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How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Pearl1
Budding Contributor

How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

My partner was making a small wicking bed for me however, he passed away two weeks ago.  He complained about an abdominal pain, he must have been quite sick when he started making the wicking bed because a week later he was admitted to the hospital and passed away in less than 4 weeks. He was always very thorough, being an engineer, however, he must have forgotten to install an outlet because he was not well.  He had made a few wicking bed over the years to grow veggies.   Last Sunday, I went out to the garden for the first time after 5 weeks, I found this new bed is filled with water and I am looking for help to explain how I can install an outlet to release the water.  Can anyone help with suggestions on how to install an outlet or what do I need to do to release the water.  Appreciates any help, Thanks

Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

@Pearl1,

 

I'm so sorry for your devastating loss. This must be a very difficult time for you. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

 

Could we please trouble you for a photo of the wicking bed so we can see what you are working with? I'm sure our clever members such as @MitchellMc@Adam_W and @Maursie will be more than happy to assist. Adam built this raised popular wicking bed, while Maursie built and shared this clever design.

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's lovely to have you join us 

 

Jason

 

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Adam_W
Valued Contributor

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Hi @Pearl1 sorry to hear your news. Let's see if we can get this finished for you and do him proud :smile:
Can you please give us all a few more details on the bed? Timber? Tin? Is it lined with sheeting or membrane etc.? Does it have a gravel base beneath the soil?
This just determines how we need to approach adding a drain.

And I assume you are meaning the overflow drain? The one that takes surplus water once the 'fill' level is reached.

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Pearl1
Budding Contributor

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Thanks Adam, the bed is a tin bed we bought from Aldi, and Athol had used Stones at the bottom, and two types of lining the plastic lining to hold the stones and a mesh lining above the stones.  I cannot remember whether he use some pipies/tubes before he put in the stones. followed by compost and garden soil above it.  I will go out to the garden to take a photo. 

 

That's correct Adam, the overflow drain appears to be missing.

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Pearl1
Budding Contributor

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

IMG_5938.JPG  

 

 

Thanks Adam and Jason, Sorry for my mistake.  When I tried to remove the cover above the wicking bed, I discovered that the pipe will siting vertical to the wall of the bed, which also supports the cover,  thus the water was no not release, and when I move the out let down, was able to release the water as you can see from the photo.  I panic when I saw the amount of water in the bed and did not see the outlet.  We live in Kallista, on the Ridge and it can get colder at night and frost. We are usually 5 - 7 deg colder, but not hotter, which is good.   So we provide cover as protection for our plants in the colder months when they are at the early growing stage.  Anyone interested in growing and learning about growing your own vegetables or just practical experience are most welcome as we are always happy to teach and share our experiences and the fruits of our labour,  what we grow as well.   I am thankful for your quick response and I am sure Athol is very thankful for your help too.  I know I will not be able to cope with doing all the work myself and would appreciates any help.

We operate on the concept of living in harmony with nature and all our vegetable are grown organically,  in a way we also are into permaculture as we use companion planting as much as we can.  As a background, Athol Park was a friend of Bill Mollison, permaculture and Tim Payne, his best mates who was an agronomist.  Athol in the early 80's set up a community in Gippsland at Mt Murrindal, W-Tree, where people can live in harmony with nature, and it is still an active community today.

Sorry I am not good with computer and failed to upload other photos.  

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Fantastic, glad to hear all is now well @Pearl1

 

Please feel free to post anytime you need a hand. We're here to help. And please remember there are certainly no silly questions here on Workshop. It's a wonderfully friendly community that's incredibly supportive of members with all levels of D.I.Y. experience. 

 

Stay safe and well,

 

Jason

 

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Pearl1
Budding Contributor

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Thanks Jason,

I am trying my best to keep busy and working clearing the garden beds.  It 's good to have a community of supportive members.  Thank you. 

Questions:  Whilst turning the compost this afternoon, there were two small mouse ran out of the compost which scare the life out of me.  So how to stop the mouse building a nest in the compost.    We have five compost beds, two beds the compost are ready to use, two of the beds, one of our neighbours who helped cut the grass put the grass cuttings and fallen leaves into them.  I thought it looks like it needed to be turned, and mixed in after the rain this morning, so put a fork and after two turn, the two mouse ran out, what a fright I had.

 

I did not expect anything but worms in the compost heaps.  Yesterday I took some rotted compost, I shifted a barrow of compost into the new bed, that was fine.  And the last bed is empty at the moment and I have put some old vegetables in there after cleaning out the fridge.  But I don't want another experience with the mouse.  Any suggestions please as to why and how to stop mouse/rats building nests in the compose is much appreciated.  Thank you.

Pearl

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Hi @Pearl1,

 

I just thought I'd let you know I'm here to help in this difficult time, too. I'm always available to assist with anything you need.

 

The only two ways I can think of solving the mouse issue is by excluding them with chicken wire or eliminating them rodent baits

 

In all likelihood, they are just trying to find a nice warm home to live out the colder months. Yesterday I discovered that I have possums living in my roof cavity and they had entered through a hole they had chewed in my eaves. My first instinct was to remove them and patch up the hole. After some contemplation, I realised they were actually doing no harm in the tiny hole they'd made their home, and I hadn't actually heard any disturbance from them. I decided to leave them be; perhaps I'll move them on come Spring.

 

I understand that mice can give you a fright, as they always appear at the most unexpected times, and it's never nice to get a surprise like that. The simple solution would be to lay some baits around if you don't have any pets or children who could discover them.

 

Let me mention some of our gardening experts, @Noelle, @Adam_W and @mich1972, to see if they had some alternate ideas.

 

Mitchell

 

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Noelle
Super Contributor

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Hi Pearl

The best way to exclude mice from a compost bin is to level out the soil where your bin will be and then lay chicken wire or other fine wire mesh (not plastic because they can chew through it) over the soil, making sure there is a "fringe" of the mesh extending beyond the outside of the bin. Position the bin and then build a rim of soil around it and tramp it down so the base of the bin is sealed by the soil and the wire.

 

If you are building open compost heaps, the problem of mice control is more difficult.  It would be best if you enclosed the open heap by making bins with timber and then lining the base and sides with chicken wire to exclude mice from the composting materials. You will also need to fabricate some form of lid, because mice can climb and will get in via the top of the heap if it isn't completely and securely covered.

 

I saw you prefer to garden in harmony with nature so the use of mouse baits or traps is probably not going to sit comfortably with you.  Using wire mesh to completely encase your compost to keep mice out is probably the best option.

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redracer01
Trusted Contributor

Re: How do I install an outlet for a wicking bed after it has been completed?

Hello @Pearl1 

 

Just to add information to all the great advice. In case you were wondering the chicken wire comes in a 10 meter roll and can be cut with side cutting pliers or tin snips. You could use your secateurs but it would damage the finish of the blade so I suggest using those tools I mentioned. You can pin the bottom of the chicken wire using 280mm galvanized cyclone pins. But I think @Noelle 's suggestion is best and that is to enclose the compost. Please keep us informed of your projects and if you have any other questions to post it here on workshop. Be safe and take care.

 

Cheers,

Red

 

Screenshot_2021-06-04 Saxon 120cm x 10m Chicken Wire Netting.pngScreenshot_2021-06-04 Craftright 250mm Straight Cut Aviation Snips.pngScreenshot_2021-06-04 Cyclone 280mm Galvanized Edging Pins 10 Pack.png


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