Introduction: Simple Hydroponics Wick System

Picture of Simple Hydroponics Wick System

Hydroponics Wick System

Follow these steps to learn how to setup a simple hydroponics wick system. Hydroponics is an innovative way to grow without the use of soil (which can contain some pesky pests). This setup also incorporates recycling and self watering.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1 - 2 liter soda bottle

6-24 inch length of cotton rope or string (non coated) length depends on string width

2/3 cup - coco coir

1/3 cup - perlite

4 cups - water

1 Tbsp - miracle grow or plant food

4 - lettuce seeds

1 - craft knife

1 - marker

1 - ruler

1 - drill or hammer with nail

1 - cutting mat

Step 2: Step 1 - Measure, Mark and Cut

Picture of Step 1 - Measure, Mark and Cut

Measure from the bottom of the 2 liter bottle 8 inches.

Mark the measurement with a permanent marker.

------For even sides place 8 inch marks in two other equidistant spots on the bottle.

Using a craft knife cut the top of the bottle off following the marks.

Invert the top portion of the bottle and place it in the bottom to check for fit!

Step 3: Step 2 - Drilling the Cap for a Wick

Picture of Step 2 - Drilling the Cap for a Wick

There are two ways that this step can be done. If you have access to an electric drill this is the most simple way to put a hole in the cap. But if you don't you can always use a hammer, nail and craft knife.

Leave the cap on the top portion of the bottle or use a protected work bench so you don't damage the tabletop.

Mark you cap with the size of hole you want

Hammer a nail through the cap

Remove the nail and cut away the plastic to enlarge the wick space.

Step 4: Step 3 - Cutting and Placement of the Wick

Picture of Step 3 - Cutting and Placement of the Wick

Depending on the thickness of cotton string you have (we had thin string) you may have to loop your string.

You want about 1/4 inch string thickness so that enough moisture is drawn to the growing media.

Measure 12 inch length of string (loop several times if needed) and cut.

Push the string through the cap.

-----------You want half of the string above and below

Knot the string inside the cap as close to the cap as possible.

Step 5: Step 4 - Adding the Growing Media and Nutrient Water

Picture of Step 4 - Adding the Growing Media and Nutrient Water

Mix the growing media by combining the 2/3 cup of coco coir and the 1/3 cup of perlite together.

Place the growing media in the top portion of the bottle being sure to hold onto the wick so it spread the height of the top portion of the bottle.

Remove the top portion of the bottle and set aside.

Mix the 1 tablespoon of Miracle Grow or plant food with 4 cups of water

Check and mark how high you want the water, the wick must be submerged.

Add the water to your mark.

Place the top portion back onto the bottom portion.

Step 6: Step 5 - Plant Seeds and Watch Them Grow

Picture of Step 5 - Plant Seeds and Watch Them Grow

Plant your seeds at the specified depth on the back of the package.

Set your hydroponics unit in the sun and watch the seeds grow!

You can also decorate your pop bottle if you want to make this into a Mother's Day gift or just to spice up your Planter. I would use Washi tape or colored duct tape.

Comments

OneBirdieMa (author)2016-05-04

I did a version of this last year with some good success. I used strips of old sweatshirt for the wicks -- two per bottle -- and didn't bother with the top of the bottle as is shown in the illustration. I was forcing bulbs, so I used garden soil rather than coir, but I suppose that would have worked also. I think this would be spectacular for starting some seeds that start quickly and turn into fairly big plants before they are put in a garden bed -- gourds come to mind at the moment. Net: I recommend this highly for making good use of quart size plastic bottles.

Khauber (author)OneBirdieMa2016-05-26

I really like your idea for the t-shirt/sweatshirt wick, that would be a great way to recycle an old shirt!

Erbenator (author)2016-04-30

very nice, #420??

About This Instructable

2,758views

91favorites

License:

Bio: 7-12 Science Instructor that loves to teach kids through projects. I have a wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 girls!
More by Khauber:Simple Hydroponics Wick SystemPaper AirplanesPaper Bird Mobile
Add instructable to: