22 Apr

Wick Gardening: An Update, 6 Months Down the Track

You’ll remember back in July last year Jake and I set up our first wick garden for our strawberries – if you don’t, you can read about it here.  I thought I’d give a bit of an update on my thoughts, how it’s gone and what I would change for the next one.

 

The picture above is testament to how well this system works with little to no ongoing maintenance.  Weeding and harvesting the fruits is all we’ve had to do.

First off, I would not hesitate to use wick gardening for all future garden beds.  This year we had our driest January on record, it was so hot and so very very dry.  We lost a lot of trees and plants, but the wicking bed survived – actually, it did more than just survive… it thrived!

In contrast we had a fairly wet March and this is when I became aware of a flaw in my design.  The water had no where to go when there’s a solid week of rain!  It wasn’t a complete disaster as I could simply unscrew the bung, but this drained it completely… I needed a better, automatic, system.

Here’s how I modified my system : –

Modifications
  1. Removed the bung at the drain plug and replaced it with an adapter and 90º elbow.
  2. Added a short length of 40mm pvc pipe followed by a t-piece.
  3. Connected a further two short pieces of pvc pipe to the t-piece, one fitted with a 90º elbow and the other a screw adapter and bung.
  4. The length of the vertical piece is determined by the maximum height you wish your water level to be.  Once the water inside the bath reaches this height it will overflow through here – no longer will your plants have to swim in order to survive!

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