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Solo cup watering

Posted by LexxLuthor 5 Syracuse (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 20:01

When bottom watering with 20oz. and 8oz. solo cups how much water needed to fill. I am going away for 3 to 4 days can I leave enough in the bottom so no one will have to water for me. Thanks for all the help I have received since joining this forum.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Solo cup watering

Well, here is my opinion. I will have to say that my plants range from 5-10" tall that are in SOLO cups in small 8oz and 16oz. I have them in a greenhouse in a south facing window and I usually bottom water once a week without ill effects. I just watered last night after about a week and a half. I would just do a good bottom watering and you should be fine. YMMV. I am in zone 3 and thermostat is set at 74. I hope this helps some.


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RE: Solo cup watering

I bottom water ALL my seedlings, ONCE a week, THOUROUGHLY. Let them sit in water for an HOUR. Then take them out and let the excess water to drain out and then put them under the light. So 3-4 day should not be a problem at all.


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RE: Solo cup watering

I wouldn't let them sit in water while you're away.... Asking for trouble.

Whether solo or 4", I bottom water for about a half hour and let drain. That's more than enough for at least a week unless they need potting up anyhow. I also top water occasionally to flush out the salts.

Kevin


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RE: Solo cup watering

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 0:13

I think there might be a little confusion with bottom watering. Some people consider it to be doing what Seysson described where they let them sit in water and get saturated from top to bottom, then pull it out and let it drain before putting back in its tray. Others consider it to be putting a layer of water at the bottom of the tray that is maybe a half inch or so and letting the water wick up into the containers from the bottom on a nearly continuous basis.
Bruce


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RE: Solo cup watering

I dont leave them in water except when I am watering. I just want to make sure that they are well watered. Letting them sit in water, even in wet saucer can cause problems, I think.


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RE: Solo cup watering

Do these solo cups have holes in the bottoms?


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RE: Solo cup watering

Well, mine do.... They do not come this way, although it would be cool. I just use a soldering pencil and make 5 holes in the bottom. There are many other ways, but I just did it this way and it works rather well.


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RE: Solo cup watering

that's good idea obchili... I've been just using a heated up knife. Forgot about my soldering pencil!

Kevin


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RE: Solo cup watering

I just heat up an old phillips screwdriver over a piece of charcoal soaked in lighter fluid and do a stack of 10 of them at a time, 5 holes in each.


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RE: Solo cup watering

Tried my first hand at solo cup watering with one big dime sized hole, and two or three smaller ones I poked with a knife. Got about a dozen going right now in the tray.

After a half hour, it does not seem the dampness has reached anywhere near the top. Should it be completely saturated on top before I end the process? I'm just not sure how far I should take it..


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RE: Solo cup watering

How deep did you plant them when you put them into the cups? If you think the roots are still, say, only in the top half then I would let them sit in water until you see the top just start to darken - not get soggy. Then let drain but the nice thing about bottom watering is not too much will drain out (compared to top watering where a lot might just run right through). 3-4 days without water should be fine, if the soil is moist that's a lot of volume and they won't dry out in that time.

Do you have your lights on timers?


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RE: Solo cup watering

Yeah, lights are on from 6am-9pm.

I would say the roots have reached halfway to two-thirds down the cup at this point. From what you're saying, I should let the top get damp. Could this take over an hour?


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RE: Solo cup watering

If they're down below half then maybe you don't need to let the top get so wet, but it's hard to tell how deep the roots go. That's why I don't like to use such deep containers (though I have used the cups for tomatoes, b/c I don't fill them, can add more medium as the plant grows taller).

If you really think the roots are that well developed, then no I don't think you need to see the surface darken/moisten, since peppers don't like as much water as tomatoes, just leave the cups in a couple inches of water for 30-60 minutes depending on how dry they are right now, til they're heavy and let drain well. o this the day before you leave, not *right* before, so if you leave them in too long and they drain quite a bit you can empty the tray and not leave them sitting in water. Or if you don't leave them in long enough and they feel a little light later that night, or plants look a little wilted b/c the water hasn't reached the roots you can (carefully) water a little from the top if needed.

When was the last time you watered them, and how often have you been watering?


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RE: Solo cup watering

I place the solo cups in a deep water/nutrient/h2o2 bath until they are fully wet to the top, about 5 minutes then put them back under the lights. Watering fully to the top encourages the roots to grow everywhere resulting in a tighter root ball. Bottom watering with too little water will encourage the taproot to grow down to quickly in search of the water and inhibit all the cool little hairlike roots from spreading throughout the cup.


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RE: Solo cup watering

5 minutes? My dime sized holes on the bottom (and newer small holes surrounding it) must be set up wrong. After an hour, the dampness barely gets halfway up.


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RE: Solo cup watering

Take scissors and snip around the bottom edge. 5 minutes seems a bit too short to me to thoroughly wet a 16 oz cup but definitely within half an hour you should see some darkening of the surface. If it's taking more than an hour, I wonder how long it's taking to drain - that's more of a problem.


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