Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does your wicking bed liner last?
Our wicking bed liner will last at least 10 years in a wicking bed, but likely 15-20 years. It is flexible yet strong with very high puncture resistance. It is also used on large scale civil and commercial projects so you know it’s good.
- Is your wicking bed liner non toxic?
Yes. Our heavy-duty wicking bed liner is laboratory-certified (in independent laboratories in both Australia and the USA) to be safe for containing drinking water. It is the best liner we have seen and it will not leach nasties into your veggie garden, coupled with being almost impossible to accidentally pierce during installation. Councils across Australia use this product to line community drinking water reservoirs for good reason! Our liner is also:
- Tested by the Australian Water Quality Centre in accordance with AS/NZS 4020:2005 standard for contact with drinking water.
- BPA free.
- What areas do you install your wicking beds?
Our installation service covers most of the Melbourne metropolitan region and sometimes a little beyond. But it's not quite that simple. Sometimes the demand for our products and services gets quite high and as we a big fans of reducing our carbon emissions and ecological footprint, our service area can shrink down to focus more on the inner north. Please reach out via our contact form to find out more information.
- Is your wicking bed liner recyclable?
Yes. Our wicking bed liner is recyclable at the end of its useful life (code 5 – PP). In most parts of Australia you can take this type of soft plastic to large supermarkets to be recycled with plastic bags.
- What does and doesn’t grow well in a wicking bed?
Firstly, wicking beds are best suited to veggies. Most veggies do better in wicking beds because of the low stress, constant moisture. Some root crops, like garlic, might be prone to rot in these conditions, however, we've not had problems! And your daikon radish might not develop to full size due to the shallow (generally 35cm or less) soil layer. They aren’t generally used for trees and other perennial plants although you might have a few strawberries and other shallow-rooted perennials in there and in saying that we have seen small fruit trees grow quite well in wicking beds, but as trees have extensive root systems and can create significant shade, their success may come at the expense of other plants in the same bed. The best thing is to learn about the types of conditions your plants like and maybe have a little fun experimenting. What works well for some may not work as well for other and vice versa.
- Can you supply custom sized pieces of wicking bed liner?
Yes. You can choose a custom liner size up to 10m long x 3.1m wide! Get in touch with us via our contact form to order a longer custom sized piece of liner.
- What are wicking beds and why do I want one?
Wicking beds are a revolutionary way of watering your edible garden from the bottom instead of the top. They contain a water reservoir under the soil layer and through capillary action the moister rises up into the soil just like a paper towel dangled into a glass of water. This will help you save time watering and they are also more water-efficient than standard gardens due to the lack of evaporation in the top layers of soil. The constant moisture helps produce lush, healthy, and unstressed veggies regardless of the heat of the season.
Getting it right on your own can be technical and tricky though. After more than a decade and hundreds of wicking beds installed in homes and community gardens, we now offer our simple and foolproof wicking bed conversion kits and instructional materials to the public. You can read more about wicking beds here.
- How long will my timber veggie bed last?
Around 10-25 years. Golden cypress timber heartwood can achieve an estimated 10-15 year life span with ground contact, and upwards of 15-25 years when not in contact with the ground but still exposed to full weather elements. Find out more about our timber here.
- Is your timber treated?
No. Golden cypress contains natural oils that make it resistant to rotting, borers and termites, so no chemical treatment is needed. This means no toxic chemicals leaching into your soil or food.
- What makes your timber veggie beds so special?
Our timber veggie beds are beautiful, natural, sustainable and made to last. They’re the kind that you install when your children are born and you’ll still be growing food in them together 20 years later. You can also install them in your garden and disassemble and take them with you when you move. They’re truly an investment.
We use solid 50mm thick golden cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) sleepers, a timber that is renowned for its beauty and natural resistance to rotting and insects. The timber is grown in rural Victoria, salvaged at the end of their life and milled locally in small family mills. That makes it the most ethically sourced timber we can find. No logged native forests or industrial plantations for us.
Our timber veggie bed design has been refined using more than a decade of experience designing and making high-quality beds. These beds are easy to assemble, easy to grow in and they stand the test of time.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Find out what our customers think of our timber veggie beds.
- Are you installing your wicking beds during COVID lockdown?
In most cases yes. During the strictest of the lockdowns, we may pull back from installing our wicking and non-wicking garden beds at occupied residential properties in line with the government health directives. Get in touch to find out.
- Do you offer "click & collect" pick up from your warehouse?
