Wicking beds: a more sustainable vegetable garden
"Huh?" you say? How can something brand new every be more sustainable than something upcycled? Well firstly you can build a wicking bed from upcycled materials. But I am focusing more on water consumption, arguably our most precious resource, than materials.
In Australia, drought is part of our climate. We are all raised with good water practises, like turning the tap off while we brush our teeth, and those good habits can extend to the garden.
A wicking bed is a self watering bed. Check out my page for more information. You fill the reservoir and then the soil absorbs, or wicks, the water up to the roots. This method of watering prevents water from being lost to evapouration when mulch is used. Where as, when watering top down with a hose, a substantial amount of water is lost to evapouration, before it can soak down into the soil.
Therefore, overall, less water is used to produce the same plant. Wicking beds not only take the hard work out of watering (the main reason beginner gardeners fail with vegetable gardens), but they are a more sustainable vegetable garden in Australia.
The above diagram is of the Biofilta Foodcube, which is one brand of wicking bed on the market. They are Australian made from recycled plastic (ticking two boxes for me) and are the wicking beds that I have in my garden. I love them so much I am getting more! However, there are a lot of wicking beds on the market, and you can make you're own.