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Getting dry pockets in soil in grow bags

Rtaym22224

Active member
I have tried to find a watering can with a VERY slow trickle and am for some reason having a very hard time doing so. Plants in 3 gals , any recommendations on basic watering to prevent dry pockets
 

goingrey

Well-known member
Different things work for different people.

I like to have an "airy" soil mix. To do that have a lot of LECA or perlite even wood chips or pebbles or whatever in the mix. When filling the containers I drop/pour the soil in but don't push it down to compress it. And I cover the top with LECA or pebbles to "break up" the water when watering. And try to cover the entire surface when watering (obviously easier when hand watering and not using an automated system).

Next poster will prob call me an idiot and say I'm doing it wrong. Whatever, works for me.
 

exploziv

pure dynamite
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sure, any aloe that has pulp to extract some gel, put it in a blender with a bit of water, then add it to the nutes. watering that with a pressure sprayer in fine mist till you get runoff will make sure you wet all the soil after one or a few of those spray waterings. then, the soil should get better at sucking the water itself. You need like a small finger like piece per every bucket, spoon of the gel in a few liters it more than plenty. Strain the water and aloe mixture in a tea strainer or kitchen strainer if you gonna use a sprayer or other fine head watering can.. If organic soil mix you could even leave the bits in there if they not gonna clog your watering can or device. I usually add the aloe bits leftover from harvesting the gel to my mulch anyway.
*edited to add some info!
 
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Rtaym22224

Active member
sure, any aloe that has pulp to extract some gel, put it in a blender with a bit of water, then add it to the nutes. watering that with a pressure sprayer in fine mist till you get runoff will make sure you wet all the soil after one or a few of those spray waterings. then, the soil should get better at sucking the water itself. You need like a small finger like piece per every bucket, spoon of the gel in a few liters it more than plenty. Strain the water and aloe mixture in a tea strainer or kitchen strainer if you gonna use a sprayer or other fine head watering can.. If organic soil mix you could even leave the bits in there if they not gonna clog your watering can or device. I usually add the aloe bits leftover from harvesting the gel to my mulch anyway.
*edited to add some info!
I really appreciate the advice with aloe. I will do this and I also bought a pressure sprayer.
I apologize for such basic questions. Very much appreciated!

Someone suggested poking a stick through the soil after watering to prevent dry pockets. Typically after a watering I do this anyways, should I be doing this at all in grow bags?

After watering I also till the top soil with a fork so it’s not soggy or soaked wet
 

exploziv

pure dynamite
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I wouldn't disturb the soil or roots if possible. The soil should be freedraining so no need for combing it with a fork. Maybe it's really bad soil that's not proper structure for sucking and transporting water? What I wouldtryas an extra measure would be to water well on the top first centimeters of soil, and maybe on outside of the growbag, then leave that pot for 5-10 min before coming back to water the rest of the water. It will retain more water that way, less runoff on same watering.
Next time I would for sure recomend a better soil mix, or maybe even adding some perlite or vermiculite to it, to make it better structure.
 

X15

Active member
in Addition to Aloe you can try Yucca extract, or Aritha powder (aka ). Bubble it for a while and it’ll give the water a bit of what I like to think of as “viscosity“ that’ll help it spread and flow through the soil a bit slower. There’s many advantages to using surfactants.
 

Creeperpark

Well-known member
Mentor
I use a turkey baster and a 1000 ml measuring cup to water my 3-gallon pots and water my plants evenly. For a three-gallon container, I use 2 & 1/2 1000 ml cups of water every 2 or 3 days. Been doing it like that for years. 😎
 

Creeperpark

Well-known member
Mentor
You can't just dump water on a plant and expect it to be watered. Water first using half the amount of water and then wait for an hour before adding the other half. Waiting will allow the water to percolate more evenly, and after waiting for an hr the pH of the soil will be more suitable and acceptable for the rest of the water. Watering soil indoors is a slow process and one needs to take the time to water it correctly. IF you dump and go you will have problems with dry pockets. 😎
 

X15

Active member
Aloe has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 and can lower the pH.😎
Yeah I keep a plant in the back yard at all times. I grew up in Santa Barbara and I had straight up hippie aunts and uncles that would take me to the beach and on walks behind their property in the San Roque hills. They spoke of all the uses and varieties around there, and man there’s so much!

