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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '14, 13:30 
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How is this travelling?

I am undecided as to what to use as the wick in my barrels.
Gravel/sand.
Can i just dig up any sand and use it or does it need to be a specific sand ie. washed river sand or something?
Would those blocks of coco peat or coir work?

Cheers
Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Jul 23rd, '14, 20:43 
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Hi Rob

I'll post a few pictures over the weekend. It is really hard to tell how well the beds are working. The onion and carrots seeds have sprouted and doing well. But with the rain the beds are constantly wet from the top at this stage.

I suspect that i will only be able to make a judgement in summer when it gets dry.

Gabe

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Aug 3rd, '14, 18:40 
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Ok - time for an update. I have been really busy with other pursuits so the wicking bed has had no attention since construction. With the rains in Perth the bed was flooded a few times.

At this stage all seems healthy. The onion seedlings are growing well and the carrot seeds have all sprouted. A lone potato and a few garlic plants makes up the rest. I have made the wicking material from bark from a local supplier. The overflow seems to be leaching a brownish/oilish liquid.
This doesn't appear to affect the plants at the top.

I am currently using the angle of the overflow to control the height of the water in the reservoir.
It will be interesting to see how things develop when the rains stop and the wicking bed starts "wicking"!

Here is a few pictures.
Attachment:
Overflow.jpg
Overflow.jpg [ 343.36 KiB | Viewed 3429 times ]

Attachment:
Onions and Carrots.jpg
Onions and Carrots.jpg [ 361.76 KiB | Viewed 3429 times ]

Attachment:
Seedlings.jpg
Seedlings.jpg [ 397.17 KiB | Viewed 3429 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Aug 17th, '14, 18:34 
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Guess what i found popping up all over my grow bed today!


I suspect these will hit the the 9/10 on the hallucinogenic (or poison) scale so i have been careful not to touch the fruiting bodies.

They don't seem to affect the onion,potato or carrot to much so i will let them be for the time being.

Attachment:
Toadstools.jpg
Toadstools.jpg [ 402.54 KiB | Viewed 3389 times ]

Attachment:
Toadstools 1.jpg
Toadstools 1.jpg [ 399.56 KiB | Viewed 3389 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Dec 26th, '14, 09:19 
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Merry Xmas everyone.

Its time for an update. The wicking bed has going for 6 months. The first 4 months were a failure! I had a serious nitrogen draw-down issue which took me some to figure out. I think it had to do with the wood chip wicking layer.

Instead of redoing the bed i decided to give the bed a "nitrogen fix". I figured if it didn't work i'll redo the bed..

The "fix" consisted of

- a good flush
- adding about 1kg of urea into the reservoir :shock:
- dropping the water level in the reservoir
- mixing in 2 wheelbarrows of "raw" chicken manure into the top of the bed.


That was 2 months ago and things have finally taken of with a vengeance.

Currently i have watermelon, pumpkin, onions, peppers and tomatoes in the bed. I have started harvesting peppers but the rest still need to set fruit (i may have overdone the nitrogen!).

I plan to do the next bed in January and will keep the pictures coming.
Attachment:
Wicking bed success.jpg
Wicking bed success.jpg [ 381.15 KiB | Viewed 3224 times ]

Attachment:
Watermelon.jpg
Watermelon.jpg [ 426.45 KiB | Viewed 3224 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Feb 13th, '15, 22:44 
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Quote:
my newer versions are smaller at 457mm tall (18") overall with 305mm of dirt (12") and 152mm of sand
I always thought Americans might take to the metric system better if we integrated the two for period of time. Something along the lines of two feet four millimeters in length! Obviously we'd use metric for the little stuff 8) How's the Wicking bed experiment coming?

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Feb 13th, '15, 22:47 
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Scratch that last question Image

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 13th, '15, 19:19 
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Life has been busy lately with other pursuits so i have not really had time to expand the wicking system. Its nearly a year since the last post by i finally had some time to add one more wicking bed.

The first one has been so successful that i decided to again used kept "chipped wood" as a wicking media.

I am keen to grow Yukon but have been unable to get any plants in Perth. I bought a few tubers that looked that they may sprout and planted them in this bed. One is suppose to use the rhizome but i am hoping that the tubers may sprout as well! Holding thumbs.

Here is a few pictures of the new bed as well as the old bed (with a forest full of carrots).

I have also added a few wicking air pruning barrels with fruit trees based on one of Robbob's video clips. I planted semi-dwarf nectarine, semi-dwarf orange, a pomegranate.

I addition i transferred on of my dwarf trees from the aquaponics system into a wicking barrel as well. I'll show the pictures in a separate post.

Attachment:
New wicking bed.jpg
New wicking bed.jpg [ 369.81 KiB | Viewed 2771 times ]

Attachment:
027 (600x450).jpg
027 (600x450).jpg [ 367.39 KiB | Viewed 2771 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Wicking Bed
Yucon tuber.jpg
Yucon tuber.jpg [ 483.5 KiB | Viewed 2771 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 13th, '15, 19:23 
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And here is the Air Pruning Wicking Bed (APWB)for the fruit trees. I have used geotextile to line the barrel. Next time i'll do the lining a bit neater.



Attachment:
Design.jpg
Design.jpg [ 342.32 KiB | Viewed 2769 times ]

Attachment:
APWB.jpg
APWB.jpg [ 298.3 KiB | Viewed 2769 times ]

Attachment:
Mandarin.jpg
Mandarin.jpg [ 325.76 KiB | Viewed 2769 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 16th, '15, 21:15 
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Hiya Gabe, thanks for the update.
I've heard of the air pruning but I don't get it, I'll be interested to see how it goes. Wouldn't the sides being open increase the evaporation therefore increasing water usage? What are the advantages of this method over a wb without cut outs?

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 19th, '15, 19:11 
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skeggley wrote:
Hiya Gabe, thanks for the update.
I've heard of the air pruning but I don't get it, I'll be interested to see how it goes. Wouldn't the sides being open increase the evaporation therefore increasing water usage? What are the advantages of this method over a wb without cut outs?



Hi Skeggley

The technique is suppose to cause "root pruning" which result in a dense mat of feeder roots - rather than long winding roots. Robbob has an example of a papaya that he has grown in such a barrel. Here is a link.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPxj8e2r7H0
Gabe

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 19th, '15, 19:16 
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I am going wicking barrel crazy at the moment.I added another 4 barrels today. Planted with nectarines, mulberry and pumelo. here is a few pictures.

Attachment:
009 (600x450).jpg
009 (600x450).jpg [ 370.61 KiB | Viewed 2721 times ]

Attachment:
004 (600x450).jpg
004 (600x450).jpg [ 367.1 KiB | Viewed 2721 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 20th, '15, 15:46 
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Thanks Gabe, with that much soil exposed to the air I'd imagine it would use a lot of water in the summer but i suppose it's a trade off to be able to grow a large plant in a small container.

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 20th, '15, 19:49 
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The air pruning wigging barrel madness continues. Today i added a White Genoa Fig and Olive Verdale. Now have 10 barrels in total.

Attachment:
Fig and Olive (600x450).jpg
Fig and Olive (600x450).jpg [ 384.5 KiB | Viewed 2685 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gabes Wicking Beds
PostPosted: Sep 21st, '15, 04:02 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Looks interesting how do you water them and how often

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