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. 🐟 🌱🍅

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  1. Jon Knight on March 11, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    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.

  2. Stephen H on March 11, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    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. 😉

  3. Zion Assedo on March 11, 2021 at 10:24 pm

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

  4. Bob Wolin on March 11, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Rob Thanks so much for all your info. Could you use all soil, rather then sand and soil? Thanks

  5. Sandra G on March 11, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    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.

  6. Felicia Cooke on March 11, 2021 at 10:28 pm

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

  7. Kellen Chase on March 11, 2021 at 10:29 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?

  8. jaenicoll on March 11, 2021 at 10:30 pm

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

  9. Allan Driver on March 11, 2021 at 10:30 pm


  10. Theoden King on March 11, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    amazing concept & brilliant presentation

  11. Melissa Carroll on March 11, 2021 at 10:31 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

  12. happymaple Small on March 11, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Ag Pipe is made of recycled plastic…

  13. JessSuave on March 11, 2021 at 10:32 pm

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

  14. Donna Cameron on March 11, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Fantastic video, thank you.

  15. Troy Heald on March 11, 2021 at 10:34 pm


  16. Robert Knell on March 11, 2021 at 10:37 pm

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

  17. Nigel Murden on March 11, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    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)?

  18. Max Marak on March 11, 2021 at 10:39 pm

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

  19. Ordinary Observer on March 11, 2021 at 10:39 pm

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

  20. Mrs. Jillaroo on March 11, 2021 at 10:41 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

  21. FreedomBee on March 11, 2021 at 10:42 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?

  22. Jamie Lingenfelter on March 11, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    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

  23. Rob Bob's Aquaponics & Backyard Farm on March 11, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    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. 🐟 🌱🍅
    Cheers all & have a top one. 😊

  24. Pedro Mq on March 11, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    What is the maintenance?

  25. My Northern Garden on March 11, 2021 at 10:56 pm
  26. Arthur Perrea on March 11, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    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.

  27. Sharon Wilson on March 11, 2021 at 10:58 pm

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

  28. Jarrett Curley on March 11, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Legend 👌🏾

  29. Zion Assedo on March 11, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Nice job !

  30. Robin Song on March 11, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    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

  31. anton on March 11, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    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.

  32. T Schreiber on March 11, 2021 at 11:05 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

  33. Jérôme Latinamerica on March 11, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Manu thanks Rob for ur great videos which I am getting some inspiration from and feedback for wricking beds I am making in a School. Greetings from France.

  34. Khione on March 11, 2021 at 11:07 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.

  35. bugs181 on March 11, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    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?

  36. neville richsteig on March 11, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    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)

  37. wildlife gardens sydney on March 11, 2021 at 11:10 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

  38. happymaple Small on March 11, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    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?

  39. billybigdinners on March 11, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    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 😉

  40. Uchiba Uki on March 11, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Very nice farm and thanks for tutorials! Farmer really deserves more appreciation for their hard work 👍🏻👍🏻

  41. Julie Klysz on March 11, 2021 at 11:15 pm

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

  42. Jared Pavatt on March 11, 2021 at 11:16 pm

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

  43. Samuel Christ on March 11, 2021 at 11:16 pm

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

  44. Neonblue Industries on March 11, 2021 at 11:17 pm

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

  45. Vicol Titus on March 11, 2021 at 11:20 pm


    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 ???

  46. Drew Lustro on March 11, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    excellent video, v informative

  47. Formist on March 11, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    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?

  48. syncopium on March 11, 2021 at 11:23 pm

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

  49. marinetrax on March 11, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    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.

  50. Aiden Cattle on March 11, 2021 at 11:23 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 🙂

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