Wicking bed

A wicking bed is an agricultural irrigation system used in arid countries where water is scarce, devised by Australian inventor Colin Austin.[1] It can be used both in (arid) fields as in containers.[2] Besides use in fields/containers outdoors, it can also be used indoors (i.e. greenhouse).

The system is designed to increase food production while using approximately 50% less water than traditional irrigation, by utilizing underground water reservoirs filled with decomposing organic matter and the process of evaporation.[1]

Despite being an irrigation system (which can even be fitted with automated refill capability via rainwater tank and float-valve), it still remains relatively low-tech.[3]

There are a number of commercially available wicking bed products including re-cycled plastic wicking "cells" that are reported to reduce water use by up to 80% when compared to above ground irrigation


  1. ^ a b Lolo Houbein (2012). Outside the Magic Square: A Handbook for Food Security. Wakefield Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-74305-011-8. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  2. ^ Building a Wicking Bed
  3. ^ How to Build a Low-Tech, Automated Wicking Bed (AKA ‘sub-irrigated planter’)

External linksEdit