Growing tips

The best growing tip is to make a really good friend at your local nursery. Just let them know that your are growing your own food at home using a wicking bed and they will help you out with suitable plants and bags of smelly stuff that makes your soil better.

Specific advice for wicking beds:

1. When you first plant your seedlings in a wicking bed fill the reservoir underneath via the inlet pipe, but also water your seedlings from above with a watering can. It takes about a week for the wicking to take effect so keep watering from above for the first week. After that, just fill up from the inlet pipe.

2. Good soil for starting a wicking bed is a loose friable potting mix. Mixing 3 bags of cheap and 2 bags of expensive potting mix is our easy to remember formula.

3. Dont fertilise as much as you would with a standard garden. In a standard garden a lot of the nutrients flush down through the soil before they are used by the plants, whereas in a wicking bed those nutrients all remain in the closed system and will build up over time.

4. Too avoid excessive nutrient build up, flush your wicking bed every year at least. This is easy to do. Just turn the overflow pipe 90 degrees until water starts running out, then water from the top of the soil until that fresh water starts flowing out the overflow. Then turn the overflow pipe back up to vertical and keep watering until the reservoir fills.

5. Buy a little seedling propagation tray so you can have the next batch of plants ready to go.

6. Most importantly, don't think too much, just start doing. Gardening is fun and easy and its not meant to be an olympic competition. You don't have to be the worlds best gardener to grow lots of beautiful healthy plants and enjoy eating what you grow. You will learn every day just by being curious and end up with your own knowledge and understanding.