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Raised Wicking Beds  RSS feed

 
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Seeing a topic on raised beds reminds me that I have yet to sort out how I am going to manage raised wicking beds.

Currently I have a few raised wicking beds but they are small. They are made out of worm farms. The farms are raised off the ground on legs so you can get a bucket under them to drain the leachate. The bottom tray is waterproof which is ideal for wicking beds but it is only about 25cm high (10") so you do not get a lot of depth for the reservoir and consequently in hot weather it needs watering each day, which sort of defeats the purpose.

My main issue with scaling up is that the raised wicking bed will be somewhat top heavy, or too low.

If I make it waist high I will have a large volume of water at the top and any legs will need additional support in order to stay upright, I would also need to put some foundations down to stop the beds sinking. If I put it on the ground I will still have to bend down, just not as far.

I have considered building a waist-hieght box and packing the bottom half with dirt. This would settle once the weight of the water is added and would eventually need to be redone but should be able to support the weight providing the sides don't pop out. I can then build the wicking bed on top of that. It would have a decent thermal mass, and I can use the fill from digging out the footings.

I could also use some cut up IBCs as they have a metal frame and a water proof liner with a drain but they are not the best looking option.

I have had a look through the book on Amazon but the contents page did not indicate there was anything about wicking beds in the book, I will get a copy for my mother anyway as I have already given her one book on waist high gardening and she seems quite keen on the idea.

Does anyone have a nice easy (cheap) way of building raised beds which can take a fair bit of weight?
 
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