Wicking beds for Uraidla retirees

FROM LEFT: Lois and Dave Addison, Peter Geers, Annie Holland, Val Hunt, Liz Milner, Sean Wessex-Brown.

The residents of  Uraidla Retirement Village can start planting their summer vegies after two wicking beds were recently installed.

“Many of the residents have moved from large properties where they grew most of their own fruit and vegetables.  They miss being self-sufficient, the taste of home grown vegies and getting their hands in the soil”, said Val Hunt, Coordinator of the Adelaide Hills Natural Resource Centre.

Val successfully applied for a grant from the Department of Ageing to cover the cost of building the wicking beds and materials needed to complete them.

It was a real community project involving many people: Spring Gully donated the IBC containers that are used to line the beds and the Red Shed at Uraidla made the wooden surrounds. The construction and placement was overseen by Peter Geers, with Lois and Dave Addison organising the plant selection after consulting with other residents.

The beds were filled with quartz and garden soil, with the heavy lifting done by a group of volunteers from the Adelaide Hills Natural Resource Centre –  Liz Milner, Ann Holland, Seán Wessex- Brown along with Peter Geers and Val Hunt.

Wicking beds are ideal for all home gardens – they can be raised to a level that reduces bending and the system of watering from underneath reduces evaporation and places the water where it is needed most, at the root of the plants.