thelastmccabe
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:31 pm

Garden box on top of mulch?

Hello everyone. I have decided I want to try out gardening again, and I'm planning on building a garden box. I think I'll do fine building the thing, but I'm not sure where to put it. The logical spot in my yard would be on top of a mulched area. I don't really want to put it on top of the grass, because if I end up not keeping up with the garden, I'll end up eventually having to re-sod that area.

So I'm wondering if putting it on top of mulch will work? I would guess it will be fine in terms of plant health. I am more concerned with the fact that mulch might not make a very stable base, and it will not create much of a "seal" between the box and what it is sitting on (hope that makes sense). I imagine it might be hard to level as well.

If putting it on top of the mulch won't work, then it would be possible to move all the mulch. I'm just not dying to do that unless it's truly necessary.

Ok, any advice you have about this would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Kisal
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What kind of mulch are we talking about? Just standard bark mulch?

How large ... length, width and height (depth) ... will the box be?

In some situations, such as the underlying soil being very heavy clay, it might be better not to have the edges of the box "seal" against the earth. You would get better drainage. The depth of the box might make a difference, though. With a large, deep box, it might not matter.

If your underlying soil is very sandy, and the box will be somewhat small and shallow, you might want a tighter seal against the earth, to avoid having to water constantly.

Adjustments can be made, though. :)

As an afterthought, if you plan to grow fruiting plants, like tomatoes, you will need to place the box in an area where it will receive full sun, or at the very least, direct sun for 6 hours a day. Where I live, the mulch in most yards tends to be around the edges, and the sunlight in those spots is often limited by fencing or hedges. Just something for you to consider. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

SOB
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Location: Radnor, OH

Without knowing more details about your planting area...I would rake the mulch back, till, put the box down, fill with a good soil\compost mixture, plant and put the mulch down between rows to help retain moisture.

thelastmccabe
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:31 pm

Thanks for your responses and reccomendations. I live in North Central Florida, where the soil is pretty sandy. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and remove the mulch. I looked at the area in question and realized it will only take like 30 minutes or an hour if I just go out there and deal with it and stop procrastinating. I can then put the extra mulch I'll have between rows.

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