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March 16, 2011


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Johnny Sunday

I made something exactly like this based on instructions found on this website. The water in the reservoir is getting putrid and the tomatoes growing in it seem to be getting yellow leaves even though it's full of good compost. What to do?


Sorry for the slow reply Johnny. If the water is moving up by capillary action it will not get putrid. The problem you describe is most often caused by a soil mix that is too heavy and does not have good capilarity.

If you used a bagged mix, look at the ingredients. Do not use a planter mix that lists top soil as an ingredient.

The problem could also happen when there is insufficient light but that is not likely with outdoor edible plants. I will post about a simple method to test soil mix capilarity using recycled soda bottle SIPs.

penny minkkinen

have built the raised beds on a disused tennis court. Now we need to get all the bits for a wicking system. Any suggestions for suppliers. We will need quite a few. We are on the Mornington Peninsula - thank you.


I've read on other sites that I need to have landscaping fabric or a fabric sleeve over the PVC pipe. Is that necessary?

Also, what should be the depth of my soil on top of the PVC pipe for optimal growth of most vegetables? I know that tomatoes have deeper roots than lettuce. Should I have different boxes for different vegetables?

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