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Dipping Your Wick

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Dipping Your Wick

Post by assassin on Tue May 09, 2017 3:19 am

Its not what the dirty minded among you think it is, its another simple way of watering growing spaces such as greenhouses while you may be away for a few days, or a simple watering system which waters plants automatically for you, and it can be very environmentally friendly by using the correct materials.

Wicking is a simple way of drawing water or anything else up to water something with a small and continual source of water without overwatering something or letting it get too dry during a hot spell, with continual water you get a higher humidity level which often younger plants like as apposed to the continual wet and dry states you get if you water once a day, and it uses simple materials to draw up water onto an absorbant material on which you set pots with seeds or plants in to water them while you are away for a few days.

You begin with a water tank which is filled with water and set the top of this slightly lower than the surface you ar wanting to keep moist, you fill this with water and insert a wicking material to draw water from your tank and ensure it reaches nearly to the bottom of your tank, if you have a greenhouse with the trays as shelving you seal any corners and any holes to make them waterproof and ensure your wick is long enough to go onto those trays. What do you make your wick from? in reality it can be made from anything which absorbs water but if you want to recycle cotton makes a good wick and you can cut up anything from a cotton tee shirt to cotton jeans; the rate of flow is dictated by the size of your wick and often it takes some experimenting to get the wick to the correct size to meet your demand, so I always say make your wick smaller than you need and you can always add another wick to increase flow.

On the bottom of your trays you add more absorbant material, once again cotton is ideal and you add one layer to the bottom of your trays and drop your wick onto it, you then add more layers to the trays and over your wick and build up the layers to the desired thickness, and ensure they all overlap slightly as they have to be in contact with each other to absorb the water and transfer it to the next piece. If you leave it for a few hours it will become wet as the wick draws up the water from your container or tank and wets your cotton base through.

You stand your plants on top of this layer, ensuring your pots, trays, or planters have holes in the bottom and your absorbant layer is thick enough to allow the pots to sink sufficiently deep into the material so it is contact with the compost at the holes in your pot so the water is transferred from the absorbant layer to the growing medium in your pot to keep it moist.

It also has benefits if you use filtered, pure rainwater, distilled, or even fertiliser in your water as you control what water your plants receive so you have full control of your plants environment, and you have full control over the fertilisers you have in your water, particularly if you make your own fertilisers from natural sources.

Common Questions

How long does the water last?

That depends on many factors, those being the size of storage tank you have, the size of the wick and absorbant material you have, and the consumption of your plants.

Can I Use Any Wicking Material?

Yes, as long as its absorbant and this is usually natural materials and fibers, synthetic fibres do not work as well, if at all.

My plants never seem wet, is this a problem?


No, they only need to me moist as they are receiving moisture 24/7 while your tank is full of water and your wick is working.

I have several trays in my greenhouse, how do I connect them?

You lay your first layer of absorbant material into each tray, you then lay a wick between each tray and cover with additional layers of absorbant material.

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