By Autumn Consoli 

SmartBee Controllers irrigation technology can assist an already established grower by providing key insight into what is working and what is not in their current cultivation routine.  SmartBee can help you to look below the surface and find out exactly what is going on in your root system, and how those conditions are impacting the yield and quality of your plants.  A strong root system is the literal foundation from which happy, healthy, high-yielding plants are built.  Strong roots allow for adequate nutritional and moisture uptake, and when those components are lacking, the plant suffers immensely.  Poor root health can be the diabolical culprit, when an otherwise thriving plant fails.

SmartBee Water Content Sensor with probes for strong rootsDetermining the health of root systems can be a tricky endeavor, because like an iceberg, the bulk of the evidence is found beneath the surface.

  • How can an experienced gardener take the guess work out of maintaining a healthy root system?
  • What factors are pertinent to creating strong roots?
  • And how can you integrate these factors into your cultivation routine using a SmartBee system?

The size of your medium is a huge determinant of the overall size and quality of your plants.

Exploding Roots during Veg with SmartBee ControllersRoot zones need enough volume for their fibrous tissue to expand and take hold, not only anchoring the plant in place but also acting as an umbilical cord providing nourishment.  A weak or underdeveloped root system will not allow for appropriate influx of water, nutrients, or oxygen and will essentially stunt the plant’s development.  Spindly, spider-like branches and thin stems are often significant of weak or underdeveloped roots.  Root expansion is an ever-evolving process and continues throughout the life of the plant.  Roots are constantly growing.  This process often includes the death and decay of old roots to make room for new root production, which can be slightly misleading.  A little root decay is acceptable, if it is coupled with evidence of new root growth.  This process should be cyclical and progressive.  If roots are debilitating with no stimulation to new growth, plant health may be suffering.  When determining the size of your medium, consider it in proportion to the projected size of the plants fully developed.  The size of the container needs to accommodate continual root growth. If the root zone is cramped, your plants will feel claustrophobic, stunting their development. So how do you know what’s wrong?  Unfortunately, plants do not speak.  They can’t communicate to you exactly what they need.  A SmartBee system acts as a qualified translator, telling you exactly how your plants are feeling and what they need.

SmartBee Irrigation Base System

To ensure that your plants roots reach their full potential and fill up the space that you have allotted to them, you must consider proper irrigation techniques as well as a way to monitor said techniques.  Frequent watering is essential however, one must find a happy medium between underwatering and overwatering.

Overwatering can be just as detrimental to plant health as leaving your them high and dry.  Overwatering can create a lack of oxygen in the root system, depriving your plant of the proper nourishment it needs.  Essentially, you are drowning your roots when you overwater …literally.  A saturated medium does not allow for little air pockets to accumulate, meaning the roots cannot breathe! “HELP!” Lack of oxygen in humans can be fatal, and the same is true for plants.  If the roots are suffocating, that can severely stress the plant out and inhibit growth. And if they can’t grow, they can’t give you those plump healthy buds you desire.

Underwatering is just as harmful. In certain media underwatering can lead to salt build up in the medium making delivery of essential nutrients to the roots difficult. Crispy leaves and a tired, wilted look are indicative of sad thirsty plants, NOT strong roots.  So how can you find that magical sweet spot?  How do you know if your ladies are drinking properly?  Sure, you could use intuition, a subpar moisture meter, or the infamous stick-my-finger-in-the-soil technique, that works for some people.  OR you could open up the communication between you and your plants with a SmartBee irrigation system and take the guesswork out of this process.  With a SmartBee Water Content Sensor, you will be able to see in real time the dry down rate of your medium.  This means that you will see the flux from fully saturated to dry giving you the necessary data determinant of a healthy root zone.  The SmartBee Water Content Sensor uses moisture content in the medium to skip or instigate feedings based on a user defined threshold. This gives you, the experienced grower, peace of mind knowing that your grow is thriving, and your at peak performance.

SmartBee Water Content Sensor ProbeAnother key factor when determining a healthy root zone is the root zone temperature.  Often this factor is overlooked, simply because there is not a convenient and effective method to track it.  Root zone temperature can be more imperative to plant health than even the temperature of the environment.  Appropriate measures are often taken to ensure consistency in the temperature of the environment, and the root zone temp is often overlooked.  However, even a 30 minute buildup of heat in the root zone can be catastrophic to the integrity of plant health.  Essentially everything starts in the roots, and those roots send messages to the shoot, which tell the plant how to react to the surrounding environment.  If the root zone is responsible for what happens in the rest of the plant, it is extremely important to also monitor these conditions.  Generally speaking, root zone temperature should remain between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.  A SmartBee Water Content Sensor Probe has the capability to constantly monitor the temperature of your root zone, and communicate that data in real time, giving you, the serious grower, intelligent insight into the health of your root zone.  When these numbers fluctuate, the trendline on your SmartBee dashboard will reflect those temperature spikes.  Data is power, and with that information you can easily make adjustments to your cultivation routine in order to maintain a clean and consistent graph line reflecting your room’s conditions.  Your ladies will love the consistency, they will feel very secure and well cared for.

Have you ever been cursed with root rot, and had no idea how or why it happened?  Possibly you presumed that your irrigation techniques were on point and those roots were thriving only to be severely mistaken and ultimately disappointed.

With SmartBee technology, you will never again find yourself scratching your head wondering what went wrong.

SmartBee completely eliminates the guesswork, and gives you hard evidence as to exactly what is going on with your grow at all times.  As the cannabis industry advances, and the green rush continues, the technology is also evolving.  With SmartBee Controllers you can stay ahead of the curve, and start growing smarter.  Increase your yields, level up your quality, and dial in your consistency with a SmartBee system.