Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Basil: Wick Watering Setup

Over the past months, a lot of my Sweet Basil plants have died.   I am finding that they're more difficult to care for than Cinnamon Basil, which seems to be fairly hardy.  I've tried a hydroponic set-up for my Sweet Basil.  After a couple of weeks of solid growth, root rot got the best of my plants.  From about 15 stems with roots, I'm down to five small Sweet Basil plants.  Oh well.

So here's something new.  A couple of months ago, I read about wick watering. What is the concept behind it? You have a wick that's submerged into your pot on one end and connected to a water source on the other.  Supposedly, water travels through the wick.  Why not just water the soil straight?  Well, it is said that the wick absorbs only as much as the plant needs, thereby eliminating the chances of over and under watering.  So what's my set-up like?

I got a small yogurt cup, stabbed holes at the bottom and inserted my wet wick.  Then I added organic soil and my little Sweet Basil plant.  Then I used a big cup and drilled two holes near the bottom.  I inserted a short plastic straw through the holes and I got myself a makeshift cup holder.  I fill up the cup with just enough water (below the holes).  Then I put the yogurt cup inside.  It doesn't go all the way down because it's supported by the plastic straw.  The wick under the yogurt cup touches the water.  That's it.  It should work automatically now.  I just need to add water to the cup every couple of days.  Wait and see.

Whatever happens, I think this is cool because everything I used for this set-up is recycled. 

Check out the pictures to help you make sense of my instructions.  They're a little rough, I know.


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