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Kc Simmons
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

I'm also in CenTex (east of Waco), and have been thinking about making a wicking bed or two.

In the past, when I was working with carnivorous plants, my bog gardens were similar to what Wayne described, with the gravel on the bottom. The only differences were the water level was above the gravel instead of below it & the center had a container to serve the same purpose as an olla, and slowly wick the moisture through the peat level.  I was thinking about using the same concept, except for moving removing the olla & replacing with the pipe that runs down to the gravel.
I'm glad to see others have had success with the wicking beds in our climate. This post & discussion has given me some more ideas to consider.
Chris rain
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

I'm north of Austin.  I think gravel is better.  But I had just moved tons of gravel for my aquaponic setup and vowed to find an easier way.  So far so good.  I remember that 12" in 3 hour rain.  I think the anti water logging feature might handle it.  I attached it to a corrugated drainage pipe to help on the 25' bed.
wayne fajkus
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

Texas is a big state. I am in central texas. There have been 2 years where we got 12" of rain in a weekend. Those 2 years led me to raised beds cause my potatos rotted in the ground. After i went to raised beds we haven't got that amount. Lol.

On the gravel,  its hard to explain. As the water level drops, the voids are filled with air. As water is added, that air is forced up through the soil. Without those voids its like a soggy swamp. Aerobic vs anaerobic.  There's a YouTube channel. I think its called "gardening with leon". He strsses that the water level should be 1" below the top level of the gravel (or corrugated perforated pipe, which he uses). This leaves an air layer that breathes up and down. You might watch it, see if it makes sense to you.

If this is working for you, go for it. Just bringing this up for consideration.
Chris rain
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

You're right, I was also worried about getting water logged.
Here is my first bed and how I avoided waterlogging :



I realized my first wicking bed is 4 or five years old.  After this bed, I converted another 3.  The other 2 don't have the anti water logging feature, but they are at most 1.5' deep so maybe that is why they don't get too wet?  But still, they could be 1.5' of water in a very rainy climate (But I'm in Texas where dryness is the problem).

I'd definitely use the anti waterlogging feature, but the other 2 beds would need some work with a 1.5" masonry drill since I didn't know about wicking gardens when I built them.
wayne fajkus
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

What you have is similar to taking a plastic kiddie swimming pool and filling with soil.  I would have 2 concerns. It getting waterlogged by a rain event of several inches, and lack of aeration from not having the gravel on the bottom.

Have you gone through a full year yet?
Chris rain
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

Here is how I made the beds:



I think the cardboard is important to let it settle without tearing the 5 mil poly.  But I'm not sure. (I have rocky ground).

I think the preview worked after all. It just took a while to register the preview pic.
Mike Barkley
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

Hi Chris. Welcome to permies. Excellent looking beans for Texas!!! I never had much luck with green beans there, only pintos.

Not sure I understand your question about previews. Videos & pictures are a bit quirky to learn. They don't necessarily display when using the "preview" button before sending your post. Your post appears to me as a pic of a some wicking beds & beans. Using the "youtube" button to attach it does that automatically. If you use the "URL" button for a youtube link it looks differently, without the picture of the video. The link will appear but not the video preview. Does that answer your question? I think it looks great just like it is.
wayne fajkus
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

What does the wicking bed consist of? I have 2. 1 has gravel with fabric over it. The other has corrugated perforated pipe coiled in bottom. They do well. I can leave for a few days in the heat and they do very well on their own
Chris rain
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

How do I get my video to preview the picture?  I read somethings about it on permies, but I don't see the settings they described (maybe things have changed).

Happy gardening!
Chris rain
Post     Subject: Wicking beds for Texas can be different!

Here are the results of my modified wicking bed:



I'm in Texas, so I don't use gravel because my beds always dry out.  I've never had a moisture problem!

Also, cedar roots are excluded.  
I have a bunch of wicking bed videos and will add more updates.  Wicking beds rule!!