No Dig, Wicking Bed Gardens: Is This Possible?
Is it possible to have a no dig, wicking bed garden? Wicking beds are effective when soil is used for planting and work only at a depth of 600 cm: http://www.easygrowvegetables.com/pdf/Wicking%20beds.pdf My beds are 1,000 cm high. In addition, no dig gardens don't use a soil base. How are these apparent contradictions to be overcome in a wicking, no dig garden bed? This is an important question for me this is what I'm doing at Sustainability Street Phillip Bay and have not yet found a satisfactory answer. :-)
A few 'wicked bed' resources for you to investigate (if you haven't already?)
We're installaing a wicking bed with Permaculture East at Barrett House, 10-1pm on 29 June 2011 come along..
The wicking action is limited to 300mm and occurs through the micropores of the soil. I would think that this is your limiting factor. Other options could be considered for increased water storage within your soil profile such as hugelkultur or in-bed composting.
Check out SGA(Sustainable Gardening Australia) online at www.sag.com.au/wicking beds & you'll find instructions & diagrams to assist with building no-dig wicking garden beds which can be raised on blocks/bricks/stumps/whatever to any height that suits you. Basically its just a box of whatever size suits you lined with a couple of layers of builders black plastic or pond liner material to make it hold water, substrate/gravel & compost & pea straw.