ModBOX Introduces Self Watering, Raised Waterbeds!
Whilst visiting the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show I came across a supplier called ModBOX. They supply a fantastic range of self watered raised garden beds called Wicking. The garden beds have a water reservoir that sits below the level of the soil. Water is drawn up from the reservoir to the soil above via capillary or wicking action. Moisture level in the soil is maintained at a constant rate over extended periods. This minimizes the need to add water whilst evenly distributing moisture providing better growing conditions for plants.
This system provides an array of benefits including:
- Water need is reduced by as much as 90% compared to ordinary raised garden beds. This results in a significantly lower impact on the environment and less money spent on water bills.
- Increased water retention of the soil = Low watering frequency: only every 2-6 weeks. Garden beds can be left unattended for extended periods of time without any risk of damage to plants.
- Plant roots grow deeply into the soil attracted by the underground water source. This results in stronger, healthier and more productive plants.
- Soil nutrients do not leave the garden bed by being washed away during top watering. There is more food available to the plants and less need to add extra fertilisers.
- Water is added directly into the water reservoir until it reaches the overflow level. No risk of over-watering the plants.
- Reduced loss of water due to evaporation. Topsoil in a wicking garden bed remains fairly dry due to the soil below retaining the moisture, and as such topsoil evaporation is very minimal.
The only possible downside is during very high rainfall the soil can get waterlogged causing an anaerobic environment that is lacking in oxygen for plants and of course not all plants like a moist soil. For example garlic will thrive in a wicking garden bed in its growing stages but requires a fairly dry environment during the last part of the growth so as to avoid mould growth. Therefore the selection of plants needs to be considered.
ModBOX also have quite an extensive range of products including the ability to custom design. The range varies from many different sizes and shapes of standard raised garden beds, planters on wheels, round garden bed designs to a fantastic range of living furniture - benches with plants right at your finger tips, great for the senses!
We see this range as a perfect addition to many aged care gardens and whilst you don’t need to water the plants in the standard way, which may be a blessing to the staff, residents can still get out the watering can to help give the plants a little boost!!