Are you trying your hand at gardening this spring? Perhaps you’ve heard about the benefits of raised garden beds, which provide an efficient, back-saving way to grow flowers, vegetables, and herbs at home.
If you’re planning to use garden beds for the first time this year, you may be wondering if you should line the bottom with anything. Here’s a look at what materials you can use as a raised garden bed floor to help your plants thrive.
Why You Should Line the Bottom of Your Garden Beds
It’s not mandatory to create a raised garden bed floor, but experienced gardeners recommend it for several reasons:
- Prevent weeds from growing up from the ground below
- Stop burrowing pests like voles, moles, and gophers from entering the raised beds
- Make the bed more durable
- Prevent toxins from leaching into the soil
What to Put Under Your Raised Garden Beds
You can line the bottom of your garden beds with one of several different materials depending on your budget and gardening goals. Here are some ideas of what to install:
- Wide-mesh hardware cloth: This material keeps weeds and burrowing animals out, yet earthworms can still get through. These are nature’s gardeners, aerating and enriching the soil for the benefit of your plants. Staple the cloth to the bottom of the garden bed frame during the construction process. Once in place, it should serve you year after year.
- Stainless steel gopher or rat mesh: This durable material is aimed specifically at keeping burrowing animals out. Staple it in place to make sure it doesn’t shift around.
- Landscape fabric: If you have a weed problem in your yard, landscape fabric is effective at keeping unwanted plant growth from showing up in your raised garden beds.
- Burlap sack: Do you have an old potato sack on hand? This material makes a great weed stopper when stapled to the bottom of a garden bed frame.
- Newspaper or cardboard: Even these simple, cheap materials can block weed growth from below your garden beds. You can simply lay them on the ground before setting up your garden beds on top of them. Alternatively, you can place sheets of newspaper or cardboard toward the top of your planters for the added moisture-retention benefit that mulch provides.
Avoid lining your garden beds with plastic, as this prevents drainage and could drown your plants’ roots. If you have a weed and pest problem, consider installing a combination of metal mesh and fabric or hardware cloth and cardboard to get both benefits at once.
Need a hand building your raised garden beds? The carpentry services from fellow Neighborly company, Mr. Handyman, could certainly prove useful.
Keep Your Garden Beautiful with Help from The Grounds Guys®
You may be passionate about growing your own flowers and vegetables, but gardening is a lot of work. If you don’t have time to keep your landscape looking great, turn to The Grounds Guys for lawn and bed maintenance.
We can provide traditional lawn care or take a more organic approach when beautifying your property—it’s up to you. Whether you need help pulling weeds, aerating the soil, or cleaning up the edges of your flower beds, our landscaping experts can deliver the services you’re looking for.
To learn more about professional yard maintenance, or to request assistance with your next landscaping project, please contact us today.