Yes. You can pick your order up for free from our warehouse and workshop in Brunswick (Melbourne), Victoria. Our secure collection area is open all days and even after hours. Select the Warehouse Pickup option at checkout and we will let you know when your order is ready to pick up and the address details.
For timber orders, a pickup time will need to be arranged with the warehouse staff so we can have it out in an easily accessible location for you. We will get in touch once the order is complete to arrange this with you.
- Can you deliver your timber veggie beds to me and how much does it cost?
If you live in the greater Melbourne area the answer is probably yes. Find out where we can deliver our timber veggie beds and how much it costs here.
For locations outside of greater Melbourne, it's best to get in touch. You can also organise your own courier to pick up orders from our Brunswick warehouse. Get in touch with us via our contact form if you want to do this.
Currently, we are unable to deliver interstate.
- I live outside of greater Melbourne, how can I get your products and services?
We post all of our wicking bed liners and kits Australia wide using our favourite carbon neutral courier company Sendle.
Unfortunately, we like to keep our timber veggie beds local as the costs and carbon footprint tend to make it harder to justify sending them outside of the greater Melbourne area. We recommend talking with your local timber suppliers and find the most sustainable local timber you can. Then we can send you our kits to turn the bed into a water-efficient wicking bed. If you are in greater Melbourne (including Geelong) check out our delivery costs here.
Our wicking bed installation services are usually confined to the Melbourne metro area and a little bit beyond.
- What should I plant in my timber veggie bed?
All of our products come with the Very Edible Gardens veggie bed owners manual that includes loads of organic gardening hints and tips on garden design, what to plant when, crop rotation, mulching, organic pest and weed control, harvesting and more. We want to make sure that you have everything you need to make your garden a success.
- How long will it take to receive my order?
Our products are all made to order and the processing time depends on how many orders we are currently processing. In general, delivery can take from a few days for DIY wicking kits to a couple of weeks for timber kit set beds.
When you place an online order we will send you an email letting you know the estimated time for your order to be processed, and then when it is on its way or ready for pick up (as applicable).
To view our current wait times visit our Shipping & Delivery page.
- What is the waiting time on your wicking bed installations?
Usually it's anywhere from one to eight weeks, depending on the season. Get in touch via our contact form here to find out our current waiting time.
- What is the best sized bed for me and how many beds should I put in my garden?The best size and number of beds to order depends partly on how much food you want to grow - the more beds you have and the larger they are, the more food you can grow.After more than a decade of experience installing and growing food in raised garden beds in a variety of settings, we have some additional general guidelines for choosing the size and number of beds to install.LENGTHWe generally recommend that beds are between 1 metre and 3.5 metres long, although they can be any length that you like and the plants don't seem to have a preference. If beds are more than around 1.7 metres in length we will generally include a horizontal brace for additional stability to prevent the bed from bowing. Also keep in mind that it is more cost effective to have one longer bed than two shorter beds as the longer bed uses less timber than the two shorter ones.WIDTHFor most people to have easy access to the plants in the bed, we've found that the ideal width for a raised garden bed is:
If your ability to reach is limited, you may want to consider reducing the bed to 70cm wide.HEIGHT
- 90cm if you have access on one side of the bed only
- 120cm if you have access from both sides of the bed (can be up to 140cm depending on your reach).
You may also want to consider your own height, and whether you prefer to sit, lean or stand and if you want to avoid bending while working in your garden bed.
- Wicking beds should be at least 40cm and no greater than 80cm. The ideal height is 60cm. If you're interested in the why and how of designing wicking beds, you can read more in our page on How to Make a Wicking Bed.
- Raised beds that contain soil only (ie. not wicking beds) can be as low as 40cm on a hard surface like concrete or pavers or 20cm when placed directly on soil.
- We recommend a maximum bed height of 60cm if you want to grow taller plants like tomatoes as it can get hard to reach the top of the plant if your bed is any higher.
PATHWAYSYou want to leave enough space between your beds to ensure easy access to your garden. We recommend the following pathway widths between beds.
- a 40cm high bed is about the height of a standard chair, ideal for sitting
- a 60cm high bed is about the height of a bench stool, ideal for a sitting/leaning on (good for for wheelchair users)
- an 80cm high bed is good if you want to avoid bending over, ideal for leaning on.
There are other factors that you may want to consider (eg. crop rotation) but this is a good beginner's guide. If your requirements are more complex than this we also offer a permaculture design service.
- a minimum of 50cm
- 70cm for wheelbarrows
- 90cm for wheelchairs and walking frames.