How to make a wicking bed container food garden

How to make a wicking bed container food garden

Landscape architect and permaculture designer Steve Batley gives a run-down on how to make a wicking bed container food garden. This video was shot at Barrett House in Randwick and is proudly supported by Randwick City Council, Waverley Council and Woollahra Council.

The PermaBee program at Randwick Sustainability Hub provides the public with the opportunity to get involved in an active community of gardeners and food producers interested in regenerative agriculture and permaculture.

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  1. smhollanshead on August 15, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    You should secure garden cloth over the ends of your drain pipe to prevent soil from entering your drain pipe. You should extend the overflow tube inside the wine barrel so that the overflow tube is inside one of the drain pipes. You should eliminate the white garden clothe. Instead use a mix of peat moss and vermiculite to cover the drain pipe. Pack the peat moss and vermiculite tight around the drain pipes. This is the wicking material. Then cover the wicking material with a peat moss and moisture control potting mix combination for the plants to grow in.

  2. Percy Phelps on August 15, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Readily available???? WHERE??????? I HATE this kind of bullshit.

  3. Joan Brown on August 15, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    What’s the name of the plant on the left of you.

  4. Rian Corcoran on August 15, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    this was excellent! thanks

  5. mykarma2 on August 15, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    I have a 4×8 raised bed garden very similar to ours. Can I still use it in the winter in zone 7b and should I water it the same way or water it like a garden in the ground.

    This is my first year gardening,

  6. Garden Sheds Kent on August 15, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    I found this video very informative! It is really a great honor to learn another sort of method on how to make a wicking bed container. I appreciate your endeavor and I am very eager to give it a try. Thank you!

  7. Liam Monaco on August 15, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    how many layers of fabric can you use to still get the evaporative effect from the water reservoir up to the soil?

    I drilled my hole perhaps slightly higher than it should have been. To not have the soil sitting in ~30mm of water I used more fabric to get the soil only sitting in ~1cm of water. I used about 4-5 layers of fabric – will this be okay?

  8. Adarsh GUPTA on August 15, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Beautiful and ingenious!

  9. Alex Flores on August 15, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    I’m very new to this, but it seems like he’s planting everything too close together. The spacing requirements on my seeding packages are way bigger than what he’s doing. Am I missing something?

  10. Anthony Wilson on August 15, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Top job, I really like the atheistic look of the barrels. They seem absolutely perfect to use. cheers.

  11. SweetDiversions on August 15, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Hoping someone can answer this questions with conviction… What keeps the water in the area below the wick (the water in the manmade aquifer or water reservoir) from becoming stagnant and contaminated with yuk (mold, scum, what ever) if you get so much rain the water in the reservoir is not needed (not wicked up) for a long time?

  12. Olga Kanter on August 15, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    What is happening with the top part of the barrel in say 5 years? Would you waterproof the whole barrel to avoid wood root?

  13. mangla gardens on August 15, 2021 at 9:53 pm


  14. deinse82 on August 15, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    So once the water level drops below where the soil is, it doesn’t wick up? That’s unfortunate.

    Also, the water doesn’t need to wick up to the surface…only the roots. So it’s okay to let the soil go deeper, and wick up all the water. Or you can use gravel at the bottom, for the same effect, if you don’t want your soil sitting in water)

  15. kasda asdasda on August 15, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    the purpose of planting is saving money…..why would you spent to much money and time to grow vegetables?….you could easily go to the grocery and buy vegetables with the money you spent with those fancy and expensive pots.

  16. EcoCentric Homestead on August 15, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    what about using fiberglass resin as a sealer for the reservoir?

  17. Kathy DeRouchey on August 15, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    I also love the look of the wine barrels. But why do you need to waterproof them? It would seem that if you filled them with water and let it soak into the timbers, they would swell shut. After all, if they didn’t, wine would have leaked out, in their previous lifetime.

  18. reibuuu on August 15, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    its plastic…

  19. Neil Caldwell on August 15, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    Great video, the wine barrels look great. I think the waterproofing is because wine barrels would leak once dried out then left outside in the weather.

  20. thomas kaudia on August 15, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    Wonderful technology. I wiil try it in Nairobi

  21. Adarsh GUPTA on August 15, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Can we make hole on the side at a height (say 4 inch) and just fill with soil, does it work?

  22. Jose Rafael Laruta on August 15, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Do have asthma Sir?

  23. Appalachian Angel on August 15, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve seen this done before but your over flow is above the bottom pipe line. They put it just a tad below or even with the bottom black pipe. πŸ™‚

  24. Robert Marshall on August 15, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    the first thing you do to half barrels is drill three or four holes thru the steel loops and put screws in because as the wood dries out it shrinks and the hoops fall off. don’t think the moist soil will be enough moisture, it never worked for me. to me a better choice is stock tanks or the blue 55 gallon plastic barrels used to transport olive oil or soap.

