Bottom feeding method

Has anyone used the bottom feeding method? How much water do you use and how often do you do it? Our plants are only 5 weeks

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Hi @Barron !

Nice to meet you! I’m not familiar with that method, but @Rye , @MDBuds , @Kronic, @DollarBill, @Mrb53004 @Khatru might be. It would be helpful, to start, if you could:

Post a picture or two
Explain what you are growing RE: Strain and soil/coco, etc
What your set up is

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I have them outside unless it’s too cold. I planted them 5 weeks ago and we had an infestation of fungus gnats so I’m tryin to keep the top soil dry and I’m using miracle grow

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It’s the blueberry 🫐

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Bottom water is feasible but to do it right, you have to learn the WEIGHT of you containers wet vs dry. Sometimes you can just bottom water X amount every 2/3 days and get a feel for the weight of the plant in the container. You LIFT it to feel how heavy it is. Wet containers are heavy, dry containers are light.
You cannot really bottom feed enough for the top of the soil to get wet unless you do a SUBMERGE. That is where the entire container is submerged then lifted out to drain. This is usually how we FLUSH plants but it takes ALL the nutrients OUT so not recommended. I would just bottom feed about a cup of water per gallon container and stick your finger in the soil, down to about 2 inches. It should feel damp…After about 30 minutes to WICK the water from the bottom of the container upwards to the rootball. Smaller the container, less water. As vegetation grows, moves into flower, increase water, not how often unless HEAT is up and is transpiring. Container will be light. You can’t really overwater, only water too often

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@Barron bottom feeding works best with extremely soluble hydro nutrients but it does work.

Something like the earth juice sugar peak line, vegamatrix, or the hydroorganics lines.

You just mix your feed as you normally would but instead of watering from the top you just add the feed to the pot saucer. Add enough to fill the saucer then wait. Come back and check. Do it until you have wicked up enough to water and feed the pot and it leaves standing water behind for over an hour. Then you dump the standing water out and clean your saucer to prevent getting fungus or algae.

In my personal opinion this is unnecessary and often labor intensive just go prevent fungus gnats when a good nematode feeding, sticky traps, and DE can solve the issue in about 2 applications.

Bottom feeding and watering can take weeks to actually work because the larvae at the roots can still feed then come to the surface as adults. Nematodes will kill the larvae and the DE will prevent adults from laying eggs. The larvae that escape the Nematodes will die passing through the DE coming to the surface.

It’s pretty effective if you stay on top of it.

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So we are out in the woods and pest are everywhere out here. Even with our pest control people spraying. I got the fungus gnats out so now I’m just trying to prevent them from returning because they did stunt the growth of 2 of our plants. I disposed of and replaced the top layer of soil. that’s why I was trying to figure out bottom feeding.

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Also what is DE? I’m still learning sorry :persevere:

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@Barron DE is Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a powder high in silica that kills insects by puncturing and cutting their exoskeleton and dehydrating them. You put a layer of it on your top soil and it kills pests trying to go in or come out of the soil. It’s a great preventative.

You can use it with bottom feeding too to increase the effectiveness of both. I forgot to mention that earlier. It allows you to keep the top soil dry and covered in DE without constant reapplication.

Another thing that helps is planting companion plants around your property or grow area. Things like lavender, geraniums, etc…

A lot of plants act as natural pest repellents and having some on your property can be beneficial in controlling pests in your grow.

I currently have lavender, peppermint, basil, German chamomile, and others. It helps quite a bit.

Just wish I remembered to put them in or closer to my new tent because now I have ear wigs and white flies I have to deal with. :joy:

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So since they seem to be gone can I just add a layer of the DE and water from the top like normal?

Yes! We plan on getting some lavender and citrus plants. Just been so busy :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

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@Barron if you go that route you need to apply DE after every time you water from the top. The water washes it into the soil and it’s only effective when it’s dry.

I do it this way myself but my gnats are under control in my flower tent. So I really only do it to prevent the gnats from coming back.

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I think at this point they are under control so I’m going to try this! Thank you so much for your help!

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