SERIES 25 Episode 10Sophie shows how to build a self-watering garden bed"I'm really happy with my vegie patch," says Sophie, "but after two years and constantly adding organic matter to the soil, the soil's still not as good as it could be and I expect it will probably take about five years to get to that point.
Copyright Restrictions: This fact sheet is for private and domestic information purposes only. Links to sites that may interest you, including botanical gardens, private gardens, and gardening societies in your state. Comprehensive information on what to grow and how to grow it, plus great gardens, design ideas and stories from the show. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. Plant a little southern sunshine Now spring is here, it’s time to plant Mediterranean shrubs and perennials that can sulk if planted in autumn.
We've rounded up some gorgeous inspiration from real ladies' havens, so start your She Shed wish list — it's bound to be a long one!
She Sheds make great offices for women who work from home or want to focus on creative projects. As a gardening shed and shady seating area, this bright-pink She Shed is perfect for somebody with a green thumb. This craftsman-style She Shed makes its intentions clear with a large "R'n'R" sign out front.
A She Shed equipped with a cozy couch is the perfect spot for Sunday naps, don't you think? As of September, Spring will officially have sprung in Australia and if you’ve always dreamt of building your own herb garden now is the perfect time. Not only will you save yourself some extra cash (those pre-packed supermarket herbs are pricey!), you’ll also get the satisfaction of eating produce you have grown yourself, which is completely organic and tastes a million times better. Most herbs require a minimum of 6 hours full sunlight per day with the exception of some- mint, parsley, chervil and coriander will grow in part shade.
Don’t forget to mulch around your plants to help retain moisture and protect from snails and insects. Most herbs do well without additional fertilisers especially if the soil prior to planting has been improved with compost matter.
If you are growing in pots, you will need to water them more often as the soil can dry out faster.

Pair Yarrow with aromatic herbs, cucumber with basil and dill, apple trees with chives, apricot trees with basil, tomatoes with basil, climbing beans with parsley, cabbage and broccoli with coriander, mint, sage and rosemary, chilli with carrots, the list goes on! It also means that in summer I have to water daily."So she has an alternative - a vegie garden that's easily maintained, uses very little water, doesn't take much space and is quick to set up. It may not be copied, reproduced, sold or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the ABC.
With a graphic, at-a-glance 2016 lunar calendar on the front and easy-to-read, detailed data provided by the US Naval Observatory on the reverse, this handy card is a fun reminder to tack up by your desk or in your garden shed. But if you have a smaller garden, you can grow your herbs in pots, on a balcony, a sunny windowsill or even a raised veggie patch. If they are in pots or raised beds, make sure they have plenty of drainage holes and use a premium potting mix designed for herbs.
She's got three wicking beds that have given Sophie and her family stacks of vegies throughout the summer.Wicking beds water plants from below rather than above. Available in a pack of 5 and a pack of 20, it also makes a great gift for kids, gardeners, fishermen and sportsmen, sky watchers, and followers of the many faiths that mark time by the Moon.
They include callistemon, ceanothus, cistus, hebes, lavenders, lavateras, many salvias, and wall shrubs such as Coronilla, Escallonia and Fremontodendron. There are no rules to building a She Shed; they're anything you want them to be (and then some). By raising the herbs off the ground, you’ll protect them from weeds, areas with poor soil or drainage, plus they look great! By pairing particular plants, their individual pest resistant properties will benefit each other- plus it looks great! They're basically containers with water reservoirs at the base - like a giant self-watering pot.
Whatever your reason for moon watching, you won’t miss a thing with the 2016 Moon Calendar Card! This allows moisture to be more evenly distributed through the soil, creating better growing conditions for the plants.MaterialsYou can build a wicking bed out of any sort of container, but Sophie likes to use big, old wooden vegetable crates.
She's lucky enough to get them from a local market gardener for just $15 each.As well as a container, you'll need a couple of pieces of old carpet to line the bottom - and some builder's plastic to line and waterproof the interior of the container. This includes agapanthus, cistus, figs, lavender, olives, rosemary, as well as more unusual Australasian species such as Drimys, the mountain pepper, and Prostanthera, the mint bush.

Sophie's using geotextile fabric to separate the water reservoir from the soil, but she says you can use old shadecloth instead.You'll need scoria, gravel or another aggregate to fill the bottom of the reservoir.
Sophie uses scoria because in her area she can pick it up for free from people wanting to get rid of it.
For the watering tube, Sophie's using a piece of PVC pipe and an elbow, bought from the salvage yard. She's also picked up an old metal cap that will go on the top to prevent mosquitoes getting in to breed in the reservoir.
She's also got some agricultural pipe of the same diameter to join to the PVC pipe - the ag pipe will coil around the bottom of the container. Check for any protruding nails and other sharp objects - either hammer them in or pull them out to get rid of them.Next, put down a layer of carpet on the base and follow with the black plastic on the base and up the sides. Sophie clamps the plastic in place, then adds a second layer of carpet that covers the black plastic bottom and goes another 20 centimetres up the sides.
This will prevent the scoria or other gravel from puncturing the black plastic.Sophie then adds scoria to a depth of 100 millimetres on top of the carpet to hold everything in place. She's connected the ag pipe to the upright pvc and coils the flexible ag pipe around the bottom of the reservoir, on top of the scoria. Sophie's old piece of narrow pvc pipe goes through the middle to keep the outlet waterproof. Next, a layer of geotextile fabric goes over the top of the scoria to prevent the soil clogging the water reservoir.Finally, the soil goes on top.
It needs to be around 30 centimetres deep - the optimal height to get soil wicking properly.
The RHS will be running events at its four gardens and celebrating the 50th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom. Prevention is preferable to cure, so improving drainage, planting in a more sheltered position and tailoring plant choices more closely to an existing microclimate are the best approaches.

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