Paul Nickerson

Wicking Water and Saving Seedlings

In Aquaponics, Gardening, Propagation on September 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Last summer we had a number of problems planting lettuce seedlings in the system due to the fact that the root systems were underdeveloped upon transition, and the circulating fan tended to dry out the seedlings at the far end of the gutters.

Learning from our mistakes we decided it was necessary to attach a wick to the rock-wool in order to aid in supplying water to root systems of the seedlings. After running through ideas such as string, cotton thread, etc., we settled on small sections of paper towels, as they effectively wick water, yet dissolve away as the plant continues to develop. This method was used on the first planting of basil, and drastically increased the percentage of plants that took to the system successfully. We recently planted the second half of the system with basil using the same method.

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