Soak up the wonders of wicking beds
Create a garden bed that works for you
Would you like to create a garden bed that actually does all the hard work for you? Do you have an area where rainfall is not the best, or your soil is too difficult to grow anything other than weeds? Or would you like to turn your balcony into a productive garden space?
Having your own wicking bed could well be the answer, although there is a little bit of hard work initially to get things going…and growing! Or you can simply talk to the team at Dimension Gardenscape and let us do all the hard work for you.
What is a wicking bed?
The concept of wicking is something that every good gardener should know about. Essentially, it is the process where an object soaks up moisture. It’s like when you put a piece of string in a glass of water, and the water climbs (or wicks) its way up the string.
The roots of plants use the same concept to draw water from the soil.
A wicking bed takes advantage of this process by creating a layer of water underneath the soil from which your plants draw water and nourishment.
You will find many examples of wicking pots in most garden stores, and these are basically known as self-watering pots. However, a wicking garden bed goes much further to create a long-lasting solution to problems that many gardens face.
Advantages of a wicking bed
A wicking bed is a key part of permaculture, which is becoming more widely known, as gardeners tap into an age-old method of growing plants, and particularly your vegetables.
- Wicking beds eliminate the need for regular watering, as a wicking bed will usually hold enough moisture to last for a week. In winter when there is less evaporation, virtually no watering is required.
- Your soil structure will maintain itself far more effectively. This is because a proper wicking bed will contain gravel, which prevents the soil from dropping. The soil will also retain its nutrients better as regular watering does not wash them away.
- If you do get a big downpour of rain, the excellent drainage of a wicking bed will prevent your plants becoming water-logged.
- You can connect numerous wicking beds together so that a single pipe waters each garden bed.
- Wicking beds are the perfect solution for areas where the ground is hard or there is competition from other trees or plants.
- Wicking beds are a great idea for community gardeners who can take more of a ‘set and forget’ approach to their garden.
- Balcony gardens are far more easily managed when wicking beds are used. No unsightly drainage marks and no irrigation tubes in sight.
Things you need to know
Wicking beds require a little more effort to set up than a conventional raised garden bed. But the rewards more than compensate.
You also need to be aware that wicking beds are prone to freezing in colder climates, as they do not have the warmth of the surrounding sub soil. Again, this can be overcome by creating some insulation around your wicking bed.
There are also lots of wonderful alterations you can make to your wicking bed. You can add a composting tube where worms can feed on your food scraps as you add them. This, in turn, keeps a high level of nutrients in the soil while also keeping it better aerated with all those wriggly worms!
Talk to us about creating your own wicking bed
Having a wicking bed is really a great way to learn as you go. But since we already know so much about the effective and water-efficient ways of wicking beds, we can help you create something that suits your budget and fits perfectly with your garden plan, including the style of your garden, wicking beds can be created out of any vessel you require - from balcony garden pots to timber sleeper vegetable beds.
And we are always about to follow-up with any alterations you may wish to make – and we’d always love to know how your wicking bed is progressing, along with any gardenscaping we do!
So talk to Trevor and the team at Dimension Gardenscape about how to take just a small section of your garden and turn it into a wicking bed that will dramatically improve the output of whatever you want to grow.