Raised garden beds have been growing in popularity over the recent years.
One of the most crucial things to know is what to place at the bottom of the bed.
What Is a Raised Garden Bed?
A raised garden bed, commonly called a raised bed, is a container filled with plants and soil raised above the ground.
It consists of a box with no top or bottom placed in a high-intensity sunny area with quality soil.
This makes it the garden’s epicenter and offers pleasure and pride for the owner. In this area are various types of flowers that are well watered and focus on the sun for photosynthesis.
What To Put On The Bottom of Raised Garden Bed?
The aim of filling the bottom of a raised bed is to have a weed-free garden.
The best way to go about it is by digging out the weeds in the particular area where you plan to place your raised garden.
However, if lots of grass initially occupied the place, you need to remove it for easier digging.
This is done by placing a hard substance like cardboard in the area for several weeks to kill the grass.
The next step is to get a thick substance like landscape fabric, cardboard, or some newspaper on the bottom of the raised bed.
This will prevent potential weed growth and provide the foundation with the necessary stability. Besides, it is recommended that these materials are at least 1.2 to 1.5 cm thick.
However, some gardeners made it known that it is not necessary to put anything at the bottom of the bed.
The existing soil mixture and the one you will add to the raised bed are sufficient to improve the plant rooting in the raised bed.
The need to place something at the bottom arises only when gopher problems are there. You can then place a hardware cloth to stop them from tunneling into the bed.
It is generally recommended that raised garden beds have sturdy material at their bottom.
This will reduce weed growth, solve gopher’s problems, and provide stability to your garden bed.
Selecting the Appropriate Wood for Your Raised Beds
Are you worried about the safety of frame wood?
Note that pressure-treated wood with CCA is not allowed since it leaks arsenic. But there are lots of options that will make your wood last.
Standard lumber that is pressure-treated comes with chemical mixtures that can be applied to prevent moist weather and soil from decomposing.
Though the pressure-treated wood is allowed, especially for organic growing, certain people still don’t accept it.
Woods, like cedar, have some natural oils that are capable of preventing rot and enhancing their durability; however, they are expensive.
If procured, they will last longer and offer outstanding service.
Also, another formula to have a longer duration from a block of wood is to choose the thicker ones.
Without treatment, a locally produced larch that is 2-inch in thickness can last not less than ten years.
Avoid the use of railroad ties because most of them have creosote, a dangerous chemical. Woods have substitutes such as bricks or concrete blocks.
But be assured that with concrete, the soil PH will be elevated with time, and you will need to be adjusting the soil for the best outcome.
Organizing the Site for Your Raised Bed
Establishing a raised garden has some prerequisites. First, make sure that the soils are loosed using the garden tools to break the underneath soils.
With this, they will not be compacted, which is perfect for proper plant growth.
Then, it is recommended to dig down the soil for improved rooting. Mix the ground that is the top and the deeper layer together. A spades depth will be excellent.
When grasses presently occupy the place you are planning to place your raised bed, then use substances like cardboard, landscaping fabric, or a tarp that will first kill them.
Six weeks later or less, depending on the weather conditions, the grass will have been dead and become easier to cultivate your garden.
Soil for Raised Garden Beds
The most crucial component is the type of soil that you will put under your raised garden bed—the effectiveness of almost all the other components depends on how fertile the land is.
With poor soil, all other elements will fail.
Ensure that your garden is filled with mixtures like the topsoil and compost.
Include some organic materials like manure in the soil mixture for a nutrient-rich environment.
Please note that it is expected that soil in the garden bed usually dries fast, especially during spring and fall.
However, in the summer, a little straw, hay, and mulch on the topmost part of the soil will make it retain more moisture.
Generally, raised beds do not need much maintenance, but constant watering will be necessary, especially when the plants are in their early stages.
This will ensure that the plants grow fast and appropriately.
Raised gardens are nursery beds for young plants. They can be made at home, in school, or farming areas.
Making sure that the proper and fertilized soil is used for the bedding is the most critical step.
Some materials are recommended to be placed at the bottom of the beds primarily to decrease weed growth aside from many other functions.
Make a perfect raised bed and plant whatever you wish!