Hydroponics

Wick System – How To Get Started

The Wick System is without a doubt one of the simplest hydroponic systems to get started with.

In this post, we take a look at what the wick system is, how to get started, some of the benefits and towards the end, I’ll show you how to create your own system at home.

Let’s get started!

What Is The Wick System?

The plants or crops being grown are potted in their growing medium and then suspended above a bucket of nutrient mix.

In fact, a very basic system could be created with things most of us have around the house (keep reading as we’ve included a simple system at the bottom of this post).

The true beauty of the system is in the simplicity and with no moving parts, it’s cheap to set up.

Benefits of The Wick System

  • No moving parts to go wrong
  • Can be made from parts you find around the home
  • No skill needed to get started
  • No electricity needed

Downsides of The Wick System

Okay, so I’ve told you about the benefits – time to talk about the downsides… and there are a couple to be aware of.

Small plants only – as the wick won’t be able to carry sufficient nutrients to support larger plants, you’ll be limited in what you can grow.

Uneven distribution – the wick will not transport the nutrients evenly and those left behind in the reservoir will build up to form potentially toxic residue.

No oxygenation – with no air pump, air stones or water pump no oxygenation takes place in the reservoir.

What these downsides really mean is that while the Wick System is a hydroponic system, it’s not one that can support many plants.

How To Build A Wick System

We’ve put together a super simple wick system set up that’s ideal for beginners to try out.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 2 litre soda bottles
  • Duct tape
  • Knife
  • Growing medium
  • A wick

How To Build

  • Take your soda bottle and cut in two about 8 inches from the bottom
  • Cover the edges with duct tape to prevent the top slipping
  • Press a small hole in the cap for the wick
  • Feed the wick into and through the hole so it’s evenly distributed
  • Secure the cap onto the top half of the bottle
  • Add your grow media to the top half of your bottle
  • Plant toye cuttings of seeds
  • Fill the bottom of the bottle half way with nutrient solution
  • Place the top section into the bottom so the wick dangles into the solution
  • Watch your plants grow!

The Bottom Line

The Wick system is without a doubt one of the simplest hydroponic systems to get started with given how quick and easy it is to set up.

Once you’ve tried the wick system for yourself, we recommend trying out the deep water culture system which again is a simple system to get started with but introduces a few moving parts and lets you grow more such as lettuce and flowers.