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 Post subject: Wicking beds
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
Well, we've figured out how to quit digging... and how to minimize weeding. Now we can stop watering, too.

http://www.globalbuckets.org - these kids are brilliant!

More Links:
The inventor of this system, Colin Austin has clips on YouTube, showing how to do this in small plastic containers, for use in small spaces:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80-dkv1A ... annel_page

And here is his comprehensive and highly informative website: http://www.waterright.com.au

Here is another good website, with easy to follow instructions.
http://www.easygrowvegetables.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Wicking beds
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pm
Posts: 1630
Location: PNW
The bucket system caught my interest. I have an Earthbox and have been looking at home made planters, but most of them were more involved than I wanted, so the bucket system would be fast to make. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Wicking beds
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Zone 5
luv2grdn wrote:
The bucket system caught my interest. I have an Earthbox and have been looking at home made planters, but most of them were more involved than I wanted, so the bucket system would be fast to make. Thanks!


It caught my eye, too, Luv2. You could make this as small as one or as many as 100.
[/quote]

Hugelkultur is another very cool, and perhaps easier to construct variation I'd like to try some day, although in the Pacific Northwest, there is a lot of cedar which wouldn't work very well. Where we are now, though, there is a ton of birch. Perfect. :)

http://permafarmer.blogspot.com

Around here it's a lot drier than I'm accustomed to and the soil can be quite sandy which all equates to more watering. Not only would I rather not lose water to evaporation, but I'd like to be able to leave the garden without worrying that everything will die off while I'm gone. And to use all the forest residue at the same time? Looks good to me!

Of course, this is better suited to a start up project, so you don't have to disturb current happy plantings. I sure wish I'd known about these ideas on our last property as virtually everything there was built by me and much of it incorporated buried tree stumps. Guess I sort of did this by accident.

What I'd like to know is how often you'd have to rebuild these things. Anyone have any idea how long it would take for the logs, branches and brush at the bottom to break down in a setup like this?

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 Post subject: Re: Wicking beds
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pm
Posts: 1630
Location: PNW
The only thing I'd be concerned about is the bucket leaching chemicals into the soil that the plants would absorb. That could apply to any plastic pot, though.

I've never heard of the other system before. That would clean up a lot of forest debris on our land. We have alders, maples, cherries, hazelnuts and fir, plus some native shrubs, so I wouldn't lack for materials. There are always limbs laying around. I'd have to put hardware cloth on the bottom and sides of the trench to keep moles out after it broke down. I was thinking of digging out some vegie beds where the moles have been such a problem and putting down hardware cloth, so I could try it there. The soil needs some help any way. Not this year, though. We're just finishing up another garden box, so that will probably be the only big project this year. I have to haul and mix the soil for it, so doing extra to mound it up would be a bit too much for my back. Some of the soil I'm using for it has a l lot of clay in it, so that will retain some moisture in the bed.

Thanks for the idea!


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