How to Grow Lettuce Using a Wicking System

Picture of How to Grow Lettuce Using a Wicking System
I have grown lettuce using a nylon wicking system shown in the attached photos. The lettuces are 4 weeks old after their transplanting from seedlings. This system is so simple and very effective. Once you fill the reservoir, you don’t need to water them again until they are harvested. The top level of water should not touch the bottom of the growing container. I gave ¼ cup of water daily for the first week, though. From then, all I did was to apply NEEM spray as an insect repellent once a week from the second week, foliar fertilizer spray on leaves and liquid fertilizer on top of each pot once every 14 days. The lettuce has been very happy as shown in the photos.

I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY GROWN 50 POTS IN MY GLASSSHOUSE AT THE BACKYARD. What I used for each pot were a nylon rope, a black plastic container, a transparent plastic reservoir (I chose a transparent reservoir to see the water level in case I need to top up the water), and a black plastic bag (for wrapping around the reservoir to discourage the algae to develop).
christhi11 months ago

Great! Did you used earth on the lettuce´s bucket?

geneoh (author)  christhi11 months ago
Yes, I used normal potting mix.
Tizaro3 years ago
Wonderful Idea, I'm considering this for my new apartment when I move in the coming weeks.

May I ask, what kind of lettuce is it that you're using here. and will it work with other kinds?
my next step i guess will be to look for some "matching" buckets
geneoh (author)  Tizaro3 years ago
Thanks for your visit. The lettuces are lollo lossa and lollo bionda. I have also tried a number of other lettuces, and all like this system. I am currently growing other lettuces includingn Great lakes and Cos verdi.
Ronyon3 years ago
I love your design,your use of the rope makes the this one of simplest SIP's I have ever seen.The black bag/clear container is also a great combo.Do you fertilize as well?
geneoh (author)  Ronyon3 years ago
Yes, I use foliar fertilizer spray as well as liquid fertilizer fortnightly.
what medium are you growing them in?
geneoh (author)  Building Books3 years ago
I used about 5% vermiculite at the bottom and good potting mix on top of that almost to the brim of the growing container.
bruc33ef3 years ago
This one's a winner. This is one of the simplest Sub-Irrigated Planters (SIP) I've seen. It's a terrific design, and even easier than some of those on the Inside Urban Green site.

No reason you couldn't do this with cheap 5-gal buckets, either. For anything larger (and more expensive) than that, I think I'd go with one of the aforementioned designs which only require one bucket. But for a small SIP, this is great! I rate this 4.5.
geneoh (author)  bruc33ef3 years ago
Many, many thanks for your encouraging words!
scoochmaroo3 years ago
Fantastic! I would consider using one of your last pictures as an intro image to let people see what they're in for. Do you make your own neem spray?
geneoh (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
Thanks for your encouraging words. As for your question about NEEM, my answer is: No, I have purchased one small bottle locally from Bunnings in Auckland, New Zealand. You may dilute it mixing with water before you use it.