wicking instructions

jenn(SoCal 9/19)May 1, 2011

I have become obsessed with the new information I'm learning in this forum about the gritty mix and the 5-1-1 and amazed at the beautiful green leaves on the citrus plants in the photos, and that any plant can be grown in these mixes by varying the watering and fertilizer schedules. I wish I learned all this 10 years ago!

Anyway... I'm reading comments about using the wick, but don't recall where I saw the original instructions to install the wick.

Can anyone point me to the link where this is laid out? Then, I can start from there and search for answers to my questions about it.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I use a strand of rayon from a 100% rayon mophead coiled a little on the container's bottom - like you see here in this ceramic bonsai training pot:

The 'tail' of the wick hangs a couple of inches below the bottom of the pot, and 'fools' any excess water into 'thinking' the pot is deeper than it actually is. The excess water travels down the wick 'looking' for the bottom of the pot, and gets pushed off the wick by the water coming down behind it. It's a great way to help reduce water retention of soils.

Al

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:38PM
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longknife(4 Way Upstate NY)

Al, Is the length of wick inside the container left coiled on the bottom or is it pulled up inside the container and material piled around it? If the later, how far up, to the middle or past the middle? Thanks

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:06PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Thank you Al - that's an excellent photo!

I thought that the wick is used to avoid over-watering by checking to see if it is wet. If only a couple of inches of wick hangs below the pot, how is it checked without having to lift the pot? And my hubby has this question: does the pot need to be raised to keep the wick from being squished by the weight of the pot?

I know these sound like silly questions and one day all of this will make sense to me....

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:55PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The wick is to DRAIN excess water from the pot, and can be removed later when you need the extra water retention. It has to dangle below the pot or rest on something absorbent to work - it won't work if it is on a surface beneath the pot. If you're just using it as a 'tell' so you know when to water, it doesn't have to dangle - just feel it right where it exits the pot - if it's still damp, don't water.

Al

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:54PM
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longknife(4 Way Upstate NY)

Still curious, does the wick get pulled up and surounded with potting mix or stay coiled on the bottom of the pot?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 10:01AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

It just stays on the bottom like it is shown.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 10:12AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Thank you for the additional details. With a very large pot (e.g. like the one our Kumquat is in and will be re-potted later this month), I won't want to tilt the pot to access the wick at the drain hole. In that case, should I use a dowel instead?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 10:20AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

I have *finally* printed out Al's initial article and will follow the entire trail to the end, certain that it will answer many of my questions (including these about wicking).

I wish I'd wandered into this forum sooner, mostly for the sake of our container plants!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 3:41PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I hope you stick around & join the fun. Before long, you'll be passing along info to others, like a seasoned vet! ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:26PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Oh Al, I plan to! This forum is great fun and I'm learning a lot. I think I will read all the articles before I begin, while I wait for the Kumquat to finish leafing out before I re-pot it. Meanwhile, I'll still be hanging out here lurking and reading and asking questions I don't see answered in the articles.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:10AM
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