If you plan to use raised garden beds in your yards, maybe you are wondering what you can put on a bottom. This is because the whole structure depends on the best drainage. It is okay to use well-drained soil, but all the moisture has to go somewhere. Typically, the versatility of the raised garden beds makes gardening accessible to everyone, irrespective of whether you have the garden or not. You can use these raised beds almost anywhere if set up correctly.
What Do I Put on The Bottom of a Raised Garden Bed?
The bottom of the raised garden bed can be kept the following materials:
This is an excellent option when considering what to put on the bottom of a raised garden bed. Just spread some newspaper on the bottom of the garden bed, fill it with soil, and set you. Now you have an obstacle to prevent the weeds.
Although newspapers are in short supply, there are many places to get them for free. Public places, like supermarkets, hotels, stores, local libraries, or recycling centers, often have many old newspapers to dispose of. Get in touch with them to have more old newspapers, and they will be happy to give away.
Newspapers are resistant to decomposition but will finally break down if given enough time. Even if your barrier is destroyed, a lot of carbon will be released into the soil. This is good because carbon helps nourish the microbes that live in the soil, leading to better and healthier garden soil.
Cardboard is an excellent material that can be put at the bottom of the raised garden bed if your budget is tight. Like a newspaper, it is very inexpensive and easy to find. Cardboard decomposes over time, but it takes much longer to break down because it is thicker and stronger than the newspaper. It usually takes about 4-6 months to break down, but the type you use dramatically affects the time for decomposition.
In addition to the newspaper, there are many places where cardboards are given for free. Recycling centers, retail stores, and even websites such as Craigslist have boxes where they give for free.
- Landscape fabric
If you are willing to spend the money, the landscaping fabric is excellent for the bottom of the raised garden bed. The most significant advantages of using this fabric are because it is highly resistant to rot and very durable. Landscape fabric lasts more than ten years before you do the replacement. This makes it an excellent long-term option.
In addition to the fact that the bottom of the raised garden bed is lined with gardening fabric, also, it can cover the soil top. Make sure to poke some holes for the plants to grow. Weed growth is practically impossible when you put the landscape fabric on the bottom and top of the raised bed.
Burlap becomes the suitable material you can put on the bottom of a raised garden bed. It does not last long like the garden fabric, but it takes many years to decompose. There are gaps between the threads, which allow water to pass through. Consequently, you will have better drainage on the raised bed when you use the burlap.
Environmentally friendly is another advantage of using burlap. The fabric is made of jute plants, which absorb much more carbon dioxide, produce more oxygen than trees, and take little energy than trees.
The leaves become the best option to put on the bottom of a raised garden bed if other materials are unavailable. Although the bottom of a raised garden bed can easily remove the weeds, sooner or later, they will decompose. The leaves usually take 6-12 months to decompose. The benefit of using them is that they add a lot of organic matter to the soil.
Quickly combat leaf decomposition by adding more them than possible before adding soil to a raised garden bed. When organic matter, like leaves, accumulates and tangles, it can slow down decomposition. Therefore, the more leaves you put on the base of a raised bed, the longer your barrier will last.
Many people can access many leaves in their courtyard, but if the property does not have deciduous trees, websites like nextdoor.com and craigslist can connect people nearby who have them for free.
When your options are tight, stones, pebbles, or even rocks are another material to put on the bottom of a raised garden bed. This option is unique because the stones will not decompose, making the permanent barrier. Since they are almost impossible to break, there are some downsides to using rocks and stones as a barrier to a raised garden bed, which many would find unnecessary.
The first disadvantage of using stones as an obstacle is that it costs a lot to cover the bottom of the raised bed. While you’ll likely find some stones around the property, you will probably not have enough of them to create the perfect barrier for a raised garden bed. So, you will have to go elsewhere to get more stones.
- Hardware fabric
It is always the best idea to put hardware fabric on the bottom of the raised garden bed. Even though it is not very practical to obstruct weeds, its primary function is to keep unwanted animals and rodents. Many animals need nothing more than eating plants and vegetables, which grow in raised garden beds. For this reason, gardeners place barriers in their beds to prevent them from entering.
However, when these pesky animals find out that they cannot access the plants from above, they invade the garden by digging under the raised garden bed to enter. By placing hardware fabric at the bottom, you will prevent animals from reaching your plants. This is done by digging under them. The spaces between the wires are very small, even for the smallest rodents to pass through, and the metals that make up the hardware fabric are not chewed.
Whether it is tree trunks, branches, wooden scraps, or wooden planks, wood can be effective when putting it on the bottom of a raised garden bed. It is pretty strong compared to most of the materials used, but it finally decomposes. Depending on the type of wood used and its condition, the decomposition of the wood usually takes some years.
When using wood in the raised garden beds, there are particular concerns about using pressure-treated wood because it contains chemicals, which can be harmful to vegetables and plants. However, studies from the University of Pennsylvania have shown that the toxicity released by pressure-treated wood is very low that virtually it does not affect plants.
It is now helpful because you have some ideas on what to put on the bottom of the raised garden bed. Typically, there are many options you can choose from, each with its pros and cons, but you can decide for yourself what is best for you. Irrespective of your choice, gardening in the raised beds always offers many advantages over direct seeding into the ground.