Coco coir (in loose form)
Leafy Green Dry Nutrients Part A and B
1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon
Create a bottom and top chamber out of your bottle.
Cut top of bottle off about 3 inches below where the curve starts.
Make a hole in the cap.
Use the tip of a pen or hole puncher (or drill if using a soda bottle or other thick plastic cap) to make a hole in the bottle cap.
Thread a wick through the hole in the bottle cap and tie a knot.
Be sure to hold upper end of wick upright and fill coco coir around the wick to ensure moisture at top of coco coir. Use a pen to assist threading the wick through bottle cap, cut wick long enough on both sides of cap to reach bottom of bottom chamber and near the top of coco coir in the top chamber.
Attach the bottom and top chambers.
Turn the top chamber upside down to allow wick to sit in the bottom chamber and staple the top part to the bottom part in one spot. Be sure not to staple all sides to allow you to add nutrient solution when necessary.
Fill the bottom chamber with nutrient solution.
A simple method for making nutrient solution is to to take a quart-sized container (like an old Chinese food container) and fill it nearly to the top with tap water (you can use the water that is already in your tote.) Then, add 1/8 of a teaspoon (0.63 mLs) of part A and 1/8 of a teaspoon (0.63 mLs) of part B of the dry nutrients using your measuring spoons. Mix nutrients thoroughly. You want the EC to measure 900-1300 ppm to grow most herbs and lettuce, and you can test the nutrient level by using a digital meter. When your water level drops significantly, add nutrient solution to keep the wick underwater in the bottom chamber.
Fill the top chamber with coco coir and plant your seeds.
Coco coir is made from the outside of a coconut husk and provides the seed with a moist home and later provides support for the plant’s roots. Flatten the coco coir by gently patting down on the surface.
Cover with plastic wrap and a rubber band and place near light source until sprouting.
This will increase the humidity in the top chamber and increase the rate of seed germination (sprouting).
Remove the plastic when you see any sign of a sprout.
Once you see any green sprouting out of the coco coir (or purple if you planted purple basil), be sure to remove the plastic to allow the plant to grow tall and reach full potential.
Hydroponic Wick Bottle Systems made by middle schoolers in Brownsville, Brooklyn. @Hydroponics.NYC
*Be sure to add nutrient solution to the bottom chamber as needed, since it will evaporate out and get used up by your plant.