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How to Line a Raised Bed Garden

How you make your raised garden bed determines whether it requires a liner. Beds created over a cultivated area where plant roots are allowed to penetrate existing soil do not require a liner. Those placed on top of the existing soil, usually because the soil is unsuitable for growing, and filled with a soil mixture that serves as the sole bed for the plants require a liner, or barrier, between the existing soil and the soil mixture in the raised bed to prevent weeds and invasive plants from growing into the raised bed.

Place the raised bed in the preferred location. Vegetables and most flowers prefer full sun. Select an area that receives 6 to 8 hours of direct sun a day.

Measure the inside dimension of the bed and add 8 inches to both the width and length. Cut the landscape fabric to this size, or collect enough newspaper to fill the area.

Line the bottom of the raised bed with several layers of recycled newspapers or landscape fabric. Fit the material snugly against the inside walls of the bed and fold the excess material upward on the inside walls to create a tight barrier to weeds.

Fill the bed with soil mixture, firming it down along the sides and in the corners to secure the liner in place.

Run A Raised Bed Garden?

When constructing raised beds, make the width of the bed 4 feet or less, to provide good access to the plants. For taller crops, such as pole beans or caged tomatoes, an east-west axis can work well, especially if you plant the lower-growing plants on the south side where they'll get maximum sunlight. It isn't essential to frame a raised bed. You could frame a raised bed with bricks, cement blocks or rot-resistant wood such as cedar or locust. Because you fill the bed with soil, it's loose and well-worked, unlike the soil in a level garden plot, where soil compaction can decrease yields by one-half.

Tip

Equal parts peat moss, garden loam and compost or well-rotted manure make an excellent soil mixture that improves drainage and provides nutrients for growing plants. Water raised beds frequently, as they dry out quickly in the summer sun.

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