Joys of wicking


So….Jelina wanted a raised bed for kitchen veggies, and Marlon agreed to cook with more, so it seemed a great time to make a really big wicking bed.

Our big bed
The big wicking bed

I had enough roofing steel to make the sides of a 1.8m x 900 x 900 bed, had some 50 x 50mm square fence post cut to size for the uprights and bought enough plastic to double layer a total of 400um thickness.

The reasons I made it all so high were twofold. First, I made it tall enough so Jelina need to bend and second, I wanted to build it to hold about 300 litres of water to act as a backup water store for the garden. Neither of these proved practical.

The assembly of the steel was straightforward. Putting in the plastic lining had me swearing, cursing and throwing shovels about. Marlon and a neighbour both helped too.

Eventually, it went in, a bit roughly positioned, but smooth and even (to a point). We put 300mm of water in and left it for a couple of hours. No leaks…Hooray!

Then in went the gravel – carefully. The mulch mat fabric over that, then half a tonne of soil. All good, but you can guess what’s coming, can’t you?

The weight (over a tonne in total) settled one corner a couple of centimetres into the ground, creating a leak somewhere…bugger!

So the solution…Stay a little more modest and cut this one half and have 2 beds 450mm high. Or maybe cut one in half vertically and make one big one and two smaller.

Whatever hapoens, there’ll  be lots of grinding and shovelling tomorrow!

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