Wick Bed project

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by stevo, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I don't know much about it, i just buy/cut/build, ... but ...the trough is a luxury if you can organise it. There is no grow media (no gravel)... there are plants that are inserted in to styrofoam, styrofoam floats and shields the water from the the sun. The plant roots just dangle down and draw nutrients from the water flowing past. It's all about flow, that's why it's a bit skinny. It's all interesting stuff. Someone might come along and say it's all wrong, but we're not experts, it's all about learning.
     
  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Great stuff! I reckon it'll work a treat and makes perfect sense.
     
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  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    PS. The soil at thier place is terrible. I would normally have just made some raised garden beds, but because the soil is terrible on the block, this method makes sense, it could be more productive to do it this way. I think this is really suitable for the location.
     
  4. steve h

    steve h Active Member Premium Member

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    Great job stevo, love what your doing, you guys make this a very valuable site and interesting
     
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  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    cheers steve h, i don't know what i'm doing but it's enjoyable anyway :cheers:
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    another session done today. Next weekend is the big installation and set up.

    The pond liner is in, and the top hardwood cap on the fish pond.
    [​IMG]

    second layer of sleeper on he trough...
    [​IMG]

    third layer on the wick bed..(blury phone photo)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Excellent. This is great "how to" thread for anyone wanting to do an aquaponic or raised garden bed project. Looking fwd to seeing it in action!
     
  8. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    The supervisor decided the wick bed might be too high, so we removed the top layer and put the top layer in another part of the yard using it as a normal raised garden bed. Now the wick bed is just two sleepers high. We should have the liner, plumbing, gravel in next weekend and starting on the mulch/soil filler.

    well, I made a bit of a mess mixing the aquaponics and wickbed threads together :rolleyes:
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Nah, not really they're both relevant and excellent information for someone wanting to do similar. I reckon they go well mixed together personally.

    I really need to get moving myself and get some big projects done also especially at this time of year ( nice weather).
     
  10. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    The liner is in, ag pipe and water outlet. We used a water tank outlet pipe. There is a short length of pipe going vertical on the outlet , this will dictate the water level in the bed. If you lower or raise the outlet that alters the water level inside the bed.

    Now it just needs a whole bunch of gravel and soil or mulch to b built up over time.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I visited the wickbed last weekend and got an update photo. Apparently it's going well.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Obviously, your build has worked the plants look very happy in there!
     
  13. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah it looks a bit out of control. Apparently the soil in that area/suburb isn't very good for gardens as it doesn't hold water, and can even repel water, so to have a successful garden you have to build one bringing in outside soil etc.
     
  14. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yeah all soils need tlc and refurbishment. I add organic matter like manures and composts to my beds at least twice a year to keep the soil healthy.
     
  15. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    Hey Steve, did you put Barley Straw in the lower portion to keep the water sweet?
    I built a couple of beds last year and the expert I spoke to insisted that this was necessary, make sure it's barley STRAW though and not normal barley hay.
     
  16. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    umm, I don't know :oops: ... I wasn't there when it was filled up.

    I haven't heard of that one, I'll try find out but I wont see them for a few weeks.
     
  17. Ken W.

    Ken W. Active Member Premium Member

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    I've heard of barley straw used in dams to remove/inhibit algae growth but wouldn't think that would be necessary in an enclosed environment like a wick bed. It would eventually rot away leaving the reservoir "strawless" anyway. IMHO
     
  18. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I did a visit today and got an update shot of the Wick Bed... wickbed190915.jpg .
     
  19. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Nice update! Must be good to know a project like this is still getting good use hey... You started this thread just over 2 years ago :chuffed:
     
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  20. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    cheers Mark. They prefer the Wick Beds now and have a few set up. They've converted all the Aquaponic beds in to Wick Beds. The Aquaponics didn't work out for them. A bit too much maintenance and wasn't performing as well as the Wick beds.
     
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