2020 Garden Plan; Wicking Beds

Welcome to Wicking Bed Nation! 

For those of you who do not know what a Wicking Bed is, this is a special type of raised bed planter that allows plants to get as much water as they need automatically.  Wicking Beds are self-watering systems, where the gardener adds water once a week, once every couple weeks or once a month, depending on the design and environment.

Wicking Beds are efficient: water is added to an open or closed system (depending on the design of the planter) and the water works its way from the reservoir to the plants’ roots by a physical property called capillary action.  Plants get as much water as they need.

Wicking Beds are essentially a simple hydroponic system.  The good thing for some of us who might not be so mechanically inclined and/or live in cold climates is that these systems do not have pumps or complex pipe and drainage systems. They are as simple, or as complicated, as the gardener chooses.

After all, your humble plug flat and tray that you use to grow seedlings are simple Wicking Beds (if you think about it).  You add water to the bottom tray, and that water works its way to the soil and roots of your new seedlings.  Viola!  You have a simple Wicking Bed!

Types of Wicking Beds

Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System, Small Scale Gardening

There are a number of different types of Wicking Beds that are currently growing vegetables and herbs all over the world.  Some Wicking Beds are available commercially at home improvement stores. Other systems can be easily constructed from one or more 5 gallon buckets, totes, rain gutters, kiddie pools, or even livestock watering troughs.

For those of us who are a little more handy, you can construct Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow Systems out of PVC pipes or 2×4’s and pond liner.

With a little creativity and some know-how, you can automate how and when water fills the reservoir. That means you do not even need to fill the planter yourself!  Like your toilet, the plunger goes down, and the water fills the reservoir until the plunger rises and closes the pipe.

The bottom line and the sheer beauty of these systems are that with some resources and skills, you can create a “plant-it-and-forget-it” system that produces wonderful results!

The Purpose of this Page

I want to showcase some of the wonderful ideas and productive planters that people from the Small Scale Gardening Community have created and use in their own gardens.

I want you to be inspired and feel empowered to try this method of gardening.  I firmly believe that you can change your grocery list, your health and your life through gardening with Wicking Beds. By removing some of the “mystery” behind watering your plants, you will find that gardening and growing delicious food is easy!

You are not a black thumb or “Plant Angel of Death.”

You just might need to change your growing methods to proven systems that work!


Welcome to the Wicking Bed Nation!

We help gardeners grow!


Wicking Bed Nation 2020


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