Gardening Magazine

The Hills Self Watering Garden Bed

By Scarecrow
Remember Hills the people that brought the Hills Clothesline to every backyard way back in 1946??? Well just look at what they have developed is an amazing little Wicking Bed Kit. You can get these at your local Mitre 10 or Masters store, starting from $199.
When this kit arrived the weather had just turned wintry and stayed that way until recently.
I decided that I would build it and let the Grandtwins +1 plant into it. Earlier this month we heard that the kids were coming to visit so I thought I'd would get this bed built and let them plant it up while they were here.
The best thing about this bed is that it is a Wicking Bed in a box. All you need to add is the sand in the "pool" area and good growing media in the top for some plants.
You get a stand for the whole lot to sit upon. In fact these beds can even go indoors!! We really don't have the room for plants inside and we have so much room outside. So this bed is situated under the Back Pergola. The Hills Self Watering Garden BedThe first thing to do was to study the box it came in, open it up and find the instruction book. Then check that all the items listed were present. and of course carefully read through the instruction book!! 
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedI found the instructions very easy to follow even with a stuffy head cold!!! Everything is in the box including a nifty hex key and multi spanner for tightening the bolts. Soon I had the frame all put together.
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedIt even includes a moisture/pH probe so you can check the soil whenever you want and see if it needs watering or adjusting.
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedNext I unfolded the liner and located the drain hole. Put the liner inside the frame and secured it with the clips provided.
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedThen the edge caps slotted in just right and were secured with the nuts, washers and bolts provided. After I connected the base plate together with a click, I found a level (ish) spot on the not very level concrete. I used Doc's levelling thingy and found a piece of foam matting was just enough to make it perfectly level.
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedNow comes the interesting bit. The water-hose is covered in a fabric to stop any sand entering and it is all neatly coiled up and secured with ties. The end pipe just needed to be twisted the right way round so that the drainage hole poked through the hole in the side of the unit ready to be secured with the overflow nut. The funnel, for filling, clips neatly under the top corner frame and we were all set!
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedA layer of sand was added to cover the hose...
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedThen I needed the help of three very willing Grandies, complete with gardening gloves and hats as the weather was warm that day. They helped fill the box with a mixture of Coir, Mushroom Compost and Potting mix.
The Hills Self Watering Garden BedWhen it was full I had to find something to plant in it!! We found some Lettuce seedlings and a Pansy or two for color. When asked what they would like to plant in their garden box the overwhelming response was CARROTS of course! Luckily I found a strip of Mr Fothergill's Carrot Early Nantes carrots on tape left over from last year so they were easy to plant.
The Hills Self Watering Garden Bed 
All that was left to do was firm down the potting mix over the carrots and give them a drink...Nanny went off to get a watering can.
 "Better get two" said little Miss. So I did. Luckily seeds in tape can survive a vigorous watering by two three year olds!!

I'll include this video below that gives a professional look at the assembly of these units. I think this would make the ideal gift for someone new to gardening especially someone wanting to try using the wicking system.

See more videos about  Hills Garden Products Here

View the Garden Bed on the Hill's website Here

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