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Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?  Toplef10Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?  I22gcj10Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?  14dhcg10

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Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?

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Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?  Empty Landscape Fabric for 24" beds?

Post  Fishtell 3/12/2021, 10:43 am

Hi all, 
I've read all the pro's and cons in this Forum re: to use Landscape Fabric or not but I don't recall reading any comments about the pro's and cons of putting fabric down to protect against weeds if you have a 2ft deep raised bed as we are building.   "The Book" and discussions on this Forum are mostly about shallower beds.  

We decided to go with the 24" in height beds to make it more comfortable to work in.   My wife and myself are both over 65. 

We had planned on filling the bottom 16" with topsoil , then 6"  MM and leave 2" for Mulch if needed. Also we'd have plenty of room for deep rooted plants.   

Our existing soil is clay.   



QUESTIONS/Comments/ 
     1.   Do we really have to worry about weeds? 
     2.   Will weeds find there way up to top?
     3.   There are a lot of big worms roaming around in the clay, some are 1/4" in diameter 
     4.   How about just putting the fabric up the sides of the beds to prevent MM and Soil from bleeding to outside of boxes where boards tend to separate a little. ?  


Alan from Asheville
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Location : Asheville, N.C.

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Post  OhioGardener 3/12/2021, 11:09 am

@Fishtell wrote:QUESTIONS/Comments/ 
     1.   Do we really have to worry about weeds? 
     2.   Will weeds find there way up to top?
     3.   There are a lot of big worms roaming around in the clay, some are 1/4" in diameter 
     4.   How about just putting the fabric up the sides of the beds to prevent MM and Soil from bleeding to outside of boxes where boards tend to separate a little. ? 

My beds are 18" tall, and these are my experiences.

1. No.  After many years, no grass nor weeds have come through any of my raised beds.
2. No.  See #1.
3. Those earthworms are beneficial, and will find their way up into your raised bed soil.
4. Not needed. The soil will be solid enough to not flow through the cracks.

Bonus:
5.  Don't work so hard at over thinking the project, and enjoy gardening!

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Post  Fishtell 3/12/2021, 11:27 am

Hey Ohio, 
thanks for the ongoing responses and comments; they are appreciated.   Can't help over thinking its in my DNA... don't want to screw this up.... not building a 4x4 bed that can be picked up and changed...

Our totally enclosed "Fortress" as one of our suppliers called it, is 20x40 with wire mess up sides and 2 ft below grade and out two feet away from fencing, plus bird netting for a roof.  There will be 325 s.f feet of 24" high beds.  All constructed of Cedar.    

Still trying to figure out how to get photos sent... tried one time with your suggestions but it didn't work; will work on it later...headed out to Home Depot, Lowes and Fifth Season to shop for fabric options and smaller staples for our staple gun if we do end up getting fabric... may take your suggestion and not do any fabric.   

But want to send photos first if I can figure it out. 

alan from Asheville.
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Post  sanderson 3/12/2021, 3:57 pm

@Fishtell wrote:Hi all, 
I've read all the pro's and cons in this Forum re: to use Landscape Fabric or not but I don't recall reading any comments about the pro's and cons of putting fabric down to protect against weeds if you have a 2ft deep raised bed as we are building.   "The Book" and discussions on this Forum are mostly about shallower beds.  

We decided to go with the 24" in height beds to make it more comfortable to work in.   My wife and myself are both over 65. 

We had planned on filling the bottom 16" with topsoil , then 6"  MM and leave 2" for Mulch if needed. Also we'd have plenty of room for deep rooted plants.   

Our existing soil is clay.   



QUESTIONS/Comments/ 
     1.   Do we really have to worry about weeds? 
     2.   Will weeds find there way up to top?
     3.   There are a lot of big worms roaming around in the clay, some are 1/4" in diameter 
     4.   How about just putting the fabric up the sides of the beds to prevent MM and Soil from bleeding to outside of boxes where boards tend to separate a little. ?  


Alan from Asheville
Hi Alan, Welcome to the Forum! glad you\'re here

Top soil sounds fine for the lower fill as long as it isn't a "blend" with compost or peat moss. The compost part especially will disappear over time and and leave the top soil shorter. Just make sure it is well watered and settled before adding the Mel's Mix, or the whole volume will settle.

I have mostly table top beds at 24". A little short for amending and planting, but a great height for tending and harvesting. Be careful of bird netting as birds can get trapped in it. Would chicken wire do the job? Or, colored poultry netting?

1. Basically, no. There are only a few plants that are terribly tenacious and you would know if you have any of therm. Very Happy
2. See #1.
3. Those worms will eventually find their way into your beds. Another smiley face.
4. Fabric up the sides is fine for preventing bleeding at the seams.

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Post  yolos 3/12/2021, 7:15 pm

When I started my raised bed, I had clay soil with no worms that I could see.  I put down cardboard in the bottom of my beds because I was also worried about weeds/grass.  The cardboard decomposed after a few years and by that time all the weeds and weed seeds were dead.  I also punched a few holes throughout the bed to allow water to drain and worms to  enter the beds.  They say worms love cardboard.  It has been 8 years since I started gardening in this location and I still do not have very many worms in my beds.  I do get worms in my compost piles so I don't know why I don't get them in my beds.  Maybe the hot dry conditions here in Ga in my garden.
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