Wicking bed how to.. A self watering garden bed..

Wicking bed how to.. A self watering garden bed..

Hi Folks. Here a Wicking Bed “How To” on the self watering garden beds we like to use here. They conserve a lot of water & with the help of compost worms these beds will grow you a ton of produce for years to come. Have included links below to other wicking beds & barrels we’ve made up.
Hope the clip gives you a few ideas to play with. 👍

The original Idea belongs to Colin Austin.
Scarecrows garden blog is another place that sold me on the idea.

Latest wicking clips.
IBC wicking beds

Wicking barrels

Air pruning wicking barrels

Auto top up wicking barrels

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  1. claudia gamino on November 4, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Hey Rob, I have melons in an IBC but the grow fast, plants are very green, but when the fruit starst to form. It just dies before it grows. What mineral am I lacking. Its tilapia water.

  2. zizzzix on November 4, 2021 at 10:20 am

    hope you can answer this question for me, as i have been searching quite some time for the answer: in old school gardening they told you to never keep your soil wet all the time (only for swamp plants) for lots of reasons. so how does this work? because i see it works. (and if this bed doesnt use a top layer of mulch, do you wet the top soil from time to time?) thx, love your vids. jef

  3. Ohoshua Jajuoaah on November 4, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Hey mate thanks for the video.
    Just trying to wrap my head around this idea, so the water feeds from the pipe, and therefore it is being filled from bottom to top? How does the water make its way up?
    Can I just take sand from the beach? Hah

  4. Michael Curtis on November 4, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Hey rob where do you get your sugar cane mulch? Or can I use straw?

  5. Ramone Oliveira on November 4, 2021 at 10:21 am


  6. Jeff Sullivan on November 4, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Been watching your channel for years. Built several IBC beds and some smaller buckets. Other than portability is there an advantage to building barrel beds over larger beds? Thinking of building a 3′ x 8′ bed.

  7. DAVID SONNIER on November 4, 2021 at 10:22 am

    always appreciate lessons from your experience

  8. RangaRoo on November 4, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Where do you get plastic liners from?

  9. drifter drifter on November 4, 2021 at 10:26 am

    from new mexico us. in the wicking beds I am starting ßeveral this weekend. how do you fertilize? do you thiink, or know if you could combine the kratky wicking method will work. or do you have to fertilizer as a convention garden. thanks for your time. waynemosley88@gmail.com. great day. wayne

  10. Cloudy Wishes on November 4, 2021 at 10:27 am

    This is great info for us here in DRY South Australia we live on the plains out north and i have to say it almost never rains

  11. Pleasant Quantum Rise on November 4, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Is there any way you can be contacted so I can pick your brains about an indoor growing plan I am developing and run some ideas past you?

  12. Lafe Garnier on November 4, 2021 at 10:28 am

    WOW!!!! You have really enhanced my awareness on options. Thanks so much.

  13. Captain Nemo Nadie on November 4, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for the great site. Our garden gets 18+ inches of rain during the wet season and zip during the 6 dry months. I’m looking forward to seeing how by following your experience we can smooth out our watering demands. Thanks for all of your work and valuable tips.

    We build our own soil and inoculate the planting beds with ENDO -mycorrhizal fungi and Arbuscular – mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that we grow and harvest ourselves. If you’re interested in how it’s done, the attached primers are excellent resources. -Cheers



  14. Jenny Ramos on November 4, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Thank you Rob, this is fantastic, always wondered how the water seeped through now I know. Going to try this in a bed I am currently getting ready for winter planting. You explained it very well. Cheers.

  15. KALSINFILMS on November 4, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Hey Rob Do you know this Hairy Fella? This is a good design? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMCy7CzBZc

  16. cara ryan on November 4, 2021 at 10:34 am

    hi Rob
    wondering how these beda are fairing now after several years ? did you do a revamp at all . cheers

  17. Missjazzy181 on November 4, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Where do you get the IBc containers?

  18. Tom Dewey on November 4, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Thanks Rob. This is the best description of wicking beds I’ve seen.

  19. Kristy Thorburn on November 4, 2021 at 10:39 am

    such a good video. thanks.

  20. Vanessa Odom Machen on November 4, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Is that cloth shade cloth or mosquito netting?  Does it keep the birds out of your planter?

  21. Pri Prestes on November 4, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Is there a particular width of AGI pipe that should be used if I’m going to coil it? Thanks

  22. tjefferys1 on November 4, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the wicking bed clips Rob, really helpful. Cheers, Travis.

  23. Pedro Buss Martins on November 4, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Doesn’t the sand clog the holes in the pipe? Thanks!

  24. Martyn Clarke-Smith on November 4, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Hi Rob, Thanks for a great teaching video.
    I take it that it is NOT necessary to have the top 4/5 cm of soil included in the wicking 30cm?
    In your demo you seem to have 12cm out of the 51cm total dedicated to the reservoir.
    That leaves 39cm of sand and soil.
    Did you try to actually keep the wicking area away from the top surface of the soil to avoid evaporation?
    Martyn, Narrogin . W.A.

  25. HUP Garden Designs on November 4, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Hey there, great clip! Two questions; what type of sand did you use, & could you use straw instead of sugar cane mulch? Cheers.

  26. C Johnson on November 4, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Hi Rob, Can you advise what happens to things that need polination by bees when you cover your whole bed with shade cloth. thanks.

