Wick material...what works best?

onafixedincome(z8-9 CA)February 21, 2012

A friend is setting up half-plastic-barrel containers and wants to make them self-watering. What kind of small rope or string will do the trick, run up all the way to the top of the soil?

What kind of material should it be so that it does not rot?

If it DOES rot, how do you re-string it again short of dumping the entire planter?

Many thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
calistoga_al

Years ago on a yard sale cruise I found a half roll of upholstery material used to fill a welt seam. It is a synthetic of some kind that wicks well and seems rot proof. Al

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The best material I've found are the woven nylon ties that used to hold mesh citrus and onion bags closed. They wick well & never rot. I have one I've been using for more than 15 years - probably something like Al's referring to.

I use usually use rayon mop strands from 100% rayon mop heads. They work very well.


Al

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bttrflii

i bought 100% rayon yarn based on this recommendation but am unsure how much of it to use for 2" mini pots on the order of the mini-wick pot solution thread. could anyone give some advice?

thanks guys. :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eeaieeaioh(6a)

I have discovered that its not necessary to wick water all the way to the top of the container. My first year doing wicking containers I worried about there not being enough water but now late in the season I'm struggling with too much water.

I think using soil as the wicking medium by means of a wicking cup is far more effective than some sort of wicking material that will rot over time. If there's water down there the roots will find it. That's what they do.

Having said that here are a couple experiments I tried for wicking material that failed so don't try these.

1. Micro fleece. It absorbs a lot of water but doesn't allow the water to move along. It sucks up and holds. I guess that's why people use it to make clothe diapers.

2. Rayon polyester blend that is thin. I tried an assortment of synthetic materials that wouldn't rot but because they were so thin and woven tightly they got compacted by the soil and that restricted the wicking process.

3: Walmart Haines sox. The kind that is not 100% cotton. They sick VERY well but I'm not sure how well they will hold up over time. At the end of this season I will empty the buckets and see how much rot there is. I don't expect them to last more than a couple years.

It's because of issues like I just mentioned that I decided to do a wicking cup with a good water absorbent soil mix.

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 12:48PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need advice for container garden for elderly woman
I have a question on container gardening for an elderly...
sharonkdr
Type of kale... Also, shiny metallic flakes?
Hey, my friend gave me some kale seeds from her plants...
Josie Murray
Dealing with Water-Retentive Soils
Dealing with Water-Retentive Soilscolor>size> A...
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)
Help with 5:1:1
Some lol-basic questions about quantities needed for...
containergardenerbeginner
Question about too much dryness in my container garden
I have several Behlen food-grade stocktanks (1x2x6)...
catherinet
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™