 chillies went into the main greenhouse area in the easy2grow extension kits.

Although the weather conditions did not improve, the quantities produced were impressive – we harvested over 1800kg of chillies - which was a great return bearing in mind the measures put in place to combat the unfortunate weather conditions.

 

Brill View Farm Results

To see exclusive narrated footage of the chilli trial from start to finish, please visit www.autopot.co.uk and follow the latest news tab to Live AutoPot Trials, which also features pepper trials held at Valley Grown Nurseries in Hertfordshire, UK.

AutoPot will be continuing the trials at Brill View Nurseries this year with chillies, aubergines and many other plants, so fingers crossed for an improved return this season, with a little bit of help from the British summer, of course! Check back soon for further updates.

Brill View Farm Results Brill View Farm Results

If you would like to visit the trial, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.