Definition - What does Wick mean?
A wick system is a hydroponic growing set-up used by cannabis growers seeking an affordable, low-effort method of growing marijuana. In a wick system, a cotton wick absorbs water and nutrients from a solution, and supplies it to growing plants in containers.
Essentially, the wick system works on the same principle as an oil lamp. Also, unlike most other hydroponic systems, there are no moving parts here. That means it is not only affordable to set up, but simple to maintain, and less prone to breakdowns and problems.
Hydrolife explains Wick
When it comes to hydroponic growing systems, there is a great deal of diversity out there. For cannabis growers interested in an affordable system that requires little in the way of equipment, setup or labor, the wick system is an option.
This system works on the basis of capillary action (wicking). In the simplest example, a large container is filled with nutrient solution. Then, smaller containers are placed within the larger one. Each of the smaller containers has a wick extending through the bottom, into the nutrient solution. They are also filled with your choice of growing medium, and hold a plant. The wick pulls moisture and nutrients up from the solution below, to supply it to the plant above.
There are several potential problems with this growing method, though. One of those is that the nutrient solution can become low in oxygen. Another is that wicking does not provide sufficient nutrients and moisture for large plants. Large, mature plants require a great deal of water, and the only way to grow large plants with a wick system is to use a very porous growing medium.
Ultimately, the wick growing system can be a valuable aid for growers seeking an economical hydroponic system, or to get their feet wet with this type of growing.