Raised garden beds are excellent plots of vegetables and flowers. They require some effort in construction, but the result you will get is an organized and productive garden. Planning and constructing a raised garden bed will take extra time and effort, but it is all worth it when you read about the benefits. Part of setting up is a raised garden bed is considering what to put on the bottom of the raised garden bed. There are several options to choose from, and in this article, I will give you the benefits of each.
What Is A Raised Garden Bed?
Before we discuss what to put on bottom of raised garden bed, let us review what a raised garden bed is and how its set-up is beneficial to gardeners. Raised garden beds are also called garden boxes and are suited for small vegetable and flower plots. Since they are raised above the ground, weeds and most pests will not get to them. The soil of a raised garden bed is generally much healthier because it is not being disturbed by foot traffic and anything else that ends up getting the soil to become compacted.
The drainage system is of a raised garden bed is one of its highlights. You can control the drainage to make sure you are not drowning your plants or losing water too quickly. Heavy rains won’t result in erosion and degradation in your raised garden beds because of the way it is constructed. The right type of material you use for the bottom will significantly influence the drainage system of your raised garden bed.
As a gardener, you may find yourself often squatting or sitting down to tend to your plants. However, a raised garden bed reduces back strain, which is helpful if you have back problems. You can even sit on the edge of your raised garden bed while working on them.
Do you put a bottom on a raised garden? Yes, a bottom for raised garden beds is beneficial. It prevents weeds from germinating in the soil, but the right material will still allow drainage.
Constructing A Raised Garden Bed
I won’t get into the very lengthy process of constructing a raised garden bed. Still, I will provide basic information on the parts and set-up of a raised garden bed, so you will understand why we need to pay attention to the bottom of a raised garden bed.
The foundation of a raised garden bed is commonly concrete, but some types make use of timbers, stones, or wood. The enclosures are made of wood, which you can customize to have wide flat top edges to sit on. Irrigation comes in the form of drip irrigation, a soaker hose, sprinklers, or manually through hand watering or wicking.
Now, let’s get into what to put on the bottom of the raised garden bed. If you’re a novice gardener, you probably don’t have the resources right away to construct raised garden beds made of concrete or timber. It’s good to start small, so you can figure things out as you go along and develop your skills. For beginners, placing a thick sheet of cardboard on your raised bed bottom will be effective. A cardboard sheet that measures 1.2 to 1.5 cm can work. Cardboard is a great first step since you can easily find it, and it’s light enough to handle on your own. The material also allows for good and gradual drainage. They can last for a couple of years and are easily replaceable. This is a good material to consider when looking for what to put on the bottom of the raised garden bed.
You may find it in your local hardware store and home improvement stores. These can be used as well, especially for indoor raised beds. A fabric bottom also allows aeration for roots, or so that roots can grow deeper, which results in more robust plants.
Maintaining A Raised Garden Bed
You will need to focus on, especially on your raised garden bed’s drainage system. You do not want your soil to become water-logged or heavy because this will also affect the bottom of your raised garden bed. If your plants are already mature, a good way to check if your soil is water-logged is to let the top of your soil dry, then dig down six inches to see how well it retains moisture.
When you rotate vegetable crops, you will also have to check in on the bottoms of your raised garden bed to see if it is still strong enough and providing good drainage. You will know it’s time to replace your bottom if you find they are shredding, flaking, and weeds are coming through.
A raised garden bed is an enjoyable and easy way to grow plants. The construction requires some investment of time, energy, and other resources, but the benefits are fantastic. Now, you already know the importance of what to put at the bottom of a raised bed. As a gardener, you know that every little detail and adjustment counts towards the health of your plants. And, since raised garden beds are suited for vegetables, the overall construction and maintenance also affect the yield and quality of your crops. Find out more about garden beds.