Wick Hydroponic System – Best and Easy Hydroponic System for Beginners
The Wick Hydroponic System is a growing concept. The modern world has accepted it with open arms. This is because, in this era of small apartments and compact spaces, many don’t have the luxury of creating a large plantation space. As a result, they have to settle with small terrace spaces. The hydroponic system has taken away the frets about the absence of space. This system gives the luxury of creating a garden even inside a compact space. Using this system, you could grow your favorite plants anywhere.
There are two different categories of the hydroponic system – active system and passive system. Hydroponic wick falls into the category of a passive system. This system hardly requires any active movement. Also, you would not need to use sophisticated machines like pumps and motors which makes it an ideal method to be adopted in places with no reliable electricity supply. This system does not need elaborated planning and strategizing either.
How to Setup Wick Hydroponic System
While you are setting up the system, you need to consider some essential facts. This system does not require you to use any expensive tools. You can use common household objects to build up the wick system.
Basic Requirements for Wick Hydroponic System
You would need below components to setup Wick Hydroponic System.
- You would need a container for plantation. You can use a tray for convenience as well.
- A bucket to work as a reservoir
- Growing media for plant
- Wicking material or rope
- Nutrient solution
- Air stone and air pump if your are setting up little big system for multiple plants.
Winter wear fabric could work as the wick fairly well. All you have to do is, tear up long pieces from the winter wears to create wicks. Nylon ropes or strings from floor mops can also work as wicks.
You would have to take regular care of the reservoir. This is because the success of the wick system depends on the ability of the water nutrients to travel up and reach the plants. This is why – you would have to keep filling out the reservoir to make sure that the nutrient water was available in adequate quantity. Remember that the root of the plants should never go dry. You need to make sure that your plants are always adequately hydrated.
Below are the most suitable media for Wick Hydroponic Systems:
- Coco coir (fibers from the outer coconut husks) has exceptional preservation of moisture and the additional advantage of being pH neutral.
- Perlite is pH neutral and highly soluble as well, making it suitable for wicking systems.
- Vermiculite is also very porous, and also has a high potential for cation-exchange.
Process for Setting up Wick Hydroponic System
- You would have to pour the nutrient water in the reservoir.
- Place the raising tray on top of it and fill it with growing media.
- After that, you would have to place the wicks in the media for plant growth. These wicks should be placed close to the roots. For each plant in the rising tray, you’ll want to make sure that you have at least one wick flowing from the reservoir.
- Once this is settled, you would have to place the plants in such a way that the wicks hang inside the reservoir.
- Don’t expect to get it right the first time. You might have to go through multiple attempts to find out the right way of setting up the wick system.
- Setup up air stone and air pump for the better aeration.
How does Wick Hydroponic System
The plants are nestled on a tray that sits atop a reservoir which consists of a water solution of dissolved nutrients. Wicks move to the growing tray from the reservoir. The wick carries the water and nutrients and saturates the growing media around the plants’ root systems.
The wick absorbs the water it is submerged in like a sponge, and it moves the nutrient solution as it comes into contact with the porous rising media. The Wick hydroponics device only operates if it is supported by increasing media that can promote the movement of nutrients and water.
Regular care of the reservoir is a must as success of the wick system depends on the ability of the water nutrients to travel up and reach the plants. This is why – you would have to keep filling out the reservoir to make sure that the nutrient water is available in adequate quantity. Remember that the root of the plants should never go dry. You need to make sure that your plants are always adequately hydrated.
Plants to grow using Wick Hydroponic System
The Wick system is wonderful for beginners. You could grow green leafy plants like lettuce and herbs using this system. Herbs such as Rosemary can be grown easily by wick system which requires less amount of water.
Wick system is not suitable for plants like Tomatoes or fruits would require a lot of water to grow.
Advantages of Wick Hydroponic System
Easy installation: They do not require much space and electricity hence can be set up anywhere around the house. The setup is easy and hence can be installed by anyone.
Less care: The wick makes sure that the nutrients reach the plants uniformly, hence it does not require much care or attention other than changing the nutrient solution once a while.
Disadvantages of Wick Hydroponic System
Attracts pathogens: The continuous supply of nutrient solutions leaves the media damp and moist. This can attract pathogens that cause root rot and other diseases.
Plants grown: Can only grow plants that require less care, have a small life cycle and does not require much water. Not suitable for growing most of the vegetables.