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Nylon rope or soil wick for wicking containers, which is better?

 
gardener
Posts: 2519
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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I'm building some new wicking containers, bug ones, and I'm considering trying nylon rope for the wick.
In the past, I have always used a soil wick, just more of whatever soil mix I was using , extended down into the reservoir.
The advantage I see for using the nylon is simplicity.
No big holes to cut, no pipe to buy.
But I've never used nylon rope, so I'm concerned it won't get the job done, or that it will take a lot of rope to match even a modest soil wick.

Does anyone out there have experience with using fabric wicks in wicking  containers?
 
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Hi William,

Nylon is synthetic, and if I'm not mistaken petroleum based. So Im not sure how well capillary action will work with nylon. Cotton would be better for capillary action in my opinion. Though if your worried about soil ending up in your resivour, have you tried old cotton fabrics, like old warn out shirts, used between your soil and resivour space? By the time the cotton degrades, the healthy micro-biome holds the soil together fairly well, keeping your resivour open for business or should I say water. Just cut the old cotton shirt or fabric to lay down over the resivour, and then firmly tamp down the soil over the cloth leaving no voids except your resivour.

Hope that helps!
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 2519
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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forest garden trees urban
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Thanks for your reply!
I think I'm going to try it multiple ways at the same time.
I can take a  season to see how well it works.
If a method is  totally failing, I'll replace it immediately.
 
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Location: Portlandish OR
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I recently saw an interesting version of a self-watering pot that used short chunks of wood as wicks. Like 2-4" round branches cut short to fit. I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw that, sadly.

I do remember wondering how well it would work, and putting it on next years balcony garden experiment list.
 
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Location: Cascades of Oregon
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What I used for my resevoir was scavenged convoluted drain pipe, with a weed barrier cloth on top. I don't use the weed barrier anywhere else in the garden but had a roll that I lay over the top of the drain pipe tucking it into the valleys keeping dirt out of the resevoir but using the soil as the wick.
 
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