This will be a long one with lots of pictures. Back when I started doing Hydroponics I was too cheap to buy proper net pots for my DWC but I happened to eat yogurt regularly from little cups with a lip around the top. They are made of thin plastic, easy to punch holes in and in my county, not even recycled so it made perfect sense to me to re-use them.
I simply punch holes in the bottom and fill with plant and whatever media. This worked well but was very tedious to transplant small seedlings into once they were big enough for the roots to reach the bottom and get water so I would have to monitor the water level very carefully right after transplanting new seedlings as well.
Later I discovered that I could use a rayon mop string as a wick which made it possible to keep a small seedling moist or even start the seeds direct in the cups! This saves lots of time handling small seedlings.
It is important to get the Rayon Mop as cotton doesn’t wick up very far while the rayon can wick water up as much as 4-5 inches.
Once the wicks are in place the cups can be filled with gravel and seed or seedlings can be put in place.
By carefully setting the seed within the string to keep it moist it can germinate right in place and avoid all transplant shock. This works better for some seeds than for others. I have done well with lettuce and cabbage started this way in the wick strings. I have also found that the wick can keep a peat pellet nicely moist in the cups.
The method with seedlings is fairly easy too.
Simply wash off the roots of the seedling and plant it in the cup with the roots touching the wick.
The basil grows well this way in warm weather.