How to Build a Wicking Garden Bed Container

Wicking Beds

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Living in a generally dry area can make growing produce a little more difficult for some gardeners. If you are one of those who want to make sure that your plants are well hydrated, a wicking bed is one idea that will improve your garden.

Wicking Bed Main Image

This wicking bed containter is perfect for small gardens, for those who live in the city for instance or that don’t have decent soil to grow plants in.

As a gardener living in California, this wicking bed container was made in the owner’s effort to help reduce water consumption and waste while making sure his plants don’t get dehydrated. Through a wicking bed container, the water supply stays below the soil therefore preventing water from evaporating. Because the water is down beneath the main roots, the system promotes a strong, healthy root system with the plants taking up just the right amount they need. It’s a bit like hydroponics without the ‘hydro’ :)

A wicking watering system promotes a strong, healthy root system.
A wicking watering system promotes a strong, healthy root system.

Plant science also suggests that watering from the bottom also reduces the risk of fungal infections and wind and sunburn, especially on soft-leaf plants.

Does this sound like a project your garden needs? Take a look at more wicking bed examples from our gallery and a link to a complete tutorial below to help you build your own!


  • Tub / Container
  • 3″ Pipe
  • Gravel
  • Potting Soil
  • Shade Cloth


  • Drill
  • Pipe Cutter

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.8-)


Thanks to Hyrdoponics is Cool for this project. You can get step-by-step instructions here



  1. I have done this for over 20 years. If using poly pipe in ground with plants, not into boxes, don’t do the elbow joint.