Tips and Tricks

Run-Aways—how to avoid

“Run-Aways” are Blumats that don’t turn off. Almost every time this happens, it’s because of air. Blumats don’t like air – either inside or outside or in the supply line.

Is it okay to bury my BluSoak soaker hose?

Yes, it actually works better if buried. That’s when the root demand action kicks in. The root exudates pull on the water supply when the plant needs water, stops pulling when they have enough. Also being buried prevents UV from making the tubing crack and split. If buried, it can last over 25 years. Burying it also lets you plough or rototill over it in the spring. Don’t bury more than about 8’’ deep unless only covered with mulch, not soil. If installing under athletic grass, make sure it’s at least 4” under to prevent sogginess.

Blumats and Temperature

Blumats and Temperature – With big temperature swings, Blumats can suffer an “airpocket" effect. 

Setting Tips

Setting Tips — Besides the normal instructions, here are some helpful hints:

Forgot to refill reservoir?

If you forget to refill a reservoir or for some other reason your sensors dry out, it’s important to re-soak them again. Unless you caught it quickly, only refilling them with water may not be enough and can lead to more run-aways.

How often to recheck and how much to adjust?

It’s important to recheck settings after one day as well as after 2-3 days. The first time gives the moisture in the container time to equalize. The second time gives the Blumat membrane time to adjust.

How many carrots per pot?

The Blumat sizing tables assume a traditional potting mix.  Super soils or cocoa only mixes can change those recommendations.

Air bubbles in Blumat sensor?

Often water supplies have large amounts of dissolved gases and we don’t want that inside the Blumat cones when setting them up. For soaking and initial set up, it’s best to use clean rainwater or something similar. You can also boil water to dissipate the gases, let cool, and then use that to soak the carrots.

Placing the Sensors—Fabric vs. Plastic Pots:

 In a plastic pot, in doesn’t make as much difference but in a fabric pot; it’s important to not place the carrot too close to the side. Fabric pot sides dry out more quickly and if the carrot is too close, the water inside it could be pulled out leading to slower on-off cycles or even run-aways.

Reservoirs in gravity systems

If you have too many plants and not enough room for a big, high reservoir, you can use a small reservoir high connected to a large one at floor level. 

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