Wonders of Wicking Beds

Wicking Bed

The Urban Shepherd wicking bed proved itself last Summer. Built in an apple crate, it held a crop of beetroot, capsicum, basil and marigolds, all planted densely. Our macrocarpa (Golden Cypress), bed proved equally effective this Summer, growing the beautiful carrots, beetroot and Asian greens.

What was extraordinary about the bed, was how well everything did, even through the days of temperatures over 40º. In the rest of the garden, plants which weren’t protected by shade cloth (and even some which were), suffered scorching on the leaves and a loss of vitality.

The wicking bed provided a continual supply of water for the plants to draw on. The result – no scorching of the leaves and vigorous, glossy leaves and bright flowers.

The wicking bed is simple in concept, a reservoir of water which sits underneath the soil, the two divided by geotextile – a long-lasting fabric which allows water penetration, but keeps the soil separate from the reservoir below. The water wicks up to the plant roots. result – happy plants!

The bed pictured above is the new wicking bed constructed of macrocarpa Carrots and beetroot
(sustainable, durable Golden Cypress). It was built 800cm high for ease of use. You can see the density of planting of vegetables.

This photo of carrots and beetroot shows the quality of produce that came out of this bed. While our regular garden bed produced forked and split carrots, the constant supply of moisture kept these little beauties looking gorgeous!

 

Wicking beds can also be constructed of other materials, such as galvanised iron. The wicking beds pictured here were built in existing galvanised garden beds.

Each bed is constructed on site.Galvanised wicking bed

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