Aside from light, the other essential ingredient to make cannabis seeds grow is water of course. While many growers will water their plants by hand, the daily watering routine can be a real chore. There are several products on the market which offer ‘hands free’ watering, but the wick system for watering cannabis plantsis a cheap and simple solution to set up.
This information will be useful to those growers who have just bought their first cannabis seeds, and also more experienced growers who are looking to tweak their set up for added convenience. The following article takes a look at how you can set up a wick system for indoor and outdoor growing. The great thing about using the wick method is that set up costs are minimal and ‘the wick’ is something you can make from everyday items that are often lying around the house.
So why use the wick method to water your cannabis plants? Well there are a number of advantages to this system. The obvious benefit is removing the hassle of daily watering. Most weed growers have had the late night experience of remembering that the plants haven’t been fed (accompanied by loud cursing!), and what happens if you want to go away for a few days? It’s not like asking the neighbor to feed the cat...
Aside from the convenience, there are other advantages too. The wick system works with a non-soil medium and so it provides a sterile environment which eliminates the presence of soil based pests and lowers the threat from diseases and mold.
Wick System is Basic Hydroponics for Indoor Growing
Many indoor cannabis growers are wary of hydroponic systems, especially those with little growing experience. Adopting methods such as NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) and DWC (Deep Water Culture) require some forward planning and of course investment in equipment. Enter the wick method, which is hydroponics at its basic and most simple level.
Thanks to its low tech nature, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to set up a wick system, and in fact the set up may well jolt memories of being a kid and making simple experiments with your classmates at school, often conducted with cut down plastic bottles!. The ‘wick’ in question can be made from any absorbent material - the strings of an old-school mop, bandages or strips from old items of cotton clothing for example.
To set up a wick system a grower will need a pot, suspended above a reservoir’ ie a plastic grow tray. The wick threads through the holes in the bottom of the plant pot and the bottom of the wick sits in the reservoir. The pot will require a raised platform – at its basic level this could be a piece of wood laid on top of house bricks.
It is important to remember that no soil is used in pots when using a wick system for watering cannabis plants. Instead the pot is filled with small particle hydroponic growing media, such as perlite, clay balls or coconut husk (frequently sold as coir). These should cover half the space of the pot, sufficiently that the wick is held firmly in place, while also providing an anchor for the plant. If you are growing from cannabis seed then you will have to grow it into a seedling first and then transplant it into the medium (so that the plant has developed the roots necessary to engage with the wick system through contact).
Once the system has been set up, water and nutrients will be fed to the plant via the reservoir, with nature taking over (the plant will take what it needs via the wick). The only downside of the wick system is that it is essential to keep the water/nutrient solution moving and oxygenated to avoid stagnation. Although a porous grow medium should allow necessary aeration, investing in an air pump will ensure there is enough oxygen circulating in the reservoir.
Wick System for Hassle Free Outdoor Growing
It’s not only indoor growers who suffer from watering anxiety. As well as the obvious reasons for a low maintenance, self sufficient feeding solution, the wick method offers the outdoor ganja gardener more freedom and peace of mind. The outdoor wick system is especially useful for cannabis growers in more southern latitudes where the sun is stronger and temperatures are hotter, which brings significant problems for water management in an outdoor cannabis grow space.
One of the obvious advantages of working an outdoor cannabis grow plot is the space that a grower has to play with. So for an outdoor set up the equipment side of things can be scaled up to support a bigger pot (therefore producing bigger plants!), which can be achieved by using bigger grow trays to kids’ paddling pools. The principle is exactly the same as the indoor method however, and amongst guides to working with bigger setups outside, is this one from cannabis expert Ed Rosenthal.
Yes, it may be a leap of faith to abandon your traditional method of growing for something new, so maybe start off with a trial. But if you don’t try you’ll never know if the wick system for watering cannabis plants is the right method for you!