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5 gallon wick systems comparison


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#1 Peter S

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:33 PM

I'm comparing growth between two White Devil's Tails in different 5 gallon wicking systems. One is in the one I made recently that has a cloth wick attached to a 6 inch net pot, and the other is a more traditional self-watering container setup. I'll post how they do over the season.

 



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#2 Superhot Sim

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 08:33 AM

Great video again Peter and explained in simple layman terms. I'm following all your grows using the wick systems, dying to see if you will get good or even better yields using this method. Plants all look super healthy. Keep doing what your doing. Wishing you loads of pods lol.

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#3 Peter S

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

Great video again Peter and explained in simple layman terms. I'm following all your grows using the wick systems, dying to see if you will get good or even better yields using this method. Plants all look super healthy. Keep doing what your doing. Wishing you loads of pods lol.

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Thanks Sim! I'll post updates throughout the season. I just put them outside on the porch a couple days ago. They should start to take off with real sunlight. I topped them both off with nutrients then too, and can tell they used over a gallon combined since I set them up. I'm sure that'll increase as they get bigger.



#4 Superhot Sim

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 10:21 AM

Please do Peter, I love watching this kind of grow.

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#5 deep_roots

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:51 AM

Cool comparison, I would think the traditional SWC bucket would be better.  So, it will be interesting which one actually does better in grow out.


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#6 Peter S

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:55 AM



Cool comparison, I would think the traditional SWC bucket would be better.  So, it will be interesting which one actually does better in grow out.

I just took a pic of them this morning. The SWC one is starting to catch up, but both seem to be doing well. The leaves on the SWC appear to be a little bigger. One concern I have with the wick bucket is the water becoming stagnant early on. I've been doing frequent top offs, overfilling so maybe some of the old solution will be pushed out. I think that'll help. It'll be interesting to see how they compare at season end. Also, I'm wondering if lowering the max reservoir height would improve it.

 

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#7 Jedidiah578

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:39 PM

Do you add nutrients to the lower bucket? How do you keep the organic fertilizer from separating before being wicked up?

#8 Peter S

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:45 PM

Do you add nutrients to the lower bucket? How do you keep the organic fertilizer from separating before being wicked up?

Both were getting MasterBlend 4-18-38 with Epsom Salt and Calcium Nitrate. I switched them over to Dyna-Gro 7-9-5. Once they are mixed they stay homogenous. If it's mixed properly it won't separate back out. The one on the right with the  cloth wick is just one bucket, but the other one, the self-watering system using two buckets. The nutrients are added to the bottom bucket of that one through a fill pipe. There is an overflow that keeps it from filling too much. That one is more of a proven method. The cloth wick bucket is an experiment. So far it seems to be working fine, but I think it might perform better with a lower nutrient level. This would allow a little more air to the roots. I'll probably setup one or two more that have a lower nutrient level to compare those with the first ones I made.



#9 hubby11

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:14 PM

How about an update? :P   I'm very curious about this comparison since it seems that, assuming the wicking system provides at least an equivalent size plant and pepper yield, its obvious advantage is that it requires far less soil/medium than the traditional method.  I have about ten double-bucket set-ups and go through quite a lot of soil (have not gotten into hydroponics - yet) to set them up.  It would also seem with the wicking method that the water reservoir is significantly larger.  I am all about minimizing my work!


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#10 Peter S

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:27 PM

How about an update? :P   I'm very curious about this comparison since it seems that, assuming the wicking system provides at least an equivalent size plant and pepper yield, its obvious advantage is that it requires far less soil/medium than the traditional method.  I have about ten double-bucket set-ups and go through quite a lot of soil (have not gotten into hydroponics - yet) to set them up.  It would also seem with the wicking method that the water reservoir is significantly larger.  I am all about minimizing my work!

I have two sets of these going, White Devil's Tail and CARDI Yellow Scorpion. I think one of the CARDI Yellow Scorp might crossed so it's not a good comparison. The White Devil's Tails are both doing very well. It's hard to tell which is better since they are so close together. I'll pull them out and do a follow up video soon showing the progress of each. Overall, I think the swc looks better, has bigger leaves, but both producing about the same. I'm back and forth on which one I think is best. I show them in my grow update videos but it's hard to tell differences since they very close to each other. Here are some recent grow updates than show them. Thanks for asking about it, I'll put up an update this weekend.

 

 

 



#11 Peter S

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:04 AM

Update on my 5 gallon wick systems comparison each growing White Devil's Tail. Both are doing well. The self-watering earth-box type might be a little better, not sure. Let me know what you think.

 



#12 trlrman

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 04:47 PM

awesome as always



#13 hubby11

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:57 PM

Thanks for the update, my takeaway at this point is it's pretty much splitting hairs as to one being significantly better than the other.  A couple of questions, though:

 

1.  Are the two plants clones, or seedlings from different seeds?  If not, my guess (and given my vast ignorance, it's a WAG) is that other factors could come into play to account for the differences in plant/leaf/fruit size and numbers when using different source material (i.e., seeds).  Am I at all right?

