Aussies Living Simply

Rinelle's 3/4 Acre

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    Karyn26 asked for photos in my ‘plastic for wicking beds’ thread, so I figured I’d post some. Or one anyway, since that is all I have so far.

    Hope that worked. DH and I made two of these out of two sheets of colourbond that we had leftover from our house building (3 years ago!). And one extra little one from a scrap piece for DD7. The blue ones are 3.7m x 1m. The wire in the middle is to stop the middles bowing out, as they were a little longer than I had expected.

    First one is almost full of soil, and I’m looking foward to the seeds I ordered arriving, and perhaps planting some seedlings from the markets tomorrow.



    They look great Rinelle what are you planning on growing?


    Looks good Rinelle. Look forward to seeing what you grow. :tup:


    Thanks Starruby. In this bed I plan to plant corn, peas (probably a little late, but going to try anyway), beans, beetroot, and carrots. And anything else I can think of. In the one next to it, which will be netted, I’m planning potatoes, broccoli, silverbeet, kale and strawberries.

    In other places around the yard I’m going to put in some pumpkins, watermelon, and rockmelon. And hopefully going to get some blueberries and rasberries to put somewhere. Still not quite sure where on the rasberries!


    Looks good Rinelle,thanks for the pics and keep them coming

    Forest Raven

    I keep seeing mention of ‘wicking beds’ here, and have even Googled it, but I still actually have no idea what a wicking bed is! Can someone give me a definition type explanation? To me it sounds like a garden bed designed to take the water out (borrowing from the definition of travel clothes that ‘wick’). All help in inderstanding this concept will be appreciated!


    probably others can explain it better, took me a while to get it 🙂

    basically you make a resevoir of water in the bottom, and the soil sucks up the moisture to the roots of the plants – as far as I’m concerned for anyone with un reliable rainfall it’s the best way to go –

    especially if there is mulch on the top – it def does work and mine are made with bath tubs

    does that help ?? 🙂

    builders plastic on bottom, I use the plug hole for drainage – then in goes the ag pipe, – then either sand or chip bark

    then I put a sheet of shadecloth then the potting mix

    you pour the water in thru the pipe, till it comes out of the drain hole, then you know the water part is full, plant your plants, put mulch on and voila 🙂

    as I said, probably someone here can explain it heaps better –

    Forest Raven

    Aha, defintitely get the concept now! Thanks for the explanation CallieCat, you definitely did the job. I see why it’s Adelaidians talking about wicking beds too. Must make it easy to go on holidays!


    Yup, Calliecat pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    I use them here in Queensland as well. We have a pretty regular rainfall over summer, but I still find that plants do better in the wicking beds. Of course, we have virtually no rainfall over winter, so they really help then.

    Finished filling the first bed last night and planted some peas and beans. Nothing to see yet though, LOL. Might take a wander around and take some pics of the rest of the yard later though.


    if by chance you do use sand, it’s best to wrap some shadecloth around the ag pipe 🙂

    I’ll be going chip bark next time I think


    I’ll keep that in mind Calliecat. Just using dirt right now, but I think I might try sand on one of the others.

    Went for a walk with my daughter this morning, she wanted to collect leaves to play with, so I took the camera along.

    This is my first attempt at a wicking bed. It’s in our front yard, which we don’t tend to visit much, so once I have all the beds going up the front we’ll move the plants from here into one of them and turn this back into lawn. This was what sold me on wicking beds though. We haven’t had more than a sprinkle of rain in months, and I don’t water the garden, but look at those strawberries! That’s queensland arrowroot in the background, really getting growing for the year.

    This is the view towards the back and the orchard. The chooks are fenced in up here (though currently they can get out by ducking through the fence to the neighbours and coming back through further down, must do something about that!) The shed is the chook’s night pen. The caravan and stuff up the back are actually on the neighbour’s property, not ours.

    Chook pen from the front.

    Chook pen from the back. I’m pretty proud of our chook pen, since I designed it myself, and it was the first real big thing DH and I built together. (With a little help from FIL.) We bought the shed second hand, and had to pull it apart and rebuild it here. The wire is rusting a bit down the bottom, hence the logs all around the fence near the bottom.

    This is a… loganberry? I think? Can’t remember for sure. It’s been here for a while, but was struggling, but it seems to be picking up now I’m making a point of pouring the chooks water on it when I change it each day.

    Will post some more picks in a new post.

    Forest Raven

    What a great introduction! The strawberries are doing fantastic! Looks like you have a really nice patch of land there. Can’t wait to see more!


    Sorry, left the computer for a few moments, and suddenly had 20 things to do! Back with the rest of the pics.

    This is our ‘orchard’. It’s planted on the irrigation area for our Biolytix wastewater system, and most of the the trees are about 4 years old.

    This is my apple tree. Can’t remember what type it is! Guess we’ll find out when the fruit ripens.

    Lots of fruit on it this year. Looking forward to having some apples for the first time. If the king parrots (and every other bird!) don’t eat them all. Had a beautiful one on this tree yesterday eating one of the apples. I’m OK with sharing, just not happy when they take one bite out of every one!

    This is our Mulburry tree. Lots of fruit this year. And as you can see, the chooks and duck love it under here in the shade.

    Close up of our girls (and rooster) enjoyoing themselves in the shade. (And looking at me wondering what I’m pointing at them that keeps going click click click.

    And since I’m showing the animals, these are our guinea pigs in their cage. Great for helping keep the grass down. They’ve come out to squeek at me and ask for food.

    And finally, our little patch of natives as a privacy screen between us and the neighbours. With a lot of pidgeon peas scattered through them.

    Attached files


    Great photos, your place looks fantastic, chooks seem to be enjoying the mulberry tree 🙂


    Thanks Kristy.

    Thought I’d post a before photo. This is taken looking towards the back where our orchard now is, in April 2007, the day the place first became ours.

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