|Setting Up for Wick Watering|
Wick watering is fantastic! I love who ever is responsible
for thinking it up! Without it I could never even consider having a
collection of violets half the size I do. There are a few rules you must
abide by but once you have them covered you are well on your way to
enjoying a newer and easier way of growing african violets.
Now please do not go and get your nicely
growing adult violet and expect to draw a wick up through the bottom of
its pot. You are better off to start with a brand
new baby, or a violet you can risk experimenting with.
|The medium (soil) I use is equal portions of fine peatmoss, coarse vermiculite and perlite. I buy the 4litre bags and mix one of each thoroughly in a large covered container. I store this mix dry. The peat moss swells when wet and I believe the vermiculite swells a bit too. I like working with this dry because I don't|
|believe you can over pack the mixture as easily as when it is wet. When re-potting a violet I press the medium gently around the root ball water it down, let sit for a few minutes then if I need a bit more mix to top the pot up I add it at this point and water it down again. This medium is light and airy and ideal for your african violet roots.|
|Here at the left is an example of the equipment I use. In the background is a water proof tray, just in front is what I have named a basket tray. I am sure you recognize these they give them out at the nurseries to help you carry your purchases to the car. A pot of course and about a10" length of yarn.|
|The plastic rings are cut from a length of 3/4" pipe in 1 inch pieces.|
|insert the yarn up through a hole in the bottom of the pot.|
|Pull the wool up far enough to make a full circle around the bottom of your pot. This is where I would tear a small piece of paper toweling to cover the holes in the pot.|
|You set the pot, with a plant in it of course
and let the yarn dangle down through the holes in the tray.
|I use 5 rings in each tray. One on each corner and one for the center to support the basket tray above the water level.|
|Now each one of the violets in the basket tray
have have their wicks through the holes ready to dangle in the water
below. All I have to do is keep the water level up.
|The wicks must be thoroughly wet before they will work properly! Watering the new soil down as described above while the pot is sitting in a saucer will assure it is! Remember to check your wicks from time to time to make sure they do not dry out. When potting up use new wicks.|
|Now you have the basics.... this is an example of my system for my growing room. If you want a display violet you can buy a "cover pot" ... I like ceramic ...to hold the water and anything from a piece of pipe to a bunch of pebbles to put in the bottom of the cover pot to let the plant sit above the water level.... Remember a violets worst enemy is wet feet!!! Even a half hour sitting in water is too long for these babies. So make sure your pots are always above the water level.|
|Remember .... you
have just set your african violet up in a soil-less mix. This means there
is no food available for your plant. You must supply that on a regular
basis. Fertilizer at 1/8 of the recommended strength is required in the
reservoirs (cover pot or plastic tray). Remember too there is the
evaporation to consider and the fertilizer does not evaporate! I recommend
you rinse your reservoir out and fill fresh at least once a week.