A wicking bed is an agricultural irrigation system used in arid countries where water is scarce, devised by Australian inventor Colin Austin. It can be used both in (arid) fields as in containers. 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.
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
- 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.
- Building a Wicking Bed
- How to Build a Low-Tech, Automated Wicking Bed (AKA ‘sub-irrigated planter’)