The new townhouse deck wicking bed, built in 2015, replaced the prototype with a larger growing area and storage underneath.
The basic construction is similar to the prototype. A garden box set on legs. The box constructed to a desired height has a cloth liner installed. The plastic liner lays on this protective cloth. Remember to leave the plastic loose, allowing it to move without stretching. And, take your time filling the garden. The water-proof barrier makes the wicking bed functional.
Weeping tile is ideal for a wicking bed. A 4″ drain pipe is sturdy and easy to work with as well. Drill holes in either side of the pipe to make pathways for the water to escape evenly, and cap one end. Wrap this pipe in a root barrier fabric, known as a sock. This prevents the plants from possibly plugging the pipe with roots. In addition, a fabric root barrier between the gravel and the growing soil layers should be recommended. There needs to be a root barrier somewhere. The plant roots are looking for the water source. Therefore, keeping them in the growing soil, and not in the pipe is key. The “sock” allows the roots into the gravel layer, but not the pipe. The barrier between the growing medium and the water reservoir (gravel in this case) keeps the roots strictly in the growing soil.
Gravel covers the bottom pipe. The fill pipe, is attached to eavestrough on the deck above. The overflow hole and drain is drilled at the top of the gravel layer. That way, no matter how much water comes in to the garden. It only fills to the top of the gravel.
The Finished Product
The down spout connected. The exterior of the bed painted.
The finished townhouse deck wicking bed.
The overflow from the wicking bed on the deck drains into the lower garden. The lower garden is technically a wicking bed as well. See the Dogwood hedge page for more on that.
The gardens only receives rain water. Hand watering is required early in the growing season.
Be sure to check out the other wicking bed pages for more information and descriptions.