Rope wick for SWC

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svalli
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Rope wick for SWC

#1

Post: # 48338Unread post svalli
Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:42 am

I have had some type of self watering containers made with expanded clay aggregate on the bottom and the soil separated with landscape fabric. These have been working fine for years, but this year I changed all soil to new one and wanted an easier to clean design. The roots keep growing through the fabric to the clay pebbles and it is in the end full of old and new roots.
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We had same diameter but shallower containers around, which my DH had been using for starting tree seedlings. He did not need those anymore, so I stacked them inside the deeper ones to make the self watering containers. Since the polypropylene braided rope worked so well in small scale for the wick watering of African Violets, I wondered if thicker rope would work for the bigger containers.

I have now 10 of these built and planted in my greenhouse. If the wicking does not work, I may have to water from the top and try to change the design for next year. So far it looks good, but I did top watering after planting a week ago, so it is hard to say if these do work like intended.
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Sari
"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream."
- Moomin-troll by Tove Jansson

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svalli
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Re: Rope wick for SWC

#2

Post: # 49755Unread post svalli
Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:56 am

My gamble for changing all SWCs for tomatoes to a rope wick system was successful. I have now had plants growing in them for a month and have watered just via the fill tube except the first watering when planting. When the season is over It will be interesting to see if roots have grown to the water reservoir through the holes for ropes.

I did not have enough those shallow containers to change also the ones where I have cucumbers, so those are re still the old way with LECA and landscape fabric. Next spring I have to change also those to the double container design.

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Sari
"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream."
- Moomin-troll by Tove Jansson

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Whwoz
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Re: Rope wick for SWC

#3

Post: # 49771Unread post Whwoz
Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:11 am

Working wonderfully Sari. some lovely plants there for this southerner to see
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Barb_FL
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Re: Rope wick for SWC

#4

Post: # 50516Unread post Barb_FL
Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:13 am

Your plants look really good. On the new rope, do you cover with the clay balls?

I use Earthboxes and cover the EB aeration screen with shade cloth or screen. I get massive roots in the reservoir; I dump / clean the EB between uses.
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svalli
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Re: Rope wick for SWC

#5

Post: # 52088Unread post svalli
Thu Aug 12, 2021 2:34 am

Barb_FL wrote:
Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:13 am
Your plants look really good. On the new rope, do you cover with the clay balls?

I use Earthboxes and cover the EB aeration screen with shade cloth or screen. I get massive roots in the reservoir; I dump / clean the EB between uses.
I did not use the clay balls at all. I filled the containers with peat based potting soil and moistened the peat at planting. It has gotten all the water after that via the rope pieces.

There is no aeration in my boxes and I was worried about that, but it may be that since I use the rope for wicking and none of the potting media is submerged in the water, the moisture level stays optimal.

Sari
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"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream."
- Moomin-troll by Tove Jansson

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