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A review and demonstration of how to use WaterUps - DIY Self-Watering Raised Bed

Mar 01, 2024
How to use WaterUps

In this video I'm going to show you how to use WaterUps unique recycled plastic cells to convert an old apple crate into a self-watering or DIY wicking bed for my vegetable garden. This DIY wicking bed system is so simple to put together for ANY size container or planter - using WaterUp Cells made from recycled plastic. 

In your own vegetable garden you could use a corrugated garden bed frame, a food grade IBC or even build your own timber garden bed - then to convert it into a DIY self watering / wicking bed you just need these WaterUps cells . USE THE CODE - BTDT5 - to save 5% off the full range off WaterUps products on their online shop -  *excludes the Artiesan range

Here's the Step-by-Step Instructions on how to use WaterUp Cells to create a Self-Watering Vegetable Garden (Wicking Bed)

Materials Needed:

- Apple crate or similar container (it could be corrugated vegetable bed or even food grade plastic IBC)
- Rubble or other material for raising the base (if needed)
- Black plastic liner
- Staple gun
- Perlite
- Soil mixture (compost, bagged compost, etc.)
- Seedlings or plants
- Mulch
- WaterUp cells
- Drill (for creating overflow hole)
- Scissors or knife
- Multi-tool or sharp handsaw (for cutting WaterUp cells)

Step 1: Prepare the Base If your container is deep like an apple crate, raise up the base using rubble or similar material so that the WaterUp cells will sit 30-40 cm below the soil surface. Ensure the base is level. If necessary, use a level to adjust.

Step 2: Line the Container Lay about this much soil at the bottom of the container to ensure it's level. Place the black plastic liner inside the container, making neat folds at the corners. It should cover the base and sides. Use a staple gun to secure the liner around the top edge of the container. Trim off any excess liner if needed. Skip this step if your container is already watertight.

Step 3: Install WaterUp Cells Cut the cells to size if necessary, making sure not to cut through the pockets. Determine the inlet point (snorkel) and outlet point (overflow valve) for the wicking bed. Cut out the circular disc of plastic on the WaterUp cell for the inlet. Attach the overflow valve to the corner of any WaterUp cell, then drill a hole in the side of the container to pass the overflow valve through.

Step 4: Fill with Perlite and Soil Fill each of the four pockets at the base of each WaterUp cells with perlite. Once all cells are filled, backfill the container with a soil mixture, ensuring it reaches the top as it will settle. Plant seedlings or plants directly into the soil mixture.

Step 5: Mulch and Water Optionally, top off the soil with mulch to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Water the plants thoroughly, settling them into the soil. Fill the reservoir completely until it overflows, then cap it.

Maintenance: Monitor the water level in the reservoir and refill as needed. I've loved the benefits of a self-watering wicking bed garden, requiring less frequent watering and promoting healthy plant growth!

For more information about WaterUps cells and products visit:

This video is a not sponsored (unpaid) review of the product. WaterUp cells were gifted for my review.


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DO YOU want to be a BETTER & MORE confident gardener? Consider SPROUT SCHOOL visit: Bean There Dug That is an Australian gardening YouTube Channel created by Australian horticulturist and garden coach Chloe Thomson - aimed at providing gardening know-how and inspiration to all. Chloe's also the founder of Sprout School an online gardening course designed to make anyone a better and more confident gardener 🌱

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