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Wicking Beds for Schools 

Why Self-Watering Garden Beds are Ideal for Learning Environments

Wicking beds have emerged as a revolutionary solution in the area of sustainable gardening,  particularly in educational settings like schools.

These self-watering systems offer a plethora of benefits that align perfectly with the goals of educational institutions, promoting environmental consciousness, hands-on learning, and resource efficiency.

Wicking beds are essentially raised garden beds designed to self-irrigate. The beds consist of two distinct layers: a water reservoir at the bottom and a soil layer above it. This unique setup ensures that plants receive a consistent supply of water from below, reducing water wastage and promoting healthier growth.

Let's delve into the reasons wicking beds are an excellent addition to the school campus.

No Watering Needed in School Holidays 

If you are trying to grow vegetables in a learning environment, it is rare for the lifecycle of a plant to align to term time.  So being able to fill the base of a wicking bed with water before the end of term to see the students' vegetables through the break is a definite bonus!

Educational Value of Wicking Beds

Integrating wicking beds into school environments goes beyond gardening – it offers a hands-on educational experience.

Students can actively participate in the installation, maintenance, and observation of these beds, fostering an understanding of water cycles, plant growth, and sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable living and Self-Sufficiency 

Wicking beds serve as real-life models of water-efficient gardening. By using stored water more efficiently, they minimize water loss through evaporation and runoff. This practice aligns with the broader goals of water conservation and can be used to educate students about the importance of responsible water usage.     

And the educational value of seeing vegetables grow and the waste being returned to the bed via composting encourages a deep understanding of nutrient cycles.

Timber Garden Beds are Better than Steel for Schools 

When it comes to material selection for wicking bed construction, timber emerges as a more suitable option compared to steel: 

  • Sustainability - Timber is a renewable resource that can be sourced responsibly from sustainably managed forests.

  • Lower emissions - Choosing timber over steel promotes a lower carbon footprint, as the production of steel involves significantly higher energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Aesthetics - In school environments, aesthetics play a crucial role in creating a welcoming and engaging space for students. Timber wicking beds blend seamlessly with natural surroundings, creating a harmonious and inviting atmosphere that encourages students to interact with the garden.  The timber we use is coloured with Iron Oxide so keeps its looks for years.  And unlike steel will not dent when kicked by an overzealous student!

  • Safety - For school settings, safety is paramount.   It is important to use  vegetable-safe copper based wood treatments, and fully lining the beds ensures what is ending up in your vegetables.  No rusty, rough edges for kids to cut themselves on.

  • Thermal Properties - timber is much less responsive to sudden temperature change than steel steel.  In outdoor settings, steel can become uncomfortably hot in direct sunlight, potentially harming plant roots and even getting warm enough to scold kids hands.   Timber, on the other hand, remains cooler, safeguarding the plants' well-being as well as that of the students..


Community Engagement 

Wicking beds can become community-building tools within schools.   Parents, teachers, and local volunteers can collaborate on maintaining the garden, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility for the environment.   


In conclusion, wicking beds offer a remarkable opportunity for schools to embrace sustainability, hands-on learning, and community engagement. The choice of using timber over steel for their construction not only aligns with these values but also enhances the overall experience for students. By introducing wicking beds, schools can cultivate a generation of environmentally conscious individuals who understand the importance of responsible resource usage.

  • Find out more about how wicking beds work here.

  • Contact Us for a quotation for your school, college or early learning facility


Gladesville, NSW

May 2024

Gladesville Public School / Edible Gardens Project


Epping, NSW

Mar 2024

A Wicking Bed for Epping Boys School


Eastwood, NSW

Jan 2024

3 Wicking Beds for a School


Bowral, NSW

Jan 2024

3 Wicking Beds for a Bowral School


Lakemba, NSW

Jan 2024

8 Wicking Beds for Hampden Park School


Petersham, NSW

Nov 2023

NSW School of Languages


Faulconbridge, NSW

Oct 2023

Faulconbridge Public School


Gunnedah, NSW

Aug 2023

6 Wicking Beds in a Primary School


Gunnedah, NSW

Aug 2023

Gunnedah Public School Kindergarten


Ryde, NSW

Aug 2023

Ryde School - Edible Gardens Project

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