Urban_wombat
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Albany WA

wicking garden beds

Hi I joined some time back.. then had ISP problems and wasn't on-line much.. but all is working fine now.

Question is anyone using 'wicking beds' I made one some months back and the results are fantastic! UW

taken a few weeks back.
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/DSC01014.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

This is the first I've heard of it. Could you describe it and share how it works?

Urban_wombat
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Albany WA

Hello applestar.

First of all the Wicking Beds are the brain child of Colin Austin.

So what is a wicking bed..

WBs are above ground gardens with a built in water storage the wicking is how the moisture is drawn up through the growing ,another feature is the beds have composting worm feeding stations the worm castings feed the plants.

Where I live in WA where there isn't that much water.. so the WBs are great in the summer months watering is cut right back.

If you want I can post some pictures of the layout/construction.

MaryDel
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Post them up please. I'm sure lots of people would like to see them.

Urban_wombat
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Albany WA

I will post them soon

Urban_wombat
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Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Albany WA

Info on my Wicking bed part one.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/1.jpg[/img]

The tin frame .

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/2.jpg[/img]

Fittings.


[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/3-1.jpg[/img]

Lay the black plastic.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/4.jpg[/img]
Check the water level .. the plastic will be cut back at the 10cmm mark and drain holes cut.

Urban_wombat
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Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Albany WA

Part two..

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/5.jpg[/img]

Fill the bottom 10 cms with sand.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/6.jpg[/img]

Then add compost.


[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/8.jpg[/img]

Finish off with hay.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v613/ColRay04/7.jpg[/img]

This is the bucket that will be the worm feeding station.

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lakngulf
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Location: Lake Martin, AL

I want to know more about this!!
Nutin as good as a kitchen sink mater sammich

Urban_wombat
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Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:48 am
Location: Albany WA

The positive side of WBs is.. less water used and the time setting up.

The only critical factor is the bed height and it must be level.

Negative for tall crops like tomato's some external frame will be needed as garden stakes can't be used in the bed.

The worm feeding station is working really well.. get feed Bokashi compost ever couple of days plus ever few week I do use some home made liquid fertilizer.[/i]

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

This is interesting indeed! The feeding station is reminiscent of the African keyhole garden with the central compost/manure/watering station.

I'm guessing that some people who have had way more rains since spring than their gardens could possibly need are just shaking their heads at the idea. But my area has been hit with a severe drought so I can at least see the possibilities.

My garden has subsoil of heavy marl soil, I have several rain gardens which take advantage of the water holding clay. Under normal conditions of natural soil moisture levels, I can actually maintain a shallow "paddy" without supplemental water. Perhaps, you've seen my growing rice threads in the Permaculture forum.

I 've also used the two paddies as swale/water reservoir and planted garden beds downslope of them to receive the percolating subterranean moisture. The trouble is, with right now, the earth is SO thirsty that the moisture is absorbed before it reaches some of the beds. I'm having a difficult time compensating.... when I water just the garden beds, the surrounding soil just SUCKS the moisture away like I never watered.

Rain, Rain, WHEREFORE art Thou, Rain? :>

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