Hydroponic Wick System
The wick system is the only truly passive hydroponic system.
It does not require pumps, timers or aerators. The nutrient is fed to the plants roots via wick action.
Wick systems are best for slower growing, long-term plants like figs, African violets, patio tomatoes, and specimen houseplants (and lazy or forgetful gardeners).
With the hydroponic wick system, there are no moving parts which makes it a very easy to set up and use.
The low cost of the “passive” hydroponic wick system also adds to the popularity.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
The hydroponic wick system relies on capillary action to transfer nutrient solution from the reservoir to the roots.
In a hypdroponic Wick system, the plants are potted in a large pot with a wicking mat in the bottom.
A wick is used to draw nutrient solution from the reservoir (which is located in another container) to feed the roots.
Usually pieces of porous material with high absorbent power like nylon ropes are used as wicks.
One end of the wick is placed at the bottom of the growing container, and the other end is left hanging down the nutrient solution.
The wick draws the water and nutrients from the reservoir up into the growing medium in the container.
While you can basically use any type of growing medium in the Wick hydroponic system,
it is recommended to use growing mediums that can retain more water and nutrients for example; perlite, vermiculite, and / or coconut fiber.
A mixture of perlite / vermiculite in the ratio of 1:1 works great in the Wick system, though the combination of perlite and coconut fiber is common too.
As the Wick system does not have proper aeration for the roots, you might want to install an external air pump to supply oxygen into the nutrient reservoir.
Run an airline from the air pump into the reservoir with the other end attached to an air stone.
This will slowly oxygenate the nutrient solution in the reservoir. When nutrient solution is supplied to the root zone, it allows the roots to breathe.
The wickes hydroponics system does not require pumps, timers or aerators.
Are There Any Issues With Using the Wicks Hydroponics System In Your Garden?
One of the problems associated with the Wikes Hydroponic System is that it is hard to achieve the correct moisture level for the plants,
as the wick used might not be able to pull sufficient water and nutrients to nourish the root.
Therefore You might not see the “super-charged” growth as with other systems that flood the plants liberally with nutrient solution.
But these do make a good, dependable growing system.
You will also need to constantly experiment with different types of wick and growing medium in order to get the right growing environment.
The other bit to watch out for is that the plants may use up the nutrient solution faster than the wicks can provide if the plants are big or if they take up large quantity of water…. so you will need to keep an eye on the situation.
Other than that, the wikes hydroponic system is a passive system.
Other Useful Information
You will find below some more information about how to build a hydroponic wick system of your own
A guide To Building your own hydroponic wick system plus FREE guide to download . Click here to view