Which Growing Media?
When hand-watering, it is important that your chosen growing medium has free drainage with good oxygen to water retention. A good soil mix or coco mix will work great in this system.
Planning Your Grow Schedule
To get the best possible results from your IWS Hand Watering system we recommend a good 20% run off of nutrient solution with each feed, we would also recommend a full saturation of the growing media at least once a day and allow the media to drain and loose most of its water before feeding again.
As with all hydroponic systems, the nutrient strength and feed cycle should reflect your environment. For example; if you’re using clay pebbles and the environment is hot and the humidity is low, these hot and dry conditions will cause the plant to use more water and less nutrient, causing the nutrient strength to rise in the reservoir. In these circumstances we recommend setting the nutrient strength lower than usual to account for rising strength. In these conditions the pots should be flooded more often, up to once per hour.
The same room during cooler conditions, with a higher humidity, will mean higher nutrient strengths can be used and the number of feed cycles can be reduced to once every 2-3 hours. Always consider the effect that the environment will have on your plants and adjust your feeding strategy accordingly.
Maintainance – Avoiding root blockages
Roots growing out of the pot can cause blockages in the pipe work. This can be avoided by always using the copper root control disks provided and routinely turning the inner pot every 2-3 days in the same direction. This will ensure the roots stay away from the tube and will help to produce more even growth.
If you suspect your pots or pipe work may be blocked, you can check by quickly flooding the pot with 5-8 litre of nutrient solution in from the top of the pot. If the solution drains away freely it’s okay, if it takes a long time to drain you most likely have a blockage. If you have a blockage you should remove the inner pot and check the inlet/outlet tube for roots or debris.
Most system problems are due to not keeping a clean system. You must make sure that float switches in the brain pot do not become dirty or clogged with any growing media or debris. Every time you refill the reservoir, a quick rinse with fresh water over the switches will help prevent problems. If you do notice sediment or debris in the reservoir or brain pot, remove or clean it immediately before a problem occurs.