BUILDING MACRO- POTS AND SMALL WICKING BEDS, GENERAL
MATERIALS, TOOLS AND CALCULATIONS
Materials needed for the beds and pots
Left to right: Crab pot mesh, Builders plastic 4 m wide,
Weed mat 1m wide, C-clips.
Materials needed for reservoirs
90mm PVC storm drain pipe, 40 mm PVC conduit pipe,
Duct tape. (Optional: 90 degree PVC bend.)
Tools needed for the beds and pots
Marker, Bolt cutter large for mesh, C-clip pliers, Bolt
cutter small to remove failed C-clips, Pair of pliers,
Measuring tape, Long ruler, Chalk, Scissors.
Tools needed to make reservoirs
Drill with 100mm and 40mm bits, Hacksaw,
Round file and Scissors.
The dimensions we use are chosen to minimise waste of materials.
(We buy rolls of mesh, plastic and weed mat, and full lengths of pipes to keep cost down as use a lot of it.)
SMALL WICKING BEDS
Dimensions (two sizes)
A length of 5.7m (76 squares) of crab-pot mesh will provide
three small wicking beds 1.2m long and 600mm wide. Two
are 400mm high and one 300mm. The lower bed suits
shallow rooted crops.
The bottom plates are the same for all three beds: 600mm x
1200mm (8 squares along the length of the roll and the full
width of the roll, 24 squares,).
Total length of the walls is the same for all three beds:
3,600mm (2 x 1200+ 2x 600) or 48 squares along the length
of the roll.
The height of the wall differs. A 3,600mm long section of the
roll is cut lengthwise into three parts, two 400mm wide and
one 300mm wide. (2x50mm is lost due to two cuts.)
Beds can be made longer by adding bottom plates together.
The maximum width is determined by that of the weed mat.
The three wicking beds cost us $42 in materials.
Dimensions (four sizes)
A length of 5.1m (68 squares) of crab-pot mesh will provide
four macro-pots of slightly different sizes, to minimise waste
Two have a circumference of 1.875m (25 squares along the
length) but differ in height: 600mm and 550mm (respectively
12 and 11 squares along the width). 50mm (1 square) is lost
due to cutting.
Two have a circumference of 1.725m (23 squares) with the
same difference in heights: 600mm and 550mm. These will fit
the smaller bottom plates.
There are two sizes of bottom plates. Both are 600mm long
(8 squares along the length). One is 600mm wide (12
squares along the width), and one is 550mm wide (11
squares), as one square is lost due to cutting. That gives the
four different pot-sizes (see table below).
The four macro-pots cost us $52 in materials.
Circumference Height Bottom plate
1,875mm 600mm 600mm x 600mm
1,875mm 550mm 600mm x 600mm
1,725mm 600mm 600mm x550mm
1,725mm 550mm 600mm x550mm
Demonstration site at the Gin Gin (Qld) Landcare nursery and bush-tucker garden
EASY GROW VEGETABLES . NET