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Water wicking observation

 
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I was just walking past our new in-ground rain barrel.  It's actually a steep sided pond with a pvc liner but its main purpose is to collect run-off so we can water a nearby planting area.  The soil is quite sandy and we covered the edge of the liner with sandy loam (our topsoil).  I noticed one stretch of the pond berm was moist and growies were growing.  It hasn't rained for 4 days.  The nearby stretches of the pond edge were dry and the growies were still growing but I doubt they are as happy.  The difference is that on the moist section, the soil on top of the pond liner is touching the water and wicking the water up to a foot through the soil.  The rest of the pond berm has a wrinkle or is too vertical to hold soil.

So I learned that if I have my soil touching water, it can wick it up to a foot away.  

The red dots indicate the far edge of the wicked moisture.
New-pond-with-wicking-edge.jpg
[Thumbnail for New-pond-with-wicking-edge.jpg]
 
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An old cotton towel or other natural fiber buried in the soil and draped over the edge, could allow you to get this effect, without the risk of big clumps of soil falling into the pond. Burlap bags are very abundant. I'll bet that would work too.
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks Dale!  After thinking about it I had the same thought.  I'd have to abuse the little growies but maybe I could tuck the burlap up from underneath without lifting them too much.  I would wonder about when the burlap eventually rots.  But the plant roots may be interwoven it in anyway and new soil may cover it all up.  I'll see if I can round up some burlap or cotton....
 
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Nylon ropes are used to work water in sub irrigated planters,and nylon rope inside plastic tubing or hose can actually wick water up an out of a containerand into the rootzone of a nearby tree.
Nylon won't rot.
I like your pond/ water barrel.
I might dig a small one,use a tire sidewall to hold the liner in place...
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks for the nylon wick idea.  I have some planter designs I'm thinking about and I wondered what kind of rope to use for them.  Plus putting them in a tube sounds even better.  

Our full goal for the pond was to capture water, be a rain barrel and be a dunking spot for a hot day.  It's shown that it also can harbor a frog, water the berm (in one area) and look cool from a distance.  I'm still not ecstatic about the visible strip of liner around the edge but since we make it so deep and steep sided, we couldn't really help it.  I'm going to the feed store today to look for burlap.....
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