  25. Jim Bronaugh on August 15, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Keep in mind that in most USA cities you would be arrested for doing this to your yard. In the US you must conform to the style and systems that maintain and increase property values. That means grass and decorative plants that match and are compatible with the yards of your neighbors. If not, they will arrest you and take your property and turn it over to their land development partners and use it for profit, which is the whole point of property.Β 

  26. Funk Republik on August 15, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Wine barrel are expensive and the amount of soil needed. Nah gardenin don’t have to be expensive..

  27. Rosemary Nguyen on August 15, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    I love the look of this! Much prettier than the 5-gallon buckets. He covered a lot of important details. I noticed that he didn’t cut a hole for the water refill pipe to go into the reservoir. Is it not necessary?

  28. ChuadangaOnline on August 15, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    Have you heard about – "Shuzman Awesome Container Homes" (google it)? Ive heard some super things about it and my coworker built a great shipping container home with it.

  29. Nicoli Bowler on August 15, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    What an excellent video. I want to make wicking beds in raised containers that are 80cm high (this is due to our health problems). How high would the wicking area need to be, as I don’t want to waste lots of soil above, if it won’t water the plants above properly. Also as Im in the UK the curry leaf tree won’t survive here, can I plant a wisteria instead and then all the beetroot, peas etc? Thanks

  30. Luboslava Novotna on August 15, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    One of the best I have seen so far. Thank you.

  31. Arahu Aaron Marsters on August 15, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    You just keep on repeating yourself. Get on and be brief .

  32. aquatic4sale on August 15, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    how do you protect plants from frost & cold weather?

  33. Antonio De Oliveira on August 15, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    wood barrel they don’t lose water as long they are wet the wood it’s swell when is in contact with water

  34. Melvin Lee on August 15, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    I was very pleased about your comment about wearing a mask whenever you open bags of soil of mulch. Always be careful not to inhale the dust particles from these products! You may or may not get sick but don’t take a chance on it.

  35. Q H on August 15, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    I am making 4 right now Napa CA

  36. Baw Jaws on August 15, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    hi, I’ve been inspired by the videos on YouTube to have a go at making my own wicking bed. I got the timber delivered pre cut to the size I requested..which was 3 metre lengths and 1.8 metre lengths. now that I’ve made one bed up it looks HUGE. I’m worried now that it might be too big. I’ve got 20 metres of 100 mm agg. slotted hose…do you think that’ll be enough? Can you have such a thing as a wicking bed which is too big? Nervous..don’t want to spend all that cash and it won’t work πŸ™

  37. Lisa Malone on August 15, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    can you spell out the name of the material that you use to waterproof the barrel please….I am not able to find it trying my spelling

  38. Amy Ho on August 15, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Excellent video. Will be getting hubby to build me some.

  39. David Bee on August 15, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    There should be an air gap between the top of the water level and soil. In other words, the drain hole should be below the top level of the black pipes.

  40. Live With Pakistani Mom in Germany on August 15, 2021 at 10:22 pm


  41. RandwickCouncil on August 15, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Register for our free "How to Build a Wicking Bed Workshop" as part of our Eco Living Expo this year!
    Saturday, 19 Sept 2020 at 11:30am.

  42. Mark Nguyen on August 15, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Nice video but I have different method lazy man plan πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  43. Kaho Fotyfar on August 15, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Great job thank u πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŒ·

  44. Roberta Reid on August 15, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    That all looks very expensive!

  45. Cameron on August 15, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Using wine barrels is ridiculous, they cost as much as a 1000L tote and give you 1/5th the grow space. Get a IBC, do the same thing, and grow 5x more food for the same cost.

  46. Jopyfizzle on August 15, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    lol, what kind of a wine barrel needs water proofing?

  47. MrWookie21 on August 15, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Aren’t you concerned about using all these synthetic petrol by-products for your food production (sealant, overflow pipe, drain, landscape fabric,…) Your realization looks more like a hazardous carcinogenic concentrated source container ?

    Isn’t a wine barrel wine tight enough to keep water inside it ? Why don’t u also use upside down clay pots and gravel to fill the space gaps between them to realize the water reserve and burlap layers to withold the padding soil ?

  48. Tom Kitchen on August 15, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Good job thanks Steve, i’m going to give it a go.

  49. Joan Brown on August 15, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    You can look straight ahead no need to keep looking up at the camera.

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