Organic Food Gardens

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The main focus for our blog is to pass on information and tips about growing food using Permaculture methods, to help vegetable garden owners take responsibility for their garden and their own backyards allowing them to supplement their diet with real whole foods grown by themselves in a fully supported and natural way.


Growing Potatoes
Potatoes can be grown from spring to autumn. They can be grown straight into ground soil or in planter boxes.

Potatoes garden bed lined with newspaperhealthy soild added to the bed

Always use good healthy soil which can be a mix of premium potting mix and compost. Seed potatoes can be purchased from garden nurseries or if the potatoes in the cupboard at home start to seed then plant them.

Potatoes added onto the soilPotatoes then covered with more soil and lucerne

Once potatoes are in soil cover them with additional soil followed by lucerne or sugar cane mulch and then water. After a while the green stems will appear with leaves. As the stems grow cover with extra soil and mulch just leaving the very top of the stem / leaves exposed to the sunshine. Continue to add mulch during the growing period of 3 to 4 months. Then once the stems begin to go brown / yellow and die back, it’s time to harvest the potatoes.


Wicking garden beds. 

Wicking beds are self watering garden beds. 

Wicking bed has a water reservoir that sits underneath the soil your vegies grow in.


Wicking beds

To create a wicking bed you need a waterproof container or a garden bed frame that can be made waterproof. Wicking beds can be created in corrugated metal beds, wine barrels, large fruit crates, plastic tubs, build with hardwood timber sleepers or untreated golden cypress timber sleepers. 

If the container isn’t waterproof it will need lining. Lining materials include builders plastic or polyethylene that is 0.5mm thick. Old carpet or thick sheets of cardboard can be placed underneath garden bed which will help prevent punctures.


Reservoir is filled with pebbles
Pebbles at the base 

Geotextile fabric barrier

geotextile fabric is placed on top of the pebbles

Soil to complete

Soil on top  

     

 The bottom section of the garden bed the reservoir is filled with pebbles like scoria or blue metal. Then geotextile fabric is placed on top of the pebbles. This is the barrier between the reservoir and the top area of soil. The geotextile fabric allows water to penetrate and this results in capillary action. Watering from the bottom up. The fabric will stop the soil from filtering into the reservoir.

Water level controller pipe
A pipe is setup at the top of the bed and this pipe passes down into the bottom reservoir. This is how water is filled into the wicking bed. Also a hole is drilled into the side of the wicking bed where the reservoir and soil meet. A pipe is fitted into hole and this becomes the overflow pipe. Thus water then does not saturate the soil section. Capillary action will water the vegies.

For additional information:

Wicking beds Planted

Photo’s of wicking beds are from Edgeworth David community garden and the Fagan park eco garden..

 



Raised vegetable gardens

Raised vegetable gardens can be made to a height of 1 metre to 1.5 metres usually to  waist height. These raised beds allow gardeners to work at a comfortable height without having to bend over and work at ground level.

They can be made of timber or recycled bricks / materials and filled with good soil and compost. Their ideal for wheel chair access and they can be netted by placing stakes at each corner and then placing a net over the bed to keep out pest insects and wildlife. An assortment of herbs and vegetables can be grown in them.

Raised Garden beds  

Wicking Beds

Wicking beds are raised garden beds that are self watering. They hold water below the soil and water is sucked up by the plants roots through capillary action when it’s needed. The base of a wicker bed is lined with a pond liner then on top of pond liner porous rubble is placed. Placed in the middle of the rubble is an agricultural line ( Ag pipe ) which zig zags through the rubble and is connected to a PVC pipe which extends to the top of the raised bed. This PVC pipe is filled with water which flows into the Ag line in the lower area of the bed.

On top of the rubble geotextile fabric is placed with the soil placed on top of that. An overflow outlet pipe is placed at the point where the soil meets the geotextile fabric.

Raised Wicking bed Raised Wicking Garden


Wicker beds are great during dry period and summer as they are self watering.

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