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What should you put on the bottom of a raised garden bed?

Raised garden beds are a great way to grow your food. If you have ever tried to grow in the ground, you know that it can be challenging to get a good yield when the soil gets too wet or too dry. Raised beds will keep your plants from having to compete with weeds, and they will also help keep them from being damaged by hungry critters.

If you build your raised bed, you must consider what material you want it made out of and how deep it should be. It would be best to think about what you will put on the bottom of your raised bed.



If you’re building a raised garden bed, you must decide what to put in the bottom. There are several options, but cardboard is a good one.

Cardboard is easy to find and cheap. You can buy it at most grocery stores or office supply stores or even get it free from your local recycling center. It’s also easy to cut into strips or squares with a utility knife and use those pieces as filler material in your raised garden bed.

Cardboard has several advantages over other materials that you might use as a filler in your raised garden bed:

It’s very lightweight and will not add much weight to your raised garden bed. This is important if you add soil, compost, and other materials to your raised garden bed later. If you use cinder blocks as weights, for example, this can quickly add up to quite a bit of added weight on top of your plant roots!

Cardboard is easy to cut into strips or squares with a utility knife, so it doesn’t take long to fill up your raised garden bed with it!

Cardboard naturally breaks down over time and becomes part of the soil in your garden bed; this means that it won’t affect the structure of your raised garden bed over time. This is especially important if you plan on using this method to fill up a raised garden bed made with concrete blocks or other materials that don’t break down easily!

Hardware fabric

The bottom of a raised bed is a critical aspect of gardening. It protects your plants from the elements and helps to keep them healthy. You can use many materials for the bottom of your raised garden bed.

Hardware cloth is an excellent choice for protecting plants from pests and disease. It is made from steel mesh coated with zinc or aluminum. Hardware cloth is very durable, but it can also be hard to work with if you are new to gardening.

Plastic sheeting is another option for the bottom of a raised bed. This type of material comes in many different thicknesses and sizes, so you should be able to find one that will work well with your needs. Plastic sheeting provides some protection against pests and disease, but it does not offer as much protection as hardware cloth does.



Plastic is the best thing to put on the bottom of a garden bed. The plastic keeps weeds from growing up through the bed and out of the holes in the bottom.

You can use black or clear plastic, but it can make it harder to see if there are any problems with your plants, like pests or diseases. A dark color might help with this problem.

Plastic is also suitable because it doesn’t rot or break down over time as wood does, so you don’t have to replace it as often. The only time you might need to replace it is if something causes damage to the plastic, like an animal digging under it or wind blowing debris onto it.


Mulch is one of the best materials in a raised garden bed. It’s not only attractive, but it also keeps weeds down and prevents soil erosion. Mulch comes in many forms, including compost, straw, and wood chips. You can also make your mulch by shredding leaves, grass clippings, or other organic materials and then spreading them over the soil in your raised bed.

You should never apply mulch directly to bare soil because it will prevent the roots from getting enough oxygen. Instead, put down a layer of newspaper or cardboard first so the sources have something to grow through before reaching the mulch layer.


A good soil mixture for raised garden beds has a lot of organic matter. Organic matter adds nutrients to the soil, helps retain moisture, and improves drainage.

The best choice for your garden bed mix is compost or composted manure. You can buy bags of compost at your local nursery or get some from the city, where they collect yard waste. If you have a compost pile, you can also use the finished product from that. Just be sure that it’s been through at least two complete decomposition cycles (approximately six months each).

To make up your bed mix, start with about one-third organic matter and two-thirds sand or pebbles. This will give your garden beds better drainage than if all you used was organic matter (which tends to break down quickly and become soggy).

If you’re using sand or pebbles, ensure they are clean and debris-free before adding them to your bed mix.


When you are done building your raised garden bed, you will want to cover the bottom of it with something. The most popular options for bottom covers for raised garden beds include aerated 6-to-8-inch porous landscape fabric, newspaper, or cardboard. Aerated landscape fabric is perhaps the most commonly used material for insulating the bed and holding in moisture while discouraging weed growth. Creating a drainage layer at the bottom of your vegetable garden bed is good practice.


Gardening blogger

Meet Even, a distinguished collaborator at Green Giant. With over a decade of hands-on experience in the niche of raised garden bed cultivation, she brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge to our team. Her expertise, honed over years of experimental gardening, provides an insightful perspective on the practicalities and nuances of this unique form of horticulture.

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