How to Make a Wicking Bed with Bread Crates | Large Water Capacity & Healthy Soils

G’Day Folks. Wicking beds are a great way to grow your own food. Having an extra-large reservoir makes them even better allowing you to grow longer between “watering” the beds.

Hope you enjoy this quick tutorial & your gardens are booming.
Cheers all. 🐟 πŸŒ±πŸ…

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  1. Samuel Christ on February 5, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Good video …very useful.
    Can we give liquid fertility in wicking bed?

  2. Kellen Chase on February 5, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    I thought you were going with L shaped stand pipes instead of the straight drain? For flood and drain, etc. I also love the idea of milk crates or bread crates for that layer. Thanks for that. Do you leave an inch or half inch for air in the bottom?

  3. Zion Assedo on February 5, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    I wonder what is better, this system or a water electronic hose timer ?

  4. wildlife gardens sydney on February 5, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Brilliant Rob, despite your blunt drill and scissors. The one handed drilling of the hose and first time threading of the cable tie was an astonishing feat. Well done. Now I am going to look for what you grew in your wicking beds.. I am planing to make mine in those green wadding pools, I collected in the throw outs. I am planning to paint mine a dark nutmeg brown. I see you have painted yours too.Warm Regards, Sez

  5. Mrs. Jillaroo on February 5, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Rob, I was wondering do you have any idea how much water you save (if any) by using wicking bed versus other planting methods? Thx

  6. jaenicoll on February 5, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Love the design Rob. What are your thoughts on using basic pvc tubing surrounded entirely by sand?

  7. Melissa Carroll on February 5, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Rob, Does the out flow pipe need to be an inch from the top of the drainage pipe inside? so there is an air pocket between the soil, causing it not to go rancid. Thanks

  8. Aiden Cattle on February 5, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Thanks for the video Rob. I’m just about to start building some beds using the method you outlined. With the bed you created, is it possible to to grow fruit trees? I’m thinking a wicking bed, rectangular in length, about 3-4 metres long to have a couple of espaliered citrus trees. Do you think there would be enough room for the root ball and roots for this to work? Thanks πŸ™‚

  9. FreedomBee on February 5, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Rob PLEASE HELP !!!!!. I made 4 large wicking pots (1mtr long pots) exactly according to the way U have done (using ag-pipe) to grow some brasicas & silverbeet in. Due to the constantly moist soil 3mths later I found the mulch on top was growing a disgusting fungus all over it, which had also begun growing up the stalks of the veg, plus it also began spreading over the top of the plastic pots. I had to rip out quarter of the plants & had to throw out the entire 3inches of mulch plus I sprayed the soil, the pots & the remaining veg stalks with neem oil & a tiny bit of clove oil added into it to kill the fungus (which worked). I also live in subtropical area on the coast, but further south than U (in North NSW) so the weather here would be similar to what U experience at ur place. I had already also bought 8 large barrels & ag-pipe to make air-pruning wicking pots to repot some fruit trees into, but now I’m concerned about using the pots as wicking pots for the trees in case of possible root rot (& maybe other funguses). There was more rain at the time also. I must mention one other factor which may have had some tiny influence….. I had the pots covered in a finely weaved fruit fly net to stop the unceasing cabbage moths from laying eggs on the brassicas I planted in the pots, so its possible that this may have reduced airflow, however I dont expect it wouldnt have had much effect, since the problem came from the constantly moist soil. After spraying the plants & soil thoroughly & removing the mulch there hasnt been any regrowth of the fungus, but it has also been dryer weather & no mulch which the fungus loved. Have U or anyone U know had any similar problems? Can U suggest any ideas? I’m not sure what to do now in regards the fruit trees, esp once they get quite big & fill the pots cos I am concerned about root rot. I’m thinking that maybe the holes for air-pruning (which the veg wicking pots dont have) may allow the soil to not be quite as moist & so maybe there will be no extra fungal problems, but how can I stop the roots from eventually growing down into the constant water supply at the bottom of the wicking pots? What do U think?

  10. Khione on February 5, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    I was wondering, if using crates to increase air space for the water, do you recommend a small layer of sand on the bottom, below the crates, so there is no chance at water just sitting on the bottom floor, that has no contact with being able to be wicked by the sand? I’m thinking, if a layer of sand is put under the crates, then at least the sand can wick the water to the sides, before wicking up, if water levels ever got that low.

  11. Pedro Mq on February 5, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    What is the maintenance?

  12. T Schreiber on February 5, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Rob,
    Great video again. I started my first wicking bed this season…..much smaller in size so. My family objects against the IBCs on the Terrasse :). I agree on the soil topic….hence the efforts to build a wurmfarm as well. This is a whole other story in itself.
    Thanks fore this clip
    Have good one

  13. Jarrett Curley on February 5, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Legend πŸ‘ŒπŸΎ

  14. Neonblue Industries on February 5, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Excellent Rob! Thank you so much for this great video!

  15. Jared Pavatt on February 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    How does the water wick once the level drops below the level of contacting the soil?

  16. Max Marak on February 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Thanks for the video! Towards the end, why did you cover it with mulch?

  17. Robert Knell on February 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Why the sand rather than just filling the bed with growing medium?

  18. billybigdinners on February 6, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Hi Rob. I’ve just recently found your YouTube channel as I’m interested in setting up my own aquaponics system now I have an allotment and have been loving the videos of yours. I was wondering is there a way of hooking up one of these wicking beds with an IBC based aquaponics setup, or is it better to have them separate? Keep up the good work! From the UK πŸ˜‰

  19. Zion Assedo on February 6, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Nice job !

  20. Uchiba Uki on February 6, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Very nice farm and thanks for tutorials! Farmer really deserves more appreciation for their hard work πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

  21. syncopium on February 6, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Love your videos! Thanks for the time invested and all the information given

  22. happymaple Small on February 6, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Hi Rob wonder after the heavy rain in last few days how will you improve the soil in your wicking beds? I found it difficult to judge what have been washed out, may need soil test?

