mooseantlers
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Landscape Matting Under a Raised Garden to Suppress Weeds?

My wife and I are putting put a new veggie garden in our back yard. Aside from as much sun as possible, it's way more easier for us.

After a couple of horrible years of veggies, we tried the raised garden thing. We had moderate luck doing that, however, the area simply doesn't get enough sun. Am looking forward to a good crop in the new garden. However, I do have a question.

My wife and I are 'at odds' over the use of 'landscape matting'. Obviously it's okay to use it between one frame and the next. What about using it 'under the frames'. Does it help prevent deep growing weeds of hinder the root growth of the plants? The frames will be about 15 inches high.

Thanks!

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SPierce
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Personally, I would recommend leaving the bottom of the beds open so you get a good amount of drainage out the bottom. It also is good to let the roots of the plants go into the native soil if they want too :D

I've got four raised beds and situated them on top of the native soil, pulled up the grass underneath them. Every once in a while i get a stray bit of grass or a small weed, but it's really very minimal for me at least.

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splat42069
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im doing the about the same exept the matting on the bottom.. Just made the bed monday and planted the same day. Dot have any advice exept good luck with your growing season!

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Kisal
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IMO, a good, thick layer of mulch on top of your raised bed will provide far superior weed suppression than anything you could put under the soil. :)
"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

2cents
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try a heavy(6+ inches) layer of shredded leaves as a cover in the fall. You will be almost weed free and wont need to till in the spring.
Plant right inside of the leaves they break down to nothing by July 4th.

Bobberman
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I would put straw or leaves ate the bottom of my new raised bed. 15inches of soil on top of a few inches of leaves or straw will work great! Even sand at the bottom is a good move!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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applestar
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You don't want the matting because that would prevent the garden plant roots from growing any deeper. You can suppress existing weeds with 4-5 sheet layers of moistened newspaper/newsprint/kraft shipment packaging paper for this year's garden bed. If you are preparing the site in the fall or early spring with at least one month before planting, you can use cardboard.

The papers will breakdown and allow the crop roots to grow deeper, seeking more nutrients and water. As they do, they will also break down the subsoil and add organic matter in the form of fibrous roots as long as you don't uproot them after they are done. Your usable soil depth will get deeper every year.

Another point that is frequently made is that the fabric can get damaged by the gardening tools over time and you end up with shredded useless trash in your garden bed.

Only reason to use them may be, as some members have reported, if you are building the bed over tree roots that would greedily grow into the enriched garden soil.

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Spicy Chicken
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Landscape matting, Mulch, straw, news paper, and I will add manure compost, which could be considered mulch I guess!
I posted this pic in another thread, put just in case you have not seen it mooseantlers.
I leave the top soil about 4 inches or so down from the top, set the root ball on top and push the dirt around it like a volcano. Then fill the remaining area with the compost, not one weed grows through it. Looks very neat to!
I also use plastic mulch in the larger garden; there are a few extra advantages to that. If interested; a pic or 2 can be seen at the link (some garden Pics) at the bottom of this post.
Pictures of your beds are always good to. Keep us up to date!

[img]https://driedhotpeppers.com/images/Pics_for_The_Hot_Pepper/Raised_Circle_Beds_tile.jpg[/img]

Des_WA
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I have several raised beds without fabric and several with. I will say the ones with fabric are MUCH less weeding work compared to the ones without, mainly because the area of the yard my garden is in is infested with quackgrass. In the beds without fabric under them I have to repeatedly pull out the quackgrass (and morning glory) shoots that come up in them, but I can never seem to get all the roots or all the shoot. It always comes back, often in the same spot, and this time of year it grows FAST (I pull something today it'll have a new leaf up in 2 days time!). It's annoying, but not life ending if you keep on it, but it is extra work.

I have only had my beds with fabric on the bottom for a year but none of my plants in them seemed to be negatively affected. If I had no quackgrass to deal with I'd prefer the beds without the fabric for deeper rooting ability, however. I'm trying to eliminate the quackgrass around the beds by smothering with cardboard/bark and am hoping that this will help reduce the shoots that try to grow through my raised beds.
Desiree
Gardening east of Seattle in the Cascade foothills

tedln
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I have seven raised beds, and I have tried it both ways. The only thing I now put at the bottom of my beds when I build one is a thick layer of card board. It lasts well the first year and earth worms are attracted to the card board. Some say they like the glue that is used to hold the wood fibers together when card board is made. By lasting one year before decomposing, it does smother the grass and weeds out and they don't come back the second year. The last bed I built, had a triple layer of cardboard from boxes I got at the grocery store. I no longer use the garden fabric on top. After a couple of years of punching holes in it to plant my garden, it was in tatters and it was hard to get rid of all the pieces. I also found a lot of critters I don't want in my garden like to make a home under the moist fabric, but above the soil.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

Canoe
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I have two beds and did not put anything under them. I wish I had. I did till them about 8 inches down then built up from there. My wife was reading the square foot gardening book and had a fit that I had not used landscape fabric under the beds. :roll: I did not want to use any because I was worried about growing carrots and such. But being a newbie I am learning a lot just reading the threads. So thanks guys for all the help.

Canoe

Canoe
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Sorry about that. :oops: While these are new beds and I have not had any problems (yet) as far as grass goes. Most of why I wish i had put something down was hind sight more then anything. :lol: After reading so much on here about the use of cardboard under the bed. I see a lot of benefits (weed/grass suppression, worm food, etc...) But over all it is because of the things I have read here. Being I am just starting out I am still trying a lot of new things. But my wife wanted to do it because that is what she read to do in the book.

Canoe

bogydave
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Location: Alaska

Re: Raised Garden

mooseantlers wrote:My wife and I are putting put a new veggie garden in our back yard. Aside from as much sun as possible, it's way more easier for us.

After a couple of horrible years of veggies, we tried the raised garden thing. We had moderate luck doing that, however, the area simply doesn't get enough sun. Am looking forward to a good crop in the new garden. However, I do have a question.

My wife and I are 'at odds' over the use of 'landscape matting'. Obviously it's okay to use it between one frame and the next. What about using it 'under the frames'. Does it help prevent deep growing weeds of hinder the root growth of the plants? The frames will be about 15 inches high.

Thanks!
15" would be deep enough any crop. I like the landscape cloth (the type that drains) It helps allot. But over time weed are gonna find the beds.
I put it under there, I have "horse tail" that grow thru 4 feet deep compost piles & it has kept it mostly out.
With 15" & at least 12" of soil, using the landscape cloth that drains should be OK. I use it under some, but over a few years am getting weeds. Seeds, wind & critters, but nothing coming up thru the bottom yet. I had it between the beds but found insects & slugs like it as a hiding spot so I'm going back to the hoe & pull method.
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