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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: 29
Latest Activity: on Friday

Discussion Forum

Two Hills Self-Watering systems/Wicking beds, 120L and 240L.

Started by Janet Fong. Last reply by Janet Fong on Friday. 17 Replies

Opening the box of the 240L ....…Continue

Tags: watering, self, bed, wicking

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

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Comment by Elaine coolowl on September 9, 2014 at 20:45

David I've lost the plot here. I am trying to visualise the bath and the drain pipe. The way I'm reading it, there is no outside overflow … can you post a photo, please?

Comment by David Hatcher on September 9, 2014 at 18:14

I solved the plastic problem by using an old bath bought from the dump. I reversed the drain pipe and had that raised up into the bath so it was about 30 cm from the top of the bath.  I then paced gravel over the base before putting a larger pipe over the top with holes drilled all the way up.  I then made the gravel up to the top of the drain pipe.  Soil then filled the top 20 to 30 cm.  I then put a lid over the large pipe. I fill the reservoir by pouring the water down between the large pipe and the drain pipe until water flows out the drain.

Interestingly I have not put any worms into the bed but somehow they have got into the system and they have built up quite a population.

Comment by Jo on September 9, 2014 at 18:03
Thanks for the helpful suggestions Elaine and Susan. I do often pick kale first thing - just before I steam or nutribullet it - and it is more perky than by later in the day so that is a good hint. I did top up the beds on the weekend and this may have helped as I was down to about 5 cm. maybe I should too up more regularly! I read Dave's comments about wilting lettuce and thought that perhaps the mixed varieties I have are tender and therefore go limp easily. Thanks again for the comments.
Comment by Elaine coolowl on September 8, 2014 at 21:09

Have you checked your water level, Jo? If the plants are fairly young, there roots may not be down where the water is, but the water is supposed to wick up to about 300mm in perfect conditions, which should reach most roots.

My Kale looks OK but not being experienced in growing Kale I'm not totally sure. Watching the item on Kale on Landline a couple of weeks back, the Kale leaves were hanging down a bit, not standing upright like Silverbeet. I put mine straight into water as soon as I bring them in, too. In that Landline programme, I recall the Kale being in a water bath before packing, which might be significant.

Kale should live for many months, mine has being going since April and I've some more tiny seedlings hoping to grow it over summer under shadecloth and insect netting. Here's hoping!

Comment by Susan on September 8, 2014 at 19:01
Hi Jo, do you pick them early? I always pick early and then I wash my lettuce, spin it then put in fridge. It goes nice and crispy with the moisture and the cold and I leave it in the spinner until I use it all then go pick some more.
Comment by Jo on September 8, 2014 at 18:30
Hi everyone, My wicking beds are now about 8-9 weeks old and I am enjoying kale and lettuce varieties. A few purple beans have been eaten as test treats, not quite enough to feed the family yet. The one thing I have noticed is that the kale leaves and lettuces are just a bit limp when I pick them. I put them straight into a glass of water and they really perk up quickly. I am wondering if I have a soil depth issue or a soil issue or is this just normal for the water sparing wicking beds? I have been very happy with general growth so I am a bit puzzled.
Comment by Elaine coolowl on August 22, 2014 at 8:40

Thank you Jo! It was my pleasure :-) I am pleased that you and others on BLF have built wicking beds which are proving a worthwhile investment. Without them, we would not be eating from our garden - slope, trees and dryness contributing to wasted water, time and no crops.

Keep Wicking On :-)

Comment by Jo on August 22, 2014 at 8:32
Elaine, I have to thank you for uploading your wicking bed photos. I have just posted a photo of the growth after 5 weeks and I am astonished. I did cheat a little by buying bunnings/masters seedlings, however I have been eating kale for 2 weeks now and lettuces are also ready. My previous vege garden attempts have been dismal failures! I just cannot commit to daily maintenance and the wicking beds are perfect. Also, at this stage, I have no pests of any note either.
Comment by Lissa on July 13, 2014 at 6:50

George - I've sent you a Personal Message (PM - check your inbox top right) re your wicking beds and potentially have a group over to check them out.

Comment by Elaine coolowl on May 19, 2014 at 0:22

A very interesting trial, Vanessa. Pineapples are quite slow to fruit especially from tops. Two years they say although if they are not in the best conditions, fruiting takes much longer. Some pix would be good!

 

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