  23. Robin Song on February 6, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Thanks Rob for the wicking bed information I’m just getting around to these and your instructions are spot on for me to continue to grow my garden. God bless

  24. Theoden King on February 6, 2021 at 12:04 am

    amazing concept & brilliant presentation

  25. happymaple Small on February 6, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Ag Pipe is made of recycled plastic…

  26. Neil Calliou on February 6, 2021 at 12:06 am

    I think I’m going to eventually, have to build one of those! You’re one handy bugger ! Lol . Take care Rob!

  27. My Northern Garden on February 6, 2021 at 12:06 am
  28. Julie Klysz on February 6, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Rob that a great I dear. Thank as I am making up wicking beds and large pots. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  29. Stephen H on February 6, 2021 at 12:07 am

    The Advertise I had to watch before this was some guy claiming to Stop using aquaponics and and how horrible a system it is. Then he went on to say buy his "green" something or other. You must’ve angered someone at youtube for them to put an ad like that on one of your videos. πŸ˜‰

  30. Drew Lustro on February 6, 2021 at 12:08 am

    excellent video, v informative

  31. Nigel Murden on February 6, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Hi Rob, Looking to build some of these for a community garden. In our Melbourne weather we need to be mindful of frost and heat in summer, have you seen any designs where you can make a cover for these? (plastic in winter, shade cloth in summer)?

  32. Vicol Titus on February 6, 2021 at 12:16 am


    What do you do when the nutrients in the wicking culture bed are consumed ??? Does the soil change with a new one or is compost or biomass always added ??? How do you ensure plant nutrients for several consecutive growing seasons ??? Do we use organic fertilizers? At how many crop cycles does the soil change from a wicking crop bed ??? Everyone shows how to start a wicking culture bed … Nobody says how to maintain it and how much it can be used until exhaustion and then changed … Please, can you answer these questions ???

  33. Arthur Perrea on February 6, 2021 at 12:16 am

    HI Rob, So whats the best way to go Wicking beds with or without air pruning for garden ,I am to old to be doing this twice LOL.

  34. bugs181 on February 6, 2021 at 12:16 am

    I’ve thought about experimenting with a hybrid system using water from the constant flooded aquaponics and a wicking bed. Then the only top-ups I have to concern myself with are the sump tank. What are your thoughts on that?

  35. Felicia Cooke on February 6, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Hey Rob. Do you recommend using the bread crates or gravel

  36. Welton de Souza on February 6, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Bom dia Rob Bob teriam como colocar as legendas em portuguΓͺs Brasil

  37. Ordinary Observer on February 6, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Hi Rob
    What type of cloth did you use for the sand please?

  38. Rob Bob's Aquaponics & Backyard Farm on February 6, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Don’t forget to click the subscribe button if you enjoyed the video &
    share the clip around with family & friends if you think they’ll enjoy it too. 🐟 πŸŒ±πŸ…
    Cheers all & have a top one. 😊

  39. Sharon Wilson on February 6, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Hi Rob bob, great video, do you have the measurements for the height of sand and soil for best wicking please?

  40. Formist on February 6, 2021 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for the vid Rob? What sort of sand can you use? Is the type you put under pavers okay? Should it be course or fine?

  41. cynthia guzman on February 6, 2021 at 12:25 am

    How often do you fill up the bed with water? I don’t want to have a overwatered bed

  42. marinetrax on February 6, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Hi Rob,
    Have made up a number of wicking beds now. The wicking process does not work. Have tried a number of different mediums but nothing has worked so far. Do you have a recommendation of what to use in a wicking bed if one does not have any soil to put in or have any composted materials? Do you buy soil if you don’t have any? Just after some ideas. Thanks so much.

  43. anton on February 6, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Hi Rob, I have watched you aquaponics video for long time, I like to share my way to make the grow bed in aquaponics system, that is similar to the wicking bed, it just use gravel instead soil, I use it in my the aquaponics system, it reduces half the gravel use, it not just reduces gravel, but also reduces lots of weight and money, the other benefit is the system never blocked again.

  44. Jon Knight on February 6, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Excellent video. I’ve been working on self-watering planters for a railway station I "adopted" last year so that the flowers will only need watering once or twice a week. Some useful information in here, especially the use of sharp sand and weed membrane as wicking agents.

  45. Jamie Lingenfelter on February 6, 2021 at 12:29 am

    I love your videos I have already made your chop and flip aquaponic system with the IBC totes now I’m going to make your wicking bed using a different container it’s 100 gallons not sure what it’s called…Thanks for the inspiration explaining things so well you’re a good teacher

  46. Jarom M on February 6, 2021 at 12:32 am

    How often do you have to water these beds?

  47. JessSuave on February 6, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Could you use a layer of cardboard in place of that mulch layer that is on top of the sand?

  48. neville richsteig on February 6, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Thanks for the vid Rob. about to created such but want some advice in obtaining foodgrade IBC’s. HDPE is BPA free, yes? I am looking at used IBC’s of Finethene 49080. Then there is 5502 HDPE .
    Is all High Density polyethylene IBC plastic BPA free but just depends on what was stored in it that makes it suitable or not. How will one tell if it is being delivered without the chance of inspection? ( Melbourne Lockdown)

  49. Sandra G on February 6, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Hey Rob, you’ve inspired me to build wicking gardens. Are there plants best suiting to growing in them? And are there plants I avoid? I’m guessing fast growing vegies are best suited.

  50. Allan Driver on February 6, 2021 at 12:36 am


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