The Hydroponics Wick System Explained
A hydroponics wick system is a very basic setup to allow the gardener some slack in the watering regimen. It uses a setup that draws water from a reservoir up into the plants roots using a wick. The reservoir can also be filled with a nutrient solution instead of plain water.
A very easy way to get the hydroponics wick system up and running is to begin with two equally sized buckets, some fibrous nylon rope,and water. This is a very simple set up and many variations are available to you. These instructions will give you a basic understanding and you will be able to take them as a guide and modify them to your specific situation.
The two buckets are going to be stacked on top of one another when the project is finished. The top bucket should have three or four equally spaced holes placed in the bottom. The holes should only be large enough to fit the rope through them. The rope should be cut long enough to reach the bottom of the second bucket when they are stacked all the way to the top of the first bucket.
The following step is to string the rope through the holes in the bucket to the top of the bucket and hold them in place with the grow medium. Taking great care, transplant your plant into the grow medium. Make sure you are using the proper transplanting technique specific to the plant you are growing.
The last step is to fill the other bucket with water to a point that allows for the wicks to be dipped into it when you stack the buckets but not so full that it will touch the bottom of the bucket with the holes in it. This will allow the wicks to draw water up into the first bucket and keep the soil moist but it will not be too full as to keep the roots soaked.
If you overfill the bucket you can get a flood or you could have your plants soaking in water without adequate oxygen supply. If more than the wicks are in the water you might end up drowning your plant. Other problems could occur such as root rot.
That should give you the basic idea of the hydroponic wick system. There are many different tweaks you could give it to suit your specific situation. The idea remains the same, use a wick to draw water from a reservoir to keep the roots adequately watered. Some gardeners use a fertilized grow medium and plain water while others choose a low nutrient medium and add nutrients to the reservoir. Each method works well it just depends on what you have to work with.
As you can see the idea is the same, use a wick to keep the plants root system fed. The techniques are just adjusted based on the facts mentioned earlier, space, experience level, and available supplies. Get out there and try a few things out, and remember to be patient. Happy Gardening!