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Austin Texas wicking bed raised garden

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I reviewed a number of different sites and sets of instructions in order to get a good idea of how I wanted to build our three wicking beds for our garden here in Austin Texas.
You will notice some similarities between my build process of others but I hope to point out a few things that might help you in your build.  
Additional pictures of the project and reference material can be found at http://coknown.com/project/1338 
 
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Step 1: Materials list

Picture of Materials list
Your materials list will depend on the size, number and shapes of your wicking bed(s). I had a specific area in which to build our 3 beds and consequently designed shapes that would allow for maximum use of the space while still allowing us to easily move a wheel barrow around as well as tend to and harvest from the plants. 
Its a good idea to draw out your plan with relatively accurate measurements and even better if you can stake it out at the site to get a solid sense of what its going to look like when its done.
The basics are wood, rock, PVC pipe (or some other water delivery pipe), landscape fabric, heavy duty plastic and soil.  
I used cedar to build our beds as I wanted them to last, cedar matches the cedar fence close by, and I didn't want any leeching into the soil from pressure treated products.  I've read, by not confirmed, that if the bed is completely lined in plastic then there shouldn't be any leaching of the pressure treated product into the soil. Makes sense I suppose but I still didn't want to go that route even though it is cheaper to use PTP as opposed to cedar.  
DrKPMay (author) 4 months ago
That's correct. The weep holes go through the cedar and through the plastic liner to the soil.
toribr4 months ago

I don't see an overflow pipe, which is seen on most of these types of beds. Has that been a problem?

DrKPMay (author)  toribr4 months ago
There are 3/4" weep holes drilled just above the landscape fabric to keep the beds from overfilling. They need to be big enough not to clog but not so big as to have dirt and such falling out.
You definitely need something or you could have a big soupy mess should you get a tremendous amount of rain in a short period of time. The other benefit of the weep holes is that it allows you to quickly know when you've properly filled the beds to the maximum of the reservoir.
toribr DrKPMay4 months ago

Thanks. So those would be drilled through the cedar frame and through the plastic liner, right?

This looks great; thanks for the idea and post.
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