Just sending you the promised photos and update on my XL and Jumbo wicking beds, installed late March 2022. Current crops include bush beans, bush sugar snap peas, capsicum, Golden Nugget pumpkins, onions, sweetcorn, bush watermelon, various determinate tomatoes, determinate cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, early yellowrocket and Spacemaster Cucumber. I live in a coastal area with very high winds, so have chosen bush versions wherever possible rather than climbers.
Wind was also an issue with my veggie-net. The bulldog clips that you sent with the canopy kit just didn’t cut it, unfortunately. I’ll outline what I did in case it helps anyone else. At first I threaded clothesline wire all along the bottom edges of the veggie netting and tied it to the poles. It took ages to tie and untie when I wanted to work in the garden and I often couldn’t be bothered doing it if I only had a short amount of time to do gardening.
Next I purchased bungee cord and bungee hooks on eBay. I threaded that along the netting edges then used the hooks to clip the netting to the frame. The extra netting on the corners is hooked to the poles opposite like “hospital corners” when making a bed with a flat sheet. I also purchased spring clamps similar to the ones in the photo to place over the netting on the poles. So far, so good – and we have had some pretty hairy storms this year. I have attached a photo in case that helps. So far the netting has kept out the possums, birds and rats that are known visitors to our garden. The veggie net excludes many insect pests but means that I have to either lift it in the day time or manually pollinate.
I’m using square foot garden spacing in my beds to maximise the use of space. I created my “permanent, prominent” grid with poly pipe.
The planting media is a 50 / 50 garden soil / compost mix as per your suggestion. When I harvest a crop from a square I mix in 1 to 2 hand trowels of compost before replanting.
After the initial fill in late March, the long, wet winter weather due to La Nina has meant that I only filled the reservoir again in December.
Algae was a problem in winter, especially on any squares that were left unplanted. This can’t really be avoided here as algae grows on the roads, footpaths and garden beds in winter anyway. This year I will be sure to plant cover crops to reduce the problem though.
In addition to the crops listed above, I have successfully grown silverbeet, cornsalad (mache), garlic, various lettuces, bush peas, snow peas and spinach.
My onions were not very successful because I think it was far too wet for them, this winter although a couple that did survive are starting to look good now that the weather is drier and has warmed up.
I am growing carrots in deeper wicking pots than your beds but am going to try Parisian Market (small, round baby carrots) in your beds very soon.
Slugs and snails have been a bit of an issue but earwigs are by far my worst pest problem. I have tried controlling the earwigs with snail traps filled with soy sauce and oil but they seem to go for the yeast and sugar mix for controlling molluscs better. I will also try putting some lengths of old hose in the bed to trap them in.
Well that about sums it up. I’m looking forward to hopefully a more normal year climate-wise this year so that the wicking beds can really hit their stride.
Thanks for a great product!
Deb in Burnie, Tas.