How Can We Help?
< All Topics

Wicking Beds

A guide on building raised wicking beds.

Trellis: cattle panels. (Not available in Namibia?)

Hi Mable. I used welded mesh available at most hardware or building stores. It has a mesh size of 20cmx20cm and comes in sheets of 2.4mx6m. It can stand as an arch on its own, or you can attach it to another support structure to simply have a vertical trellis. However, it is not galvanized, so it tends to rust a bit over time.

Add charcoal to our beds?

Here’s a video showing how to grow potatoes in a wicking bed: ​​

Building IBC Flowbin Wicking beds

Wicking beds need up to 80% less water than normal raised beds! Water less often: Because the bed has its own water reservoir, the bed can go days, even weeks without watering (depending on how big your reservoir is).

Optimum Size for Raised Beds

Raised beds are best kept to a maximum of four feet (1.2m) wide. This makes it easy to reach the middle of the beds without stepping on the soil. Beds against a wall or fence should be about 2-3 feet (60-90cm) wide, as you’ll only have access from one side.29 Apr 2016

Add instructions here

Build compost according to plant needs. Ie high Potassium for Bananas

This is why chop n drop works so well – it recycles the nutrients which the plants need most

Optimum Size for Raised Beds

Aim for a minimum height of 6 inches (15cm), while up to a foot (30cm) is ideal for root crops. Make sure to leave enough space for access between beds. About two feet (60cm) wide is ideal.29 Apr 2016

How to Build Raised Beds for Your Vegetable Garden

How to Build Raised Beds for Your Vegetable Garden – cheap way to build and fill premium garden raised beds

Typical companions:

Famous: Three sisters. Corn, Beans & Squash

Wicking Beds

As an intro, here is a nice video on 10 Vegetables You Should ALWAYS Grow –

Growing mobile fruit trees in wiking beds –

We can use a tool like the Garden Planner to help plan our gardens (

Market Garden – greens – use a 30inch (75cm) bed size as this is common in the states and many tools have been built for this size. Lots of info here – also on tools used

Greens harvester.

This is the cheapest and easiest enclosure to build. We simply plant poles, string wire over them in a large mesh and tie the shadecloth over this structure.

Using Shadecloth helps manage temperature during the day, keeps insects and predators out.

Here we will have standard and raised beds as well as a compost heap and worm farm. Most of our vegetables that need soil will be grown here.

We’ll build a 2000m2 facility. Our online research has shown that this should be sufficient to feed a village of 75 people for a year. Including the sides we will need +- 2750 m2 shadecloth.

The cost of shadecloth is around NAD 12,- per m2. If we can use poles we find on the farm then the cost for this shadecloth house is 30 000,-.

We can build one 13m2 keyhole garden with raised beds for each family. According to PDC this should supply enough. So we need 16x 13m2 keyhole raised bed gardens in the Nethouse. (16 includes volunteers, interns and guests) = 208 m2 greenhouse space, plus walkways = 300m2 greenhouse.

Wicking beds:


  • Compost
  • Conect the Wicking beds water inflow in the garden to the aquaponics fishtank
  • Worm tea
Table of Contents