Wick Bed project

stevo

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Looks like I volunteered myself to build a wick bed for the sister inlaw, She's in to all kinds of stuff and likes to try new things. I think she knows all this stuff but I thought I better start doing some research. I think we'll go with the pine sleepers as it's fairly easy to put together. The pine sleepers come in 2.4m lengths, so we'll make it 2.4m long and 1.2m wide (cut one in half)

I've linked some pics I found on google, this is similar to what I have in mind.


 

Steve

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Cool idea Stevo.

Looks exactly like a big self-watering pot. The overflow will stop the roots getting waterlogged as long as the soil is deep enough.
I like the look of that timber too. Very neat.

Looking forward to seeing more on this.
 

stevo

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yeah it looks like you just top it up with water every now and then. I reckon a water float valve would go well for automatic filling and could be supplied by a water tank, I don't think she'll want to go to that expense though.
 

Mark

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I've got a feeling top watering will still be required... How about seedlings or seeds - will the top soil be damp enough to get them off to a good start?
 

Steve

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Yeah I was just thinking that Mark. Probably work ok once the plants were fully established and the roots were deep enough.

If you were constructing it on a slope as in the picture you put up, you could channel the overflow from the top bed down into the lower bed. And depending on the gradient you could hide the piping below ground level.
Just a thought.
 

stevo

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I've got a feeling top watering will still be required
Probably Mark. She likes to try everything, she's got the whole farm thing happening, chooks, duck, fruit trees, vegie patches everywhere, the aquaponics is in progress with lettuce, spinach and strawberries, all seems to be working, i'll try put some pics up of the aquaponics setup.
 

Mark

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Yeah I was just thinking that Mark. Probably work ok once the plants were fully established and the roots were deep enough.
If you were constructing it on a slope as in the picture you put up, you could channel the overflow from the top bed down into the lower bed. And depending on the gradient you could hide the piping below ground level.
Just a thought.
That's a good idea - I've seen a tiered setup somewhere before (can't remember where it was) where the top garden bed waters the bottom one via gravity.

Probably Mark. She likes to try everything, she's got the whole farm thing happening, chooks, duck, fruit trees, vegie patches everywhere, the aquaponics is in progress with lettuce, spinach and strawberries, all seems to be working, i'll try put some pics up of the aquaponics setup.
Your sister in-law sounds like she's got a great setup! That's a top attitude I reckon to try new self-sufficient ideas like a wick bed etc and explore other ways of GYO instead of sticking with the traditional ways.
 

Mark

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Construction starts tomorrow! I'll take some progress pics. This could take longer than expected as it looks like we have to remove a tree and level the ground as it's on a slope.
How big is the tree?
 

stevo

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1.5m bush/tree? these things always take 4 times longer than planned. I think we'll have to get the stump and roots out so it doesn't effect the pond liner.

I spent $150 on gear the other day for this, Pond liner, ag pipe, some plumbing gear, battern screws, weed mat. I still need to pick up some sleepers tomorrow. Estimated cost is around $300. That is free labour aswell. It all seems to add up doesn't it.
 

Mark

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1.5m bush/tree? these things always take 4 times longer than planned. I think we'll have to get the stump and roots out so it doesn't effect the pond liner.

I spent $150 on gear the other day for this, Pond liner, ag pipe, some plumbing gear, battern screws, weed mat. I still need to pick up some sleepers tomorrow. Estimated cost is around $300. That is free labour aswell. It all seems to add up doesn't it.
Yep, those bushy shrubs can be a real PITA can't they. $300 sounds pretty good I must say - imagine paying someone to do the job? It would probably cost $1500!

Should be a really good project on election day too :)
 

stevo

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I love garden design :cheers:.. from a simple idea we have made it complex and about 4 times the work and expense.

The kids didn't want to remove that tree we talked about, so it had to go in a different spot. .....We did some thinking, looked, talked, looked. They tend to work on one thing at a time and I like looking at a "bigger design picture" so i suggested we look at redesigning the whole system, and it IS a system when looking at it.

So now we are:
1. building new 1000L aquaponics fish pond - 3 levels of sleepers = 600mm high = water level 500mm deep
2. deep water flow bed (needs more explanation) - extra filtering, water flows from grow bed to pond - has plants growing in it
3. repositioning the existing grow bed - current grow bed structure stays as is
4. building the wick bed - seperate structure

The wick bed is actually a seperate component, but because the current bath tub was in the way of the wick bed position i wanted to move things around so they sit better. My sister-inlaw and brother wouldn't care about that stuff and would have just wacked it in , in a odd spot, but i think things have to fit in with surrounding structures.

We used the materials i had to make a start. We made the base structure for the wick bed, and two levels for the fish pond.

gees i'm getting confused reading all that, i think we'll need a diagram at some stage.

Note: because i only had enough materials for the wick bed, we changed the plan and made different things. We will get more materials and build up

pics...

fish pond: - will be three levels high, pond liner, top cap of timber


wick bed base: - three levels of sleepers high, pond liner
 
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Mark

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I think you've taken on a lot more work but it makes sense to expand the aquaponic setup and especially improve the pond. In the end they will all tie in together nicely and be worth the extra effort.

Although the wick bed isn't incorporated with the aquaponics its still smart to have it close for practical reasons and in case they do want to include it in the future.

Looks like a successful day!
 
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stevo

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yeah it's a fair bit more work, but I think it should look and work pretty good when it's all done. It will take a couple more weekends worth of work. We plan just to do about 2 or 3hours each Saturday which isn't much really.
 

stevo

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Todays progress - we built a new layer for the pond and put the pond liner in...



This is the deep water trough ( it will get another 200mm layer on top, the water will be 300mm deep. The water goes through this from the grow bed to the fish pond. This is classed as an extra water cleaner , there will be more plants grown along the length of this bed.



We made a new layer for the wickbed - this will get one more layer next week.

 
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