DAY SEVEN

Last water was at 10-10:30pm last night. The soil this morning… It wasn’t dry but it certainly wasn’t completely saturated either. I’m guessing that the point of hydroponics being to totally bathe the roots in nutrients, and vines not liking to be waterlogged… It doesn’t really go hand in hand… Hence I’ve gone for a very sandy and rocky soil, I just hope it has enough drainage…

As I say, it wasn’t saturated, it wasn’t dry, but it was drier than last night. In terms of the overall reservoir, before I just had it on for half an hour between 10-10:30am, the level was down maybe a half inch. With the better soil now, and it not being as damp as it has been, it has to be going somewhere? Soon enough I will need to be looking at topping up the reservoir.

Next time I am out in the garage I will get pictures of the nutrients I am using: One has kelp extract and is an everyday feed, the other is an organic growth stimulant for plants, dosing at the mature plant dosage despite it being transplanted as I figured this was predominantly for plants grown from seed, i.e. a rate for seedlings.


So couldn’t resist going out and giving her a quick 10 minute water around 12ish. Firstly… this is the stuff I use: MAXICROP At 45ml per 9 litres… I estimate it’s about 18litres, so 90ml, every 10 to 14 days. As I have fast draining soil and the reservoir has dropped a half inch in 3 days. I am going to go with 10 days.

The next two photos… these are my newly invented hydroviticulture sustainable drainage system. Effectively they are just holes I made in the soil. Who knew one day I would actually use a system I knew from my days in property…

Sustainable urban drainage, often takes the form of soakaways. Some store the water in a central porous tank. Naturally letting it soak away in to the land. By poking holes down to the sand layer. These holes fill with water and soak away slowly. Allowing them to gently filter into the lower reaches of the roots. This way nutrient should be more evenly spread through the layer of soil, as the nutrient solution spends, more time reaching a wider range of the soil structure.

What would be better would be to use a mesh tube. Similar to a hop siphon. This would reinforce the holes as they are already showing signs of collapse in some. This is making me wonder about the potential of this idea as well. Reinforced drainage channels to distribute the nutrient solution more effectively, but leave some structure for the vines roots to grow against.

Oh, also it may look more compacted and flat, I gave it a good pressing all over before installing the SUDS. 😉 To be honest the soil I have introduced the vine to, it’s damp, but doesn’t give up much water under pressure. I’m more worried about the soil around the roots of the vine itself… When it arrived I had to press and leave the pot to drain as it was sopping. This was included in the great leveling, i.e. I just pressed it again… That area was by far the wettest… But I dare not poke holes through the root ball.


The issue I currently have, is what is the ideal amount of water to have in the soil? I can break down how long the pump is on, to 30 minute intervals, i.e. it can be on 30 off 30 or any multiple of 15 above 30 minutes. This is why the drip through rate is so important: Because it dictates how quickly I can turn on the pump again. 30 minutes is the minimum though and as I believe its quicker than that its not going to matter, as the minimum between switching on or off is 30 minutes…


So I gave it half an hour near enough of water. That resulted in the left image. On the right after 13 mins and 10 seconds…

So it takes less than 15 minutes to drain an inch of surface water. Plus at that time the majority of the drainage columns. I saw a faint shine at the bottom of a couple near the puddles.


Disaster. Messed around with it trying to improve the water flow some more and all the holes collapsed… found some of my old siphoning tube and cut it into 16 lengths. Have so far I have drilled, 4 holes at each 1 cm of tube in a cross pattern, and installed 7 in about 2.5hrs…

Tomorrow, I will do the rest, but almost more importantly… I have timer plugs coming so I can limit daylight. Currently the led grow lights are on 24/7, which probably isn’t good for the vine. I will set it to 15hrs of daylight, with an emphasis on the middle 12hrs, by having each set of lights on for 13.5hrs with a 12 hour overlap.

Hopefully by tomorrow everything will be together and working. 🙂