I am purchasing some long narrow garden beds to go alongside a fence. At the moment I have polysterene wicking boxes there and have been happy with them but raised beds will look nicer. These do not of course have a liner, because they are a box, so I just drill a hole about 10cm up form the bottom, and they drain out when overfull. Just wondering if it makes sense to have the drainage pipe coming out underneath the bed (dig away a channel) instead of drilling a hole through the side? Anyone done that?
I was going to insert a pipe sticking up that could be twisted around to empty. I also want to put in in ground worm buckets, which are fantanstic. Have seen subpod and wondering about using a crate so it can be a seat.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Africanaussie. It's great to have you join us and many thanks for your question.
Most raised garden beds do not have a base so I assume you are going to line them? The easiest option would be to have the drainage pipe on the solid sidewall. I'm not really sure how the wicking system would retain water if the drainage pipe was installed underneath. Perhaps if you could draw a diagram of the wicking system you had in mind, with the drainage pipe coming out underneath, it would give us a better idea of how the system would work.
I have always in the past had wicking beds made from polystyrene boxes, and have the drainage hole just at the top level of the drainage rocks. I wasnt sure if a fitting and tap was really necessary. I probably will just do the same as I did for the boxes., thank you for your help
A fitting is unnecessary, but it helps you pin the lining to the sidewall of the garden bed. It also allows you to determine if you want more water kept in the system.
I Put together my raised beds over the weekend, and there are some extra holes in the side, so I think I will go ahead and put the drainage pipes at the same level as the top of the stones, as I did with the polystyrene boxes. I saw an idea that had the drainage pipe coming out from the bottom, but then the hose twisted up, so that you could adjust the water level. This was in case the water became stagnant, but I have never had that problem in the past, so maybe that is just overthinking the situation!. I am also thinking of making a type of lasagne bed in the boxes, in order to save on the cost of filling the entire box with potting soil. Anyone done that?
The whole purpose of these raised beds is to grow Solanaceae, since I have bacterial wilt in my soil.
Hugelkultur has become popular over the last few years, partly because using sticks and branches limits the amount of soil required.
You might like to read through these previous discussions on filling raised garden beds:
After looking at all the difficulties I have decided just to fill the beds lasagne style and forget about the wicking part. I have been layering hay and mulch from the local tip, along with a layer of my own compost in the middle. Wetting down thoroughly. I will only plant into this bed at the end of the wet season, at which stage I will add a layer of mushroom compost and then some good potting soil. Thanks for all your advice!