Wicking bed at Permaculture Gathering 8

Post date: Oct 5, 2014

Today we toured Chrissie's property in Liston:

We saw her chickens and vege gardens:

And then we started on making a wicking garden out of an old bath tub:

The steps are:

1. Seal the bath

2. Drill a hole for overflow

3. Cut old pvc pipe to length to make an L shape

4. Drill horizontal pipe with holes

5. Add gravel to bottom of bath (holding pipe in place)

6. Cover gravel with cloth to stop soil plugging up gravel

7. Add soil and compost

8. Add worms

9. Add fine mulch

10. Water thoroughly

The concept: water in the bottom will wick upwards through capillary action where the plant roots can access it. The bed acts as a water harvesting device when it rains and any overwatering is not wasted as it collects in a bucket underneath. The worms in the bath act to fertilise the soil and add nutrient to the collected water. The shadecloth prevents birds, insects, and chickens from eating the vegetables as well as providing relief from the strong sunlight.

Everyone contributed the design as we went and helped in the construction:

The finished master piece, ready to be planted this week:

Tasty shared lunch afterwards: