The Centre for Water Resources Development Management (CWRDM) here has developed wick irrigation technique, a hydroponic system, to facilitate farming of potted vegetables and ornamental plants in the homesteads and on the terrace.

Dr Kamalam Joseph, a senior scientist at CWRDM who led the team that developed it, said the wick method was tailor-made for urban agriculture enthusiasts who complain of lack of quantity water and time to devote.

“Moreover, this technology gives a solution to the thrown away plastic bottles,” she said. Grow bags, potting mixture, used plastic bottles and plastic or glass wool are the materials needed.

The wick made by folding the glass wool in a piece of plastic net is inserted through the hole of the grow bag and its other end put inside the plastic bottle through another hole.

The filled-in grow bag containing the plant will be kept on two bricks so that it is in a position slightly higher than the plastic bottle which contains water.

Water is poured into the tightly closed bottle through the second hole at the extreme end. The wick would absorb the water in the bottle through capillary force into the grow bag without wasting a drop.

If a 2-litre plastic bottle is being used, the filled water would water the plant even in the absence of the owner for a number of days.

Dr Joseph claims that the method had 11 advantages over surface irrigation technique. Watering different times is not needed and the evaporation is less. There is no requirement of labour.

Quoted from Deccan Chronicle