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Is this wicking bed wrong

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    jeanette kirkJeanie

    My son is making me a wicking bed first we put plastic then pipe covered with paper then he went and put gravelly sand on top I sure thats wrong:shrug:

    jeanette kirkJeanie

    I will try again


    Excuse my ignorance but what is a wicking bed?


    A wicking bed is a very water economical, self watering garden bed. We have made two, one ground level and one raised. The ground level one was dug out to a depth of about 1.5 feet. The basics are a layer of sand, then black plastic, then black weeping irrigation pipe with white poly pipe uprights attached to each end, one for adding water to the system- the other end which is larger is to check the water level. A layer of fine gravel or more sand over the pipe then heaps and heaps of organically enriched soil. Add hay and straw to the soil as well. The organic matter acts as the wick drawing water upwards towards the plant roots. Wet soil, plant what you need and then another layer of mulch and a light watering to start them off. After that (depending on weather conditions) a top up of water through the poly pipe of once a week. We had our best results with the wicking beds compared to any other method as the plants get just the water they need, no more no less and you save heaps of water and time too. I would recommend a google search for more detail but it really is very simple and easy to maintain. Good luck!


    What a great idea, so simple and effective. I have driperline and drippers all through my veggie garden which cuts down on water use but a wicking bed is even better. I might give it a go. Thanks for the info. Cheers GR:D


    George, check out Scarecrow’s blog, she has extensive experience with wicking beds. Also try, those guys invented the system, I think.



    Jeanie, I don’t think the newspaper over the pipe is a good idea. It will be sitting in the water well, and will just rot. If you are wanting to stop the sand seeping into the pipe, maybe some flywire would be better? I haven’t covered my water pipes with anything but the soil and it works really well. Two friends have done the same in large beds, and they are working fine too.

    George, Scarecrow is the queen of wicking beds around here, you can read about her beds here

    It’s important to note that worms are a major feature in the beds.


    Yes true Learning. You need to get as many as you can from other beds and add them so they can breed.


    Way to go Jeanie and DS…. You’ll be eating your own vegies in no time… I don’t know anything about wicking beds (well, I do now I guess!! 😆 ) but just wanted to say it is an interesting thread…. :tup:



    I second KD’s advice – go to scarecrows blog! Her instructions are really straightforward – no fail really.

    Worm wicking beds are fantastic.


    Hi Jeanie :wave:

    Thanks for the PM but you really need to talk to Scarecrow because I just do what I am told :kiss:

    We have just had a garden group open day and they were all very impressed with her wicking beds :metal:

    Me, I just do as I am told and make kids toys :geek:

    obedientlyingly yours

    Doc 😉


    Why have I never heard of wicking beds before? It seems like a great idea and potentially would be an easier way for us to distribute grey water – or woudl that affect the soil somehow. Most of our watering is done from grey water as we are not on town water, and as yet we don’t have a grey water system – just hand watering.

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