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 Post subject: JT's Wicking Bed Project
PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 07:22 
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Hey all.............

Since I have built Aquaponics systems, which work very well and I have added NFT pipes in a couple places and they seem to be doing well.... I figured I'd give a wicking bed a try....

I have read over all the threads here and watched lots of youtube vids and have been designing up my very first wicking bed....

I am going to do a very low cost setup, getting as much free stuff as possible....

it will be made out of free pallets (taken apart and cut to size), free plastic milk crates, and I have just gotten a lot of free sand....

below is just the rough design and may change as I go....

I will be adding a compost pail to recycle kitchen scraps and have composting worms working on that, and hopefully they will move throughout the bed leaving their castings.....

I will have a 279mm deep res. with 300 mm of top soil.... seems the rule of thumb is the water will only wick up 300 mm or so....

If this first one goes well, I may build up to 11 to completely cover my dirt garden area

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Last edited by DecalsbyJT on Jun 14th, '12, 07:31, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 07:28 
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Wicking Beds

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 08:08 
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DecalsbyJT wrote:
If this first one goes well, I may build up to 11 to completely cover my dirt garden area


We are on the same path 8). I have a head start but I suspect you'll get your's done first.

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 08:19 
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I think you are further along then I am...

I have to take apart about 12 pallets, cut the slats to the right height, attach them to
the side supports, still get lots of parts to get.....

will be a couple weeks at least

JT

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 08:38 
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i've got quite a few milkcrates.. hmmm.... :whistle:

lookin good jt!

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 09:25 
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Hey Keith

keep an eye here... as I will be taking lots of pics....

picked up 54 free milk crates....and 10 pallets..... off to a good start....

got out today for a little bit until the rain forced me to quit......

below is progress so far...

A plus is these are hardwood pallets, so all the scrap left over is great firewood

jT

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 09:31 
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Good tip about the nails, I had tried to get them out the reverse way and gave up!

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 09:33 
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ya dave....

if you try and pry up the board it usually just breaks the board......

jT

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 14:18 
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Yep, brilliant tip on the nails JT.. :thumbright: We had pulled apart a few pallets to make laying boxes, and yes, we broke many boards trying to pry them up.

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 14:50 
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This should be interesting to watch. I like the method your using and the milkcrate bit makes sense if I can find some. I might have to slow up just to get some more pointers :thumbright:

DecalsbyJT wrote:
I think you are further along then I am...

I have to take apart about 12 pallets, cut the slats to the right height, attach them to
the side supports, still get lots of parts to get.....

will be a couple weeks at least

JT


Hauling all the dirt and rocks without the use of a bobcat is what's going to either kill me or slow me up.


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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 17:14 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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For those trying to understand the milk crate concept i posted this march i think viewtopic.php?f=18&t=663&start=2130

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '12, 20:43 
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Top work JT, looking forward to this build. :cheers:

p.s. you are running some sweet handle bars there brother :lol:


p.p.s thanks for the link F&F! :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Jun 15th, '12, 04:37 
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That is actually a goatee :headbang:

got a little more done today.. some more pallets taken apart.....

getting ready to score tomorrow.... found a warehouse that has 300+ pallets
in perfect condition and inside and dry... :cheers:

looks like I will be busy for the next 2 or 3 weeks...

jT

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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '12, 08:43 
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Well already made changes to the design....

made it a little smaller so I can use mainly measured wood....

its now using 48" (1.22m) x 96" (plus the 3 1/2 - 2 x 4 widths) 103" (2.6m)

it will now have 7 milk crates instead of 16 which will still give me 52 gallons(196L)
not counting the water in the sand.

this will eliminate a few cuts and a few less slates...

jT

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PostPosted: Jun 16th, '12, 09:26 
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Now if you want to go really cheap on some wicking beds, You don't necessarily "have to have" the resivuar. I've done beds where I simply dug a trench, dropped some free billboard liner down in it, then filled up the bottom with the really coarse compostable materials (like wood chips and sticks) then covered that all over with a nice mound of mushroom compost. Then just one drip line instead of my normal 3 for that size garden bed.
Perhaps not a "perfect" wicking bed but it did work I tell ya and a lot less work and materials than building the nice raised beds and all.

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