What is a plant activated irrigation system?
What is a SmartValve?
This is a system where the plant determines how much nutrient rich water is delivered to it. The more the plant transpires the more water it uses and the more the system supplies.
The heart of the Autopot System is the SmartValve. This innovative little device works on a vacuum float principle, a bit like a car carburettor. As the plant uses water, so the float level drops. When it reaches its minimum setting, the inlet valve opens to allow the chamber to refill to its maximum level. The plant thus has a constant supply of nutrient rich water to use as it requires.The SmartValve’s simple design makes it the perfect tool for gravity feeding. This is often achieved by the use of a water butt or any suitable container, which should be made of plastic to avoid contamination of the water. The water butt or container should then be situated so that its bottom is level or higher than the valves connected to it. The higher and larger the water butt, the higher the pressure will be. Also, having a larger water butt will mean that it will last longer between top ups (if not connected to the mains) and can also have more units connected to it. This is by far the simplest and most popular method of supplying water and food to the SmartValve.
The systems can be built up to give a considerable number of AutoPots, each with its own valve, all running off one nutrient tank. The main benefits of this type of system are:-
1 The plant uses everything that is supplied to it.
2 There is no water loss due to run off or leakage.
3 Maintenance is kept to a minimum.
4 It is very environmentally friendly.