My “Net Pots” or cups with wicks

Cup with holes

Cup with holes

cup with holes 2

cup with holes 2

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.

Rayon mop

Rayon mop

String cut in half and tied

String cut in half and tied

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.

Can draw moisture up 4-5 inches

Can draw moisture up 4-5 inches

chopstick to push string through hole

chopstick to push string through hole

wick in place

wick in place

Once the wicks are in place the cups can be filled with gravel and seed or seedlings can be put in place.

keep string up and fill with media

keep string up and fill with media

place in pipe

place in pipe

full with wick at surface

full with wick at surface

plant seed in string

plant seed in string

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.

seedlings to transplant

seedlings to transplant

good enough

good enough

wash roots

wash roots

Simply wash off the roots of the seedling and plant it in the cup with the roots touching the wick.

hold wick with roots

hold wick with roots

planted

planted

fill with media

fill with media

The basil grows well this way in warm weather.

heading for new home

heading for new home

line of basil

line of basil

Basil later in the season

Basil later in the season

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