SWC questions

jwahlton(9B Kisimee)March 11, 2011

I think I'm going to try to make some SWC's soon, but I'm having difficulty understanding a couple of things. For some reason I just can't wrap my brain around this thing! OK, I understand that you put the soil into the wicking thing, then fill the rest of the container up with soil, right? Then plant. Do you have to put the plant directly over the wicking container? If I put multiple plants into the container do I need multiple wicking containers? I get the concept of the wicking container watering the soil above it, but for some reason my hard head just can't grasp the concept! Any help would be appreciated.


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depends on your container. the plant doesnt have to be over the wick.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 12:16PM
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jwahlton(9B Kisimee)

But does the soil in the wicking container "water" the upper soil enough?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 2:22PM
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yes,depends on the container and your soil mix.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 2:32PM
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jwahlton(9B Kisimee)

Thanks for the answers but can someone be more specific?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 4:28PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

H, Julia - the idea is to build or use a soil that has sufficient 'wickability' to keep the soil moist, but not so much that the soil is soggy, with insufficient air. Most SWCs only require 1 wicking assy, unless they are very large, in which case you may need more than 1. If you're looking for best results, HOW you build that soil depends on what you start with. If the soil is too water retentive right out of the bag, you're not going to be able to correct it unless you add significant volumes of larger particulates, so it's better to start with a soil that already has good drainage and aeration, or build one yourself.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 4:46PM
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Google up earthtainers and you'll find a design that works perfectly. I did much of my gardening in homemade earthtainer-like SWCs last year and did well.

If you're going to do your own thing at least have a look at the size of the wicking cup relative to the container. As long as you stick close to that ratio, the water will wick nearly right to the top - throughout the entire container (not just over top of the wicking cup).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 9:44PM
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jwahlton(9B Kisimee)

Awesome. Those are the answers I needed. Al, I will be making my own soil so I think I will be good.

Wulfe, I have googled ideas and printed off some ideas. I sure wish I knew where to get 5 gallon buckets free. None of my grocery stores gives them away. But I guess getting them for $2 at Firehouse Subs is better than buying a large container.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 10:39AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Great! Glad to help!

Try restaurants for the buckets. They often get pickles & condiments in 4-6 gallon buckets. I get as many as I need from friends who own a janitorial service and drywall business.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 12:53PM
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