|Autopot Systems® (自主潮汐式養液栽培系統)，源起於傳統養液供給方式的操作困境與缺失之改善所因應而生。一般常被利用之湛液循環給液DFT、薄膜流層NFT等架構以及點滴灌溉Dripping等方式，前二者由於水體甚大，啟動和液溫控制的能源所費不貲，加上病原菌易於循環過程蔓延且設置施工時間與成本較不經濟，後者則控制準確度不易掌握，介質易於出現鹽類蓄積障害(Build up)，其點滴裝置亦經常阻塞且三者同樣存在廢液排放等環保問題。這些疑慮在未來農業的投資上將無法真正落實環境保護與節能減碳的高規格標準，因而現階段全球的糧作生產與環境平衡兩大議題更必需要以嶄新的思維與技術才能夠挑戰高速發展的現代農業。
Why plants grow so well in the Autopot Systems®.
A further advantage is in the way in which water is delivered to the plant. Many Hydroponic systems recognise the fact that nature conditioned most plants to get alternating cycles of moisture so that they start out wet and then gradually dry out before it rains again to supply more moisture. If the water comes too frequently before the plant has dried out the growth of the plant is inhibited. And if the plant dries out completely and stays that way for a period longer than it is conditioned to tolerate, it will either die completely or suffer a severe setback in its growth pattern. The common conventional hydroponic system using media are drip to waste and ebb and flow. In a variety of ways and under a variety of systems of control, a water/nutrient mix is supplied to the plants in the system. The control at its simplest is manual, and at its most complicated, computer controlled. Even in the most comprehensive computer controlled Nutrient Film (NFT) systems, the cycle is normally dictated by the needs of the thirstiest of the plants in the system, so the average plant will get more water/nutrient than it needs which is usually also more than is good for it. This is done on the basis that a bit too much water, while perhaps not the ultimate in supplying the best growth rate, is better than too little water. There’s an old farmers saying that “you can always grow something in mud but you can’t grow anything in dust”. Another side problem with conventional hydroponic is that all systems recirculate nutrient which very often accounts for the nutrient becoming corrupted and spreads disease problems through the entire system. To alleviate this problem it is standard practise to constantly monitor and balance the pH and CF level of nutrient which requires a significant investment in both equipment and time, or in many professional systems, excess water and nutrient is run to waste.
The Autopot Systems® is designed so that the individual plants in their individual containers can dictate when they get their water, according to their needs. A wide range of different plants in an Autopot Systems will each take on water at totally different times and cycles, rather than being tied to an automated cycle. This is achieved without the use of electricity, pumps or expensive plumbing, yet the system operates fully automatically as dictated by the plants themselves. For instance, in the Autopot Systems, a potted cactus that may require water every third day or so will happily thrive alongside a tuberous begonia which in summer is demanding water three or even four times a day, each time getting a wet cycle and each time becoming virtually dry again before the water is replenished, as nature intended. Both plants will flourish. This is the vitally different aspect of the Autopot Systems and the one that gives the system its great advantages. Even the most sophisticated computer controlled watering cycle cannot come anywhere near matching the advantages of having the plants dictate their own individual needs.