Any suggestions for wick material?
I have recently begun planning a few small hydroponic systems. I have no practical experience with hydroponics thus far and so am going to try a few different methods to see what I like best. I had originally envisaged building an NFT system but then I thought I might also try building a raft system and a wick fed system of pots mainly because the last two I mentioned sound very cheap and easy to do. All of these will be constructed for use outside.
As you may have guessed by the title my query relates to the wick fed system. I am intending to suspend multiple pots above a well aerated, communal tub of nutrient solution from which the wicks will feed the pots. I am intending to grow differing varieties of tomato plants and watermelons from these pots. I am also intending to trial a home-made potting mix that did very well last year for ordinary container gardening in half of the wick-fed pots. In the other half I am going to use a vermiculite/scoria mix. My question is, considering we get reasonably hot summers here, what be a suitable material to use for the wicks and how many will I need for each 30cm pot to provide enough nutrient for the plants to survive the odd 40-42 degree Celsius day? I was thinking of using tightly woven cotton rope but I have heard that this rots after a while. Another prospective material might be a soft polyester rope. It wouldn't rot as fast but Im not sure if it would absorb enough water. Any suggestions, particularly those coming from direct experience, would be much appreciated.
Thanks and take care