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Using containers with potting soil and wicks

I've been working on a project where I am trying to grow a bunch of vegetables in containers using wicks for watering. The wicks are just nylon/polyester rope (1/4" dia.). I bought "organic" potting soil -- Kellog's Patio Plus from Home Depot, and filled my 1 gallon pots. About half way up the side of the pot I drill a hole, and then insert a piece of rope that lays horizontally across the pot.

The wicks do draw water up into the pots, but they seem to wick too much water, and water just drips and drips out of the bottoms of the pots. I was under the impression, based on things I've read online, that the wicking action would only provide as much water as the plant would need, based on capillary action. Is it possible that I am using the wrong kind of soil, and that the potting soil should be amended with something? Do my wicks need to be inserted differently into the pots? Some of the wicks are smaller than 1/4", and it doesn't seem to make a difference. Water still drips and drips.

Thanks for any advice you may have.
 
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How high up are the containers of water the wicks are drawing from?
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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The water level in the container, which is sitting right next to the pot, is only about an inch below the hole where the wick goes in.
 
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Most of the information I have seen suggests that the water be below the pot and the pot contain soiless mix or very light potting soil. They also suggest that the wick enter through the bottom of the pot, rather than the side.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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Interesting... I have some ideas on how to do that, but wondering how far water will travel through the wick, especially when it gets hot here. Right now it's January, and we've already had days in the high 70's. In fact, today was the first day I wanted to turn the A/C on.

Let me tell you a little more about what's going on.

The water that is right next to the pots is actually in PVC pipes. The pipes have holes in them, and the water is pumped into the pipes from a reservoir under the table. The water level in the pipes is regulated by an overflow tube, which makes the system very much like a hydroponic system. I have the ability to use a timer and only fill the pipes when I want them filled.

So, I'm just wondering if I can adequately control the amount of water in the potting soil based on the amount of time that the wicks have water to wick. Today I left the water flowing all day, and 50% of the pots had started dripping.

I did a test in my kitchen, with a glass of water and a wick that hung out/over the side. It took about an hour or so for the wick to start dripping on the table next to it.

So, while I've seen all kinds of info online about using wicks, I haven't seen a lot of info in regards to testing wicks and soils, and certainly haven't seen anything even close to what I'm trying to do. If you've got any links to good data/info on wick usage, I'd really like to learn more.
 
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