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Wicking beds-best option?

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    For my top I used empty yoghurt jars,I eat the Jalna brand and they fit quite well over the top,easy on easy off


    This is an old topic but…

    I would love to know how everyones wicking beds are going a few months on?

    Wicking beds seem to have so many benefits I really want to get my construction right from the start. I have read lots on ALS, users garden blogs, including Doc & Scarecrows fantastic how to instructions (thanks!) but really want to know how they are going long term.

    The main questions I have are what have you found to be the best material for using in the water well section and what is the best material for separating the soil from the water section?

    I have read, of using scoria, which given its irregular shape would seem to support holding lots of water rather than another type of rock or sand which would compress more???

    I also question if shade cloth is enough to keep the soil & roots out of the water section?? I have read of using eco (opps geo) textile, but I have been unable to find it anywhere to buy plus it sounds very $$$

    Someone mentioned having had their wicking beds in for a few years and that they just seem to settle in and keep getting better. I hope this is true and all your wicking beds are going great!!!

    πŸ™‚ Thanks for any start up advice from those that have tried & tested.


    I still love mine, I did use sand, but next time would use, chip bark or something similar

    I still think (even with the cost of setting up) they are the way to go


    Love mine, but! *laughing* there is always one. Anyway, I built mine 600mm high, not sure I would do that again or not all of them, I have 6 mets in total. I did not put down any barrier between the water level and the soil and, while one is working perfectly the other one has lost heaps of soil to the water area, so will have to be rectified. Do they work??? yes and really well. Would I do them again if I had my time over? Yes but with a few modifications.


    Susan :wave:


    Thanks for your replys!

    Calliecat: Good to hear that you are loving the wicking beds. Why would you use chip bark over sand? I would have thought that chip bark, while absorbent would eventually decompose, but hey I am just here to learn…

    AbbysMum: Yes, there is always one ‘but’, I guess that is what keeps us going, always making improvements! I was planning to make mine 600mm high, what height do you think would be better and why??

    πŸ™ I hope you can manage to rectify the soil loss without too much trouble.

    Thanks for your knowledge which will help me get off to the best start possible in my wicking bed adventure! πŸ™‚


    well you do have point there, – a blog I read (scarecrows) and they use chip bark, I just like sound of it for some reason, but you’re right, it would decompose – wouldn’t it???

    something to ponder on


    All I am saying is not ALL of them 600mm high as it makes picking and managing tall vegies harder. Think about how high your tomato’s are when staked and add another 600 mm on top of that. There are lots of vegies that get affected by the decision.

    We put gravel in the base of ours and you have to be very careful when you tip that onto the plastic otherwise it will rip. The only other caution on what we did was, we made our beds 6mtrs long and then we had to go back and use ties to hold them together as they moved outward. We drilled and put in gal rods right through to bring them back together. They have not moved πŸ™‚

    Soil drop means we will again pull them apart and put in the cloth, either shade cloth or geo fabric and refill. It is what needs to happen. This is a learning curve as is all of life πŸ™‚ and I am pleased to share knowledge πŸ™‚


    also Jayne, mine are in bath tubs

    and I know I don’t want anything sharp – because of the tearing of the plastic, too much drama of getting it all apart if it rips lol

    I know the previous poster says hers 60cms is too big, that is what I plan on my next lot being, – that would suit ‘me’ perfectly πŸ™‚

    we are all different


    LOL calliecat your right about pulling them apart …………. which is why it is important to spread accurate information and expirience


    recently bought geotextile and it was $2.50 per metre for metre wide. It also comes in 2 metre wide, can be found in the plumbing section of Home hardware.


    I have used fibreglass baths.

    Just plugged the hole and bored drainage holes up he side.

    I also have old tanks lined with plastic,

    I put thick newspaper under and over the plastic before putting in the blue metal.


    My partner uses old refrigerators from the tip. Pulls all the bits out, silicones the holes and drills holes around the base to let the water out. Just starting out with the wicking beds but they are showing great promise. All the veggies are looking really healthy and they are growing fast. I’m looking forward to seeing how they go long term.


    My wicking beds are only a month old, and I’m really happy with them! I just posted in my garden log thread with pictures, and there are more on my blog, incluiding pics on how I made them.

    To block the ends of the ag pipe, on some beds I put the pipe up both ends, so I can water from either, depending on where I have the house (lazy much?), and on the smaller one, I just put a scrap bit of plastic over the end and rubber banded it.

    Filled mine with soil, no sand or anything, cause it’s what I had. πŸ™‚

    I have peas, in one month, and potatoes at the point of flowering. I’m very happy.

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