 

2.  Assuming, that the two plants are close enough for it to be a wash, what are the advantages/disadvantages between the two systems?  As I noted above, your wicking system would seem to used much less soil/medium and have a bigger reservoir.  And easier to make with only one bucket.  Any pluses to the traditional self-watering method?  Could I use soil with the wicking system should I not want to get into hydroponics?

 

Thanks again, I am learning lots.


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#14 Peter S

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:47 PM

Here's a new update on these plants.

 



#15 Peter S

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:51 PM

Thanks for the update, my takeaway at this point is it's pretty much splitting hairs as to one being significantly better than the other.  A couple of questions, though:

 

1.  Are the two plants clones, or seedlings from different seeds?  If not, my guess (and given my vast ignorance, it's a WAG) is that other factors could come into play to account for the differences in plant/leaf/fruit size and numbers when using different source material (i.e., seeds).  Am I at all right?

 

2.  Assuming, that the two plants are close enough for it to be a wash, what are the advantages/disadvantages between the two systems?  As I noted above, your wicking system would seem to used much less soil/medium and have a bigger reservoir.  And easier to make with only one bucket.  Any pluses to the traditional self-watering method?  Could I use soil with the wicking system should I not want to get into hydroponics?

 

Thanks again, I am learning lots.

The two plants are from the same seed stock, started at the same time. I just posted a new update on them. It seems the deep reservoir wick bucket induces sort of a small pot effect with earlier fruiting. The earthbox type self watering container produces a bigger plant, that takes longer to fruit. I think by end of the season it will have performed better overall. I top them off every three days, but the deep reservoir wick bucket could go much longer without needing a refill. The swc one needs refilling at least every two days. So there are trade offs. The refilling issue could be mitigated with a constant feed float valve type system.



#16 guested

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:30 PM

After some terrible overwatering of my plants I'm considering going to the self-watering containers for my pepper plants. Have you, or anyone, that uses them experienced any issues with bacterial growth or other problems like that in the reservoir when mixing in nutrients?

 

I reached out the General Hydroponics to ask if their MaxiBloom products could be mixed into the water and left in a system like this and this is from their reply:

 

 

Good morning Kurt, all of our nutrients will ideally need to be aerated or agitated in some manner to extend the solution life up to 5 or more days. Any mineral based fertilizer would be good for your use if aeration was provided, our General Organics Bio-Thrive line would not be good for this use.

 
The main issue with your intended system is that it will go stagnant and anaerobic over a couple days. Coupled with the problem that this particular system is not washed and drained- it will no doubt end up with disease and harmful bacteria growing in them. I've only seen these self watering containers work with organic nutrients mixed in the soil and water only in the holding reservoir.

 

 
 
I'm having real issues with nutrients, I live in Saskatchewan and getting my hands on anything seems really difficult and cost prohibitive. MaxiBloom I can actually get a bag of to the house for $30, which is a lot but manageable. Can anyone comment on the concerns their rep pointed out and if it's a problem in practice?

 

Also thanks so much for the info in this thread, the videos and related info have been awesome and sent me down a rabbit hole of lost work productivity this morning.

 



#17 Peter S

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:32 PM

After some terrible overwatering of my plants I'm considering going to the self-watering containers for my pepper plants. Have you, or anyone, that uses them experienced any issues with bacterial growth or other problems like that in the reservoir when mixing in nutrients?

 

I reached out the General Hydroponics to ask if their MaxiBloom products could be mixed into the water and left in a system like this and this is from their reply:

 

 

 
 
I'm having real issues with nutrients, I live in Saskatchewan and getting my hands on anything seems really difficult and cost prohibitive. MaxiBloom I can actually get a bag of to the house for $30, which is a lot but manageable. Can anyone comment on the concerns their rep pointed out and if it's a problem in practice?

 

Also thanks so much for the info in this thread, the videos and related info have been awesome and sent me down a rabbit hole of lost work productivity this morning.

 

I haven't had any problems with either of these as far as stagnation goes. But I do top off to overflow every three days and that pushes some of the old solution out. I've been using Dyna-Gro 7-9-5. But I've also used Masberblend in these type system without issues.



#18 guested

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 07:40 PM

I haven't had any problems with either of these as far as stagnation goes. But I do top off to overflow every three days and that pushes some of the old solution out. I've been using Dyna-Gro 7-9-5. But I've also used Masberblend in these type system without issues.

 

When you're adding water does it always have nutrient solution in it as well? Or are you only adding the nutrients periodically?

 

Thanks much for the reply btw!



#19 Peter S

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:28 PM

 

When you're adding water does it always have nutrient solution in it as well? Or are you only adding the nutrients periodically?

 

Thanks much for the reply btw!

I add nutrients each time, 1 tsp/gal of Dyna Gro. For the self watering container one that has the potting mix, you could use slow release fertilizer mixed into that, then use just water when filling. What I'm using is mostly inert so I feed with hydroponic nutrients each watering.



#20 hubby11

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for the update.  Despite the somewhat lessor pod size and the likelihood that the traditional self-watering system will ultimately be the winner, I have to say I am liking the wick system.  My own self-watering systems seem to be taking their sweet time to bear ripe fruit and I am running out of summer.  I am sure other factors are in the mix, but I may try some wicking/coco coir next year to get a jump on the harvest.

 

Looking forward to the next update.


SteveH





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