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
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
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
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
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
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
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.