  27. Hope Springs To Life Ranch on November 4, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Hello Rob,
    I love these clips. Thank you foe sharing. Do you have any clips on how you constructed the shade cloth frames?

  28. Kellen Chase on November 4, 2021 at 10:47 am

    built something like this… well, the albo pepper design. so used that corrugated drain pipe with an air space, coco coir as wicking material, and landscape cloth. Im in the Sonoran desert. so… yea, just added drip irrigation, as family is going away for a week and I don’t want everything to die as, things hadn’t been finding the water they need. (118 degree F days with 9in of rain a year on average)… first year growing anything, so. anyway. I hope to learn more about wicking systems and implement some more going forward… anyway, wanted to thank you for putting out there what you’re doing, (have done) and ask or see if I messed something up to need to top water so much?

  29. RangaRoo on November 4, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Would a deeper garden bed be better than a shallower one? I’m planning to get a 70cm high bed… Is that too high?

  30. alison simmonds on November 4, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Hi I like your clip of a bed that is obviously working! Boy there are a lot of different designs out there some that have a saturated soil layer above their scoria! Do you have trouble with salts build up. I was thinking of having an option to drain the whole sand layer. I am also worried about drainage here in Darwin and have seen the ag pipe in flow system connected to the out flow which I like better than the slits because of those rascally roots.

  31. claudia gamino on November 4, 2021 at 10:48 am

    It goes from green mini melons to orange and they just drie out before they go into melons.

  32. Nyssa C on November 4, 2021 at 10:49 am

    So glad I saw this before I put in my bed, I was wondering how I was going to get a good watering system in! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Jon Stevens on November 4, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Excellent! I like the idea of using sand around the slotted pipe in the bottom. Much more practical than using vermiculite. And cheaper! Thank you! I’m off to build mine this afternoon!

  34. T Schreiber on November 4, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Hi Rob, again a good clip, interesting thing with the worms. How much space should one leave between the sand and the top edge of the IBC. I would think that 40 cm is a min, or?

  35. William Biggs on November 4, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Great video and thank you for sharing. Is the sand necessary? The plants need the water below the sand therefore they draw water through the sand.

  36. smhollanshead on November 4, 2021 at 10:58 am

    How many Ag drain pipes do you put in your wicking beds? Where is the drain hole in relation to the height of your Ag drain pipe? Where do you place your overflow drain slits? What is the most successful placement for excess rain?

  37. Rob Bob's Aquaponics & Backyard Farm on November 4, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for watching folks & 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. 😊

  38. beldengi on November 4, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I have pondered using wicking beds but I have concluded they are not a great idea. They use too much water. I spot water my plants whereas wicking beds soak the whole bed. They also tend to over water the roots leading to outbreaks of disease. My friend’s wicking beds have seen all but corn die in the early stages of growth whereas my spot watered and mulched vegies are thriving.

  39. QuentinQuark on November 4, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for the vid. Is this somehow incorporated into the aquaponics? I feel like aquaponics and compost together would be like steroids for growing plants. Also when you put the sand in, is it hard to keep it from going in the little holes in the drain pipe?

  40. Geoffrey Grigg on November 4, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Really good video. Thanks

  41. Jim Hare on November 4, 2021 at 11:02 am

    This is fantastic!

    Building one at the moment but am a bit confused about whether the slotted ag-pipe needs to be enclosed at the ends to hold the water inside the pipe so it is drawn out slowly? Otherwise doesn’t all the water just pour out the open end immediately? Obviously I’m missing something here, if you could fill in the blanks that would be fantastic!

    Great video, really helpful!

  42. Kylie Stinar on November 4, 2021 at 11:03 am

    Do you have a video on how you made your garden beds? I love the look of the metal!

  43. To Yan on November 4, 2021 at 11:04 am


  44. Fifi Girl on November 4, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Just an idea Rob, looks like you’ve made your own shade tunnel as well, thought about doing a video on that.  Know I’d be interested. In my head I have star pickets, poly pipe, old trampoline frames…..
    thanks enjoying your videos.

  45. Alex Wise on November 4, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Hey Rob, just wanted to drop a quick note and say thanks so much for putting these videos together. I’m in the process of putting some raised garden beds using old apple crates and your wicking bed videos were probably the best on YouTube. Great detail and well explained. Keep up the great work!

  46. Mathew Ashwell on November 4, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Great vid mate, just what I was looking for.

  47. Colum Black-Byron on November 4, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Beardless! Well almost anyway. Cool that youtube still is linking older videos. I’m making one today, wanted the 45mm height, couldn’t remember off the top of my head.

  48. pratik thomas on November 4, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Hi Rob, I’ve been following your videos for quite sometime now. Your wick irrigation bed had inspired me to create an experimental wicking bed in the uni I is study in.

    I was wondering, how often do you water your garden and is all the source of water filled through the pipe that fills reservoir or do you additional water the bed?

  49. C Reinicke on November 4, 2021 at 11:14 am

    From USA in Hot AZ.. learning g how to garden here.. I’m starting a few wicking pots to test.. the covering you have caught my interest.. it’s not even may here and we’re nearing 100 degrees.. so I’m trying to figure out how to give the plants some shade..

  50. jeremiah3754 on November 4, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Hey Rob,
    About how much do the materials for one of these cost?

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