Getting your Water Resi Going
For people that keep a small personal grow, the choice to either hand-water or setup a more sophisticated watering system can be a difficult one. Is the time and expense of setup and materials worth the payoff? It can be! This article will show you how to get going with the “Mandro” method… Man powered hydro.
What is the Mandro Method?
The mandro method is simple… it merges two aspects of the two most common watering techniques, hand-watering and hydroponics. Because a hydro system is constantly flushing water through the plants, it needs a reservoir to act as a constant water source. In a true hand-watering setup, water is transported to the plants via a container and applied manually. The Mandro method uses the best of both worlds, allowing you to keep plenty of well-prepared water (we’ll get into that later) on hand for lots of watering. There are two key benefits:
To get the most from your plants, you should give them what they want when they want it, nothing less, nothing more. Having a reservoir of properly PH’d, nutrified, warmed, and aerated water on hand ensures that your plants will get the same thing everytime you water… same temperature, same PH, same nutrients (unless it’s time to change them).
It’s easier! Watering is a chore when done the traditional way, this will put watering at your fingertips and make your nightlies a snap.
Awesome! How do I start?
You will need the following things:
1. 22 Gallon Trash Can
2. $60 1200 gal/hour sump pump.
3. Hi-quality gardening hose (approx 20′ is good)
4. Hi-quality watering wand with hand valve (to turn your water on/off at the wand)
5. Water heater (for fish tanks or from your local grow store)
6. Water aerator (for fish tanks or from your local grow store)
7. A No-Kink for your hose… it’s a spring that keeps the part of the hose near the wand from kinking and cutting of your water supply.
Step 1 – install your water heater
Most in-water heaters have suction pads on the sides. Use these to squarely attach your heating wand to the side of the trash can, about 2/3rds of the way down, oriented vertically. Make sure no metal is touching the plastic of the water reservoir. At very high temperatures this can melt your resi and cause problems (aka flooding). Plug your heater into a constant power source.
Step 2 – fill your resi
Put your water reservoir (the trash can) where you want it to stay, cuz it’s heavy once it’s full of water – and very awkward to move. Fill it to the top, about an inch to spare.
Step 3 – install your aerator.
This is easy… plug it into a constant power source and turn it in, then dunk it on in there. It should rest at the bottom of the trash can, so the air travels through all the water.
Step 4 – install your sump pump.
Also easy… take the sump pump out of the box. Screw one end of your gardening hose onto the mount on the pump. Holding your power cord and hose in one hand, sink your sump pump down to the bottom of the resi, letting it come to rest flat on the floor of your trash can, not touching your water heater. Plug your pump into a switched power source, so you can turn it on/off easily for watering time! A power strip with an on/off switch is fine.
Step 5 – attach your wand.
Screw your wand onto the remaining end of the garden hose. Voila! You now have a 2-valve automated watering system for soil containers, aka a Mandro System! To use, make sure your valve on your wand is in the off position, turn on your pump switch, and now you have an interruptable flow of water at your wand just like you would if you had it attached to your household plumbing.
Step 6 – refilling your resi
The whole point of a reservoir is convenience and consistency of quality, so make sure you set yourself up to easily refill your resi when needed. Also make sure to schedule your refills so that the new water has time to heat and aerate before being applied to your plants. If you forget to fill it, then realize you need to water, and fill it in a rush (especially during cold weather) you’ll shock your plants and set them back, which you want to avoid.
So That’s It!
You are now all set to enjoy the convenience and quality of the Mandro method. For more information on what to do with your newly-handy stash of super awesome gueriilla water, check out our next two entries, where we discuss the benefits of using soil and go into the murky depths of what exactly makes up good water.