On Saturday 17th April community members and gardening guru’s come together for our first GSAC Community Garden Workshop! The opening of Moora’s Community Garden was only possible with massive help from Tracy and Michael Humphry, Ross Adams and Louise and James House. Our wicking beds are in place and we even have some delightfully broccoli seedlings poking their head above the soil. Below is written notes from the day about how to make your own IBC Wicking Bed. We’d love to see photo’s of what you create and grow!
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
- 1 x IBC or waterproof container
- Approx 1.8 m of drainage pipe
- 1x elbow to fit drain pipe
- 2 x caps to fit drain pipe
- Drain spout to fit into IBC side wall
- Small length approx 30cm of trickle pipe to attach to drain spout
- Small amount of shade cloth to cover drain holes
- Geofabric or shade cloth approx 1m square depending on the size of your container so size plus about 10cm each side extra
- Blue metal, gravel or scoria enough to cover 20cm deep of your container
- Sand and animal manure to fill your container mixed together
- PH meter (optional)
- Shovels, wheelbarrow, gloves, garden boots, hose and water onsite
Containers are cut at three rungs up. The top can be saved and covered with shade cloth then placed over the garden to protect it.
NOTE: Place cut container in permanent position as it will be too heavy to lift once it is filled. These filled beds can be moved by forklift/tractor with forks only. If wanting to move, align the fork placements to the front.
Drill small hole about 15cm from the bottom and fit tank flange and trickle hose on the outside of the shuttle. You can purchase these from the hardware or farm shop. There is two sealing washers – one goes inside and tightens, the other on the outside of the shuttle.
Fit the 12mm trickle hose to the outlet
Cut and join drainage pipe into approx 2 x 80cm lengths depending on the height and width of your container, the piece to go across the bottom of the container is drilled with lots of holes, put caps on both ends of the pipe and place it into the container. The top of the cap should be level or just about the top of your garden bed. This is where you top up the water level.
Cut a small amount of shade cloth and place over the outlet drainage pipe also over the valve if your container has one. Put a shovel full of the blue metal or gravel over each just to hold it in place.
Once everything is in place, fill the bottom of the container with blue metal or scoria or gravel to about 20cm level. You may need to give this medium a good wash if it is covered in dust as this can affect the ph levels later on.
Cover the blue metal with the geo fabric or shade cloth and then fill to the top of the container with your sand/manure mix.
Give it a good water from the top so that the water is at least to the level of the geo fabric, this is only done at the beginning and from then on you water into the drain pipe inlet.
Plant your plants or seeds and grow your garden.
You can cover the top of the garden bed with straw. Your garden bed may settle a bit if it does this just top it up as needed.
Another very good source is this book
Thank you to Cindi Brassington and Louise House for the detailed notes and photos.