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Wicking Beds

Where we discuss challenges, experiments, inspirations, links, questions and answers to do with wicking beds. Read more about wicking beds here.

Members: 24
Latest Activity: Jul 16

Discussion Forum

Wicking beds

Started by george s. Last reply by Lissa Jul 16. 4 Replies

I am new to the group and involved in gardening for many years. I just completed my second wicking bed and will try to download some snapshots later.Continue

Wicking Bed Controversy!

Started by Andrew Cumberland. Last reply by Elaine coolowl Jun 27. 41 Replies

I"m hoping to start a sensible conversation about the relative cost and advantage of wicking beds.  Oh, it might shock some - and as someone who is most impressed by wicking, I do feel a bit like a…Continue

A wicking bed happened to Andy too

Started by Andrew Cumberland Mar 7. 0 Replies

Well, I had to give it a try.  You all knew that I would.  And yes, I videoed it as well. LOL. Andy makes a…Continue

Tags: garden, watering, self, bed, wicking

A Wicking Bed Happened ...

Started by Elaine coolowl. Last reply by Ania Dec 12, 2013. 17 Replies

After some years of playing about with this design and that design, I decided to buy a wicking bed kit. 'Water Saver Gardens' from Toowoomba offered the best value that I could find. We've put one…Continue

Tags: Water Saver Gardens, wicking bed

Comment Wall

Comment by Lissa on November 11, 2013 at 6:12

Always interested in learning new things :)

I've done smaller self watering pots in the dim dark past. If we get another drought I would have to think about digging out 3 x 4m raised beds (my maths is iffy but I come up with 6 cubic metres of soil), not something I would look forward to plus there's my hatred of plastic (the liner) and seperating my garden soil from the activity in the surrounding soil (microbes, worms). But if had to be done to ensure food production I would have to consider it.

Comment by Elaine coolowl on November 11, 2013 at 6:53

Not a job undertaken lightly :-( It took us 2 hours each x 10 beds. The plastic is a challenge even if the big bins I use were still available, they are plastic. There's no real separation from the microbes - you just add them in the form of compost made in contact with the soil and including worms of both types (soil workers and compost) and it's then a self-supporting system so long as it's fed and watered.

Comment by Lissa on November 13, 2013 at 4:39

I just hate plastic Elaine :(

Comment by Valerie on November 19, 2013 at 21:24
Found this on a forum http://milkwood.net/2010/05/11/how_to_make_a_wicking_bed/ re no plastic lining..."The issue with the plastic has been solved by some people by using bentonite clay for lining the reservoir.A natural volcanic clay, many kitty litters are 100% bentonite clay.It contains beneficial minerals in fact. You mix it into the top few inches of soil of your reservoir pit. Its got to be damp soil . Then you pound it to create a sealing layer. Have heard it is working for some. I did a several miniature pits but couldnt make them hold water for long. In one experimental pit I used clay from the back yard. It worked better than the bentonite.
Permacultureglobal.com has a few good articles on wicking beds. Mine is there with photos of the FANTASTIC results we got."
Comment by Valerie on November 19, 2013 at 21:27
Also

I think I have found a viable alternative to PVC: EPDM.

Ethylene propylene diene (EPDM) type rubber is recommended by the Danish Environmental Protection Authority as an alternative to PVC.

EPDM is reusable, recyclable, and has better environmental impact profile than PVC. It is available in custom cut sizes as pond liner for water gardens at many garden centres and is available online at most pond supply places.

Here is an example of an online retailer selling EPDM lining:
http://creativepumps.com.au/zpumps/pond_liner/clearpond_epdm_liner/...
Comment by Elaine coolowl on November 19, 2013 at 22:35

Woo hoo, did you did you check the prices? Out of my league.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on February 28, 2014 at 20:05

Elaine will be proud of me - I am making my first wicking bed this weekend.  

Comment by Valerie on February 28, 2014 at 22:31
One piece of advice from me, go small. One of my wicking bed has a leak....too bad. I am not shoveling 750kg of gravel out of it.
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on February 28, 2014 at 22:45

The bits are already bought Valerie.  1.8 m x 0.9.  Once it's built, no tool shall be used in that bed! It's hands only. 

Comment by Lissa on March 1, 2014 at 5:42

Leaking hey. That's a bugger to fix. As you say - ignore it, or shovel heaps out of the bed.

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