Raised Wicking Beds – revised 1

Oh my poor gardens, how you’ve been neglected.  But its time for a facelift!  The plan was originally to use a Dingo Digger to do the heavy work, but my husband’s work is busy (oh who am I kidding it is alway busy!  We have a family run business.  His trade  is sadly a dying trade, along with the 12 to 15 hour days on a big service – makes it very hard to find tradies)  Hence the next 4 weekends are busy.  How frustrating as now is the time to be planting!  So me being impatient I decided to just get in and start the gardens.  Here is a before shot of the five beds weedy and over grown.  You can see the kikuya coming up in the front garden. 

Firstly I started by digging out all the dirt.  I took me 3 days working around rain and a one year olds sleep time.  I have to mention the worm numbers were amazing – dozens of the buggers!  Next up the old plastic was removed, the wooden supports in the frame inspected – perfect! and the new plastic laid out.  Pegs are great for keeping it straight.

Time to fill with dirt again.  But first we have placed a watering pipe in the base of the bed (I forgot to take pictures of this, but there is still 4 other beds to go) 

This time in the beds I am layering it with Lucerne mulch.  For this bed I’ve used the rather expensive chopped in a plastic bag variety. (I missed the rural store by 20 minutes!)  In future I will be using farm bales.  They are slightly cheaper and will go further.

The method I’m using is  inspired from Esther Deans ‘No Dig Gardens.’   Other layers in the garden included compost (brought of course because I cannot make compost!) blood and bone, organic booster (the BFA version of dynamic lifter) and dirt.

Around the top I will be putting black 10mm pipe that will be cable tied on.  This will not only hold  the plastic in place but also cover the sharp edges.

Next job: 

  • 4 more beds  3 beds to refill  (more on this one later)
  • hook up  dripper line
  • sow seeds!

 

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6 thoughts on “Raised Wicking Beds – revised 1

  1. You’re a trooper! Your weather and soil and the whole garden looks so inspiring. Over here in Perth it’s just dry, dry, dry . . . oh, and sand. Did I mention the sand? And the dry? Oh, and it’s hot. Great. I shall just live vicariously through your beautiful garden!

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful words!
    I can only imagine how hard if would be to grow anything in Perth with the recent weather (41 days I think of no rain!) oh my.
    Toowoomba is having a great season this year, with good rainfall and what looks to be a good hard winter coming. Already the chill is in the air and The Oak is showing signs of this.
    Thanks Emily

  3. That certainly does sound like hard work Emily, well done. What are you going to plant this time?

    I am thinking of having a wicking bed or two at the beach house because we are not there to water it very often but would like to grow a few necessities.

  4. Hi, yes it’s hard work doing it alone, then for the next garden my hubby helped and we finsihed it in 3 hours! Ahh! This garden has the root crop growing this year. Beetroots, Onions, carrots, spring onions and later on the garlic. A wicking bed could be a good idea at your beach house. Plants like silverbeet, spring onions and robust winter brassicas will do well. Let me know how yours turns out. Emily

  5. I know it’s a lot of work – moving dirt is my specialty, LOL, but it’s oh so worth it in the end. I haven’t managed any wicking beds yet, but I know all the initial figeting means you get a great place to grow your veg.

    I get a lot of powdery mildew and I know a wicking bed would reduce that dramatically!

    When I saw your original wicking beds, I noticed how well everything was growing – and that was when it wasn’t raining much either. It’s a good investment in a secure food supply. 🙂

  6. Oh yes moving dirt is hard work, but to see the plants springing to life in the refreshed soil is so worth it! I think any food you grow is better than nothing even if it is herbs. We are investing quite a bit of money into our gardens at the moment, so I must make them produce our everyday food. Heck nothing like putting pressure on a girl!

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