Has anyone attempted a plastic-free wicking bed? I see one post mentioning using a clay lining instead of sheet plastic Inground Clay-lined Hugelkultur Wicking Beds
but that is all. I live in Central TX, where we are in a continuing drought and wicking beds have a lot of success here. BUT, I don't want to risk the nasties of PVC and other plastics as they break down. I grow our food in part to limit our exposure to crazy toxins.
So, my idea is to do something similar to the clay-lined hugel outlined in the link, but do it in a traditional raised garden box. Wicking beds usually have plastic all the way up the sides though - will it lose too much water without that? Also, wicking beds usually have PVC pipe running under them to distribute the water. Would a terracotta pot olla without the bottom sealed work as that pipe? Or is there appropriate (and affordable) metal piping that can be used?
Any ideas / input are appreciated. My hope is to build some kind of water efficient bed come late January.