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Wicking Bed Design

4 Aug 2021 4:00 PM | Alex James (Administrator)

Chris Curtis from Roogulli Farm presented at this webinar on the 21 July 2021. Wicking beds are plant containers with a water reservoir in the bottom of the container, water wicks up through the potting medium through capillary action. At this webinar Chris discussed his research into several growing mediums and the water holding capacity of different reservoir materials in wicking beds.

You can view a recording of the webinar on YouTube here.

A copy of the abstract from Chris’s research can be downloaded here and you can read the full dissertation on his website

These are the main points from the webinar:

  • Some materials are more efficient at wicking water than others. Chris’s research shows that gravel and scoria have poor capillary rise and are not efficient as reservoir materials for wicking beds. These materials do not wick water efficiently into the root zone of plants. 
  • Cocopeat and Waterups are good at wicking water from the water reservoir to a depth of 150mm and maintained the best soil moisture for plant growth.
  • Using geotextile between the reservoir and growing layers showed no significant difference to the performance of the wicking bed in this study.


You can download a copy of Chris’s PowerPoint presentation here.

Pulse water meter 

Thank you to Chris for volunteering his time to present this webinar.

The Small Farms Network Capital Region received funding from the NSW Government Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Increasing Resilience to Climate Change community grants program.

More information about the community grants can be found here


Small Farms Network Capital Region Inc
PO Box 313
NSW 2621

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