vegetable patch design
Wicking Beds
wicking bed pros and cons
Below is a summery of wicking bed advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether a wicking bed will meet your gardening needs.

Advantages
  • Use between 40 and 50% less water than a conventional garden bed.

  • Harder for weeds to establish as the soil on the surface is drier.

  • Watering is semiautomatic, so it is possible to go away for two or three
    weeks at a time without your wicking bed drying out.

  • Can be entirely watered by a low pressure water system, meaning it can be
    directly connected to a water tank without the use of a pressure pump.

  • Ideal for gardens that have trees with invasive roots or are infested with Couch grass as it is very difficult for tree roots and Couch runners to penetrate into a wicking bed.
Disadvantages
  • Much more expensive to build, approximately three to four times the cost of a conventional raised garden bed.

  • As the design is more complicated  they take longer to build and require a higher level of building skills.

  • When the reservoir has water in it the underlying soil remains much damper, which can be a problem  for vegetables that prefer dryer conditions.

  • Use a lot more  materials to build than a conventional garden bed

illustrations comparing standard and wicking beds
Illustration of problems associated with a conventional raised bed
Problems associated with
a standard raised bed.
Illustration of the advantages of a wicking bed.
Advantages of a Wicking bed