Listen to Creeper, his explanations and advice on watering practices are what you need to learn and perfect… and in the future dry pockets will be a thing of your past.
Watering practices are by far one of the most important factors in being successful.
It must become a ritual and great attention and respect must be given in order to fulfill the plants wants and needs.

Research “Hydrophobic” soils. And all the reasons why things can turn hydrophobic.
 

Rtaym22224

Active member
Bottom water when possible- the wick effect disperses water well, or if it's bad enough, completely submerge them in water for an hour or two (though pay attention because this can change PH/leach some nutrients)
Do I dip the grow bag into water/nute mix? Is that what you mean? I have 3 in plants in .8 gal of soil and 1 in a 3 gal. How deep do I dip the plants into water if that’s what you mean and for how long pardon my ignorance
 

Rtaym22224

Active member
I wouldn't disturb the soil or roots if possible. The soil should be freedraining so no need for combing it with a fork. Maybe it's really bad soil that's not proper structure for sucking and transporting water? What I wouldtryas an extra measure would be to water well on the top first centimeters of soil, and maybe on outside of the growbag, then leave that pot for 5-10 min before coming back to water the rest of the water. It will retain more water that way, less runoff on same watering.
Next time I would for sure recomend a better soil mix, or maybe even adding some perlite or vermiculite to it, to make it better structure.
Appreciate your input in this thread
 

pjlive

Well-known member
I use a turkey baster and a 1000 ml measuring cup to water my 3-gallon pots and water my plants evenly. For a three-gallon container, I use 2 & 1/2 1000 ml cups of water every 2 or 3 days. Been doing it like that for years. 😎
I feel this is the way to go myself with the right media mixes in the pot. Plants really do seem to positively respond to even, frequent fertigations. In my opinion, the more controlled the dose and higher the frequency the better. (y)
 
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Redrum92

Active member
Do I dip the grow bag into water/nute mix? Is that what you mean? I have 3 in plants in .8 gal of soil and 1 in a 3 gal. How deep do I dip the plants into water if that’s what you mean and for how long pardon my ignorance
Yes. Doesn't matter much. I use a giant mixing bowl or one of those plastic storage tubs to set my pot in. Comes up maybe 4 inches, or the bottom 1/3 of the pot. I use water with nutes in it. Basically just passive watering, like beginner hydro. If you had organic soil, you could do straight water.

It's a balance- I've found if you only fill so it covers bottom 1" of pot, you can basically keep refilling it to that level daily, and your soil will regulate oxygen vs moisture well enough. If the whole pot is pretty dry, fill it up high, and see how quickly it sucks up the water. When it stops sucking up water, you're probably good. Just make sure the top doesn't completely dry out- top water as needed and make liberal use of perlite/woodchips as cover.
 
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GrandpaMillenial

Well-known member
I have tried to find a watering can with a VERY slow trickle and am for some reason having a very hard time doing so. Plants in 3 gals , any recommendations on basic watering to prevent dry pockets

I like to water with a dixie cup, this obviously doesnt scale to large gardens.

But first, I water right at the base of the plant, each plant gets a little. This actually moves the soil a bit away from the base.

Then I turn around and go clean / straighten up the room or inspect the plants.

After a few minutes each plant will get two dixie cups, two half circles around the middle between the base and the growing container edge.

Depending on how much I am watering, I will just repeat the waiting period and the half circles.

I use fabric pots so I almost never water along the edge.

At the end, I may top off with new soil, but usually Ill smooth out the dirt to ensure no roots are exposed.

With very young plants or new clones, i dont water at the base, it moves the dirt too much.
 
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