Wicking bed growers

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Wicking bed growers

This group is dedicated to those who are interested and growing in wicking beds. Wicking beds in conjunction with aquaponics can enable us to grow just about every crop that cannot be grown in standard aquaponics. Lets discuss deign, operation and whatever aspect of wicking bed growing you can think of.

Members: 204
Latest Activity: Aug 16

Discussion Forum

Wicking bed for seedling and cuttings

Started by Philippe Pauvert. Last reply by Philippe Pauvert May 8. 12 Replies

Hi,What would be a suitable media mix to ensure adequate capillarity and soil quality for seedling and cuttings?Since the WB will be in a aquaponics system it will be of the Earthan type, if there…Continue

Winter wicking

Started by Carl Jacobs. Last reply by Paul Smith Apr 15. 10 Replies

Any body attempt to grow in winter using hoop covers in zone 5 ,if so changes requiredContinue

Thoughts on recirculating wicking / sub-irrigated grow tower

Started by Robert Jack Meyer. Last reply by Paul Smith Nov 17, 2014. 5 Replies

Hey folks,I'm new to aquaponics, only having dabbled in it briefly before, and am considering my system options.  After much research and brainstorming, I've come up with an idea that I am not…Continue

Integrating wicking beds into aquaponic systems

Started by Chris Smith. Last reply by Paul Smith Nov 9, 2014. 40 Replies

Our success with wicking bed growing using aquaponic system water for fertilizer has led us to integrate the beds into the system. We are experimenting with techniques and interested in what others…Continue

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Comment by Jeff S on June 22, 2015 at 10:23am

Jim you can't kick me out. This is my life LOL. Actually I never had any interest in gardening because I had no desire to bend over in the dirt but when I discovered aquaonics I thought "I can do this". Then YouTube took over and I'm doing everything. I haven't been doing this long enough for my compost beds to mature but I have 4 bins and 2 large trash cans cooking as we speak. I even have multiple worm bins going. Found out the best place to grow worms seems to be my aquaponics beds.Took me a while to get plants producing in the aquaponics due to lack of knowledge but it's going good now.

Comment by Jim Fisk on June 22, 2015 at 8:41am

Thanks for the great replies. I will have to say that I am not interested in using chemical fertilizers because I am interested in the taste and the nutrition rather than how large the veggies can get. We have had better results over the years using my high rate compost (naturally reaches temps around 180F) than any chems. we have tried and I have been growing for the table and commercially for about 40 yrs. So yes Jeff and Paul are both banned from our AP forums from now on. Kidding 

But seriously guys 10-10-10??? Have you ever compared hot house (hydroponics) tomatoes to properly raised organic veggies raised by a knowledgeable organic farmer? Learn more on how to boost your growth with great compost (not the raw junk they sell in bags that stink rather than smell fresh like forest black soil) and trace minerals, Greensand, Montmorillonite clay, etc. I'll keep you informed on our latest AP venture into wicking. For your dirt gardens check out "Back To Eden" on YT. We are finally getting back to nature. I was doing that in the 70's. Stay off the artificial soil drugs that are destroying our planet. You won't regret it. Replace the 10-10-10 with high aeration compost tea and worm castings.

Comment by Jeff S on June 21, 2015 at 7:36pm

I covered my perforated 4" drain tube I used with weed cloth then covered that with all purpose sand for better wicking. I then out in a layer of about 4" of straw. I saw in a video where this would help keep an anaerobic situation from happening by separating the organic soil from the heavy moisture.I then covered that with another layer of weed cloth and then the soil. I seems to be wicking just fine but I'm not pleased with the growth. I used fish water in one and tap water in the other with identical results. My Kratky  bed next to them is growing like wildfire compared to all my gardens... including the aquaponics beds.


Moderator
Comment by Bob Terrell on June 21, 2015 at 6:56pm

On the weed barrier, I used a nylon screen, like what is used in screen doors.,  Very small openings and workes well.

Comment by Paul Smith on June 21, 2015 at 5:29pm

Success, My fingers decided not hit the right keys.  Of course, it cant be me..

Comment by Paul Smith on June 21, 2015 at 5:27pm

There will be those who will want to kick me out of the aquaponic group for telling You this, but here goes.

Last year I used strictly aquaponic water in my grow boxes.  I think I had the drains too high so my soil was wetter than I would prefer. Some plants did OK, beans and tomatoes, while summer squash and corn didn't fair as well.
This year, I redesigned the boxes to increase the drain size, from 3/4" to 1", and lower it as low as possible, so each box drained all the water, holding none.  I also decreased the inlet size from 3/4" to 3/8".
I added a strip of 10-10-10 all purpose fertilizer, using a knee-high stocking as a container, right at the top of my grow-box, right down the center, covered with approximately 1 1/2" of soil.  About 3" below the top of the soil, I also used about a cup of dolomite lime and a shake of rock dust.
I cover each grow-box with black plastic, held in place with the outer ring of the lid.  Then I cut holes in the plastic and plant my plants, or seeds.
The theory is, the sun will shine on the plastic, causing moisture to evaporate from the bottom of the box, rise through the plant roots, then condense on the underside of the plastic cover and fall back into the root zone, taking with it some fertilizer.  Any rain is funneled around the fertilizer strip by holes in the corners.
I have found amazing success this year.  I have already harvested cucumbers, summer squash and strawberries.  Each corn stalk is approximately 6' with 3 ears each.   I have tomatoes 3" across, waiting to ripen, a pumpkin for my grandson is already 6" in diameter and my beans are beginning to explode on the bushes.  I grow veggies for the local community house and they are going to have plenty of food.
This picture was taken about 1 month ago.  I can't argue with suddess.

Comment by Philippe Pauvert on June 21, 2015 at 3:53pm

Hi, I did that 2 months ago. Water transport is perfect.

Comment by Jim Fisk on June 21, 2015 at 3:23pm

Thanks Paul. Will do. Seems to be the consensus. (only 2 answers between here and another forum). I make a killer high rate compost and between that and worm castings I expect some pretty spectacular results.

Comment by Paul Smith on June 21, 2015 at 3:15pm

Any weed barrier cloth will do.  Although, by using my grow boxes, I periodically can renew the soil, so I can change the weed barrier, although I have been using the same barrier for 5 or 6 years now.

Comment by Jim Fisk on June 21, 2015 at 1:37pm

We are looking for suggestions on what to use for the barrier layer. I would like to avoid the usual paper or cardboard which will break down within months. We are leaning toward weed barrier. Any suggestions from the group? The bed is 3' x 13'.

 
 
 

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