Brisbane Local Food

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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: 38
Latest Activity: Apr 20

Discussion Forum

Rain and the Wicking Bed Blues

Started by Elaine de Saxe. Last reply by Andrew Cumberland Apr 20. 4 Replies

Seven inches of rain - right, no more watering for a while.Wrong!The wicking beds can only contain as much water as their reservoirs will hold. The rest just overflows.Obvious. Yes, if I had thought…Continue

Tags: water reservoir, water storage, wicking beds


Started by Christa. Last reply by Jeff Kiehne Mar 13. 10 Replies

This is just a short note to let you know about an experiment I made with a wicking bed.About a year ago, I trialled a wicking rectangular garden bed (about 1.8m x 1.2m) with about 300 mm tin sides,…Continue

Tags: trialled., System, Wicking, Different

Some Notes on Wicking Beds for the Garden Visit 5th March 2017

Started by Elaine de Saxe. Last reply by Elaine de Saxe Mar 4. 6 Replies

Wicking beds come in a variety of sizes and styles. They have one thing in common: they are self-watering pots with the only drainage a place for water to overflow.Here we have 2 types of…Continue

Tags: wicking, wicking beds

Very simple self-watering pot

Started by Janet Fong. Last reply by Elaine de Saxe Jan 7. 6 Replies

I spent $15 on two self-watering pots and decided to add a barrier as any water holding area is often a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.I'm not sure if you would call this a wicking pot but it…Continue

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Comment by george s on March 13, 2017 at 8:03

In regards to the GA show on 11 March, the presentation by Sophie Thomson on "Wicking Works" using ICB containers was quite interesting.

I just like to point out two things... the Scoria used for filling the reservoir is quite expensive here in Queensland. I think Scoria comes from Victoria.

I use coal ash or hardwood chips in my wicking beds. The opaque colored HDPE plastic on the ICB is not UV stabilized. So the timber boards used to enclose the ICB did not go on for just cosmetic reasons, they protect the plastic from UV rays. 

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 12, 2017 at 8:12

Roger when I was researching alternatives to garden beds, I went to eBay to see what was available. Although mostly down south, there are people selling food-grade IBCs locally. Worth a whirl anyway. Getting them could be a hassle though.

The big black bins I use came from People in Plastic and buying 12 at once the price came down substantially. They are not food grade, made from some recycled content and are UV stable.

Each half of an IBC is 500L which will take some filling! Filling 12 x 200L was a major project for we two old boilers.

Comment by Roger Clark on March 12, 2017 at 8:02

I've just looked up the GA website. The containers you  can get from food transport companies, but at a cost of $150 each. this makes the two halves a $75 proposition before adding the costs of  the other materials. A bit expensive for a poor old pensioner like me. I will stick to using old baths, bags etc. which I can usually get for free. Anyone got any they want to get rid of at the moment?

Comment by Roger Clark on March 12, 2017 at 7:49


Did everyone see the item on Gardening Australia last Saturday? I thought it a very good explanation and expose of wicking beds. The containers used were interesting, a good size, strong and easy to make. Does anyone know where we might access them in Brisbane? I can see myself abandoning growing in simple raised beds that tree roots can access and using the soil from these to fill the wicking beds. In my soil I cannot grow well in summer due to the ease at which the normal above ground beds drain moisture away. My precious water supply (rainwater tanks) cannot keep up with the scorching heat.   

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on February 2, 2015 at 21:58

That's pretty impressive Janet.  Cheers. 

Comment by Janet Fong on February 2, 2015 at 10:03

Unbelievable price: 240L Hills Home Yellow Self Watering Garden Bed  $60 plus $20 delivery.

Comment by Lissa on November 15, 2014 at 4:55

Elaine - pretty sure you "have the power" as the creator of the group to edit discussions and comment wall.

I've put the discussion about the Gardens Online product into a discussion.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe 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 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 de Saxe 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!


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