Understanding Wick vs Drip
Two hydroponics systems commonly made from scratch are the wick system and the drip system. Let’s first explore the wick system. The wick set-up is of very straightforward construction. This system utilizes a tray holding all the plants, and this sits on top of a reservoir holding a water and nutrient solution. These two pieces are held together by the wick allowing the water solution to transmit the vital nutritional elements into the tray to nourish the plants. As with all things, there are pros and cons. The down-side to this type of system is that there is no practical way to regulate the amount of nutrient solution being delivered to the plants, meaning that you can only reasonably take care of a modest amount of plants at any given time.
Let’s explore the drip system
The way a drip system works is basically just as it sounds – nutrient solution is dripped on the plant roots in order to keep them moist and fed. The drip hydroponic system is assembled in a very similar fashion with the tray sitting on the top of the reservoir. This system, however, has a submerged pump system transmitting the solution to the plants at a rate specified by the meter. This gives you a greater level of control over the nutrient flow. Typically, this is accomplished by reducing the flow rate from the pump, through the use of a petcock or dripper fitting.
On setup, a timer is attached to the pump in order to allow nutrients to feed into the tray for a predetermined length of time with a desired flow rate. Importantly, the system will require monitoring for the first several times in order to ensure the desired amount of water and nutrient solution are successfully delivered to the plants and that the tray isn’t being over or under-watered. Additionally, plants will need to be put on multiple feedings a day as they continue to grow. Larger plants will need more frequent feedings and/or longer feeding periods.
Drip system benefits
The benefits of using a drip hydroponic system are many. You don’t need to monitor a system like this as often as other systems because the pump and timer is capable of handling everything automatically. Also, since flow rate can be easily regulated, you can have larger plants growing in this type of system. You can also grow larger numbers of plants as well, without being overly concerned that your setup is unevenly distributing water and nutrient solution. However, a significant down-side to setting up a drip hydroponic system is that this will be far more expensive than a wick system, primarily because a pump is required in order for the system to run successfully. Even with the modest initial expense, however, the dip system remains quite popular system, and if regularly found being used in greenhouses where large numbers of plants are grown at one time. A drip system helps to ensure that plants are receiving optimized quantities of nutritional solution and this helps to achieve the best possible results in indoor growing.
We are happy to help you at any time with your hydroponic drip system requirements! Come into the store or shop online and find the best in hydroponic equipment in the Peterborough area!