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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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what to use around raised bed

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westie42
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Post  cnjroark 6/22/2011, 11:42 am

Would love some suggestions...preferably least costly......on what to place on ground around our beds. we have the beds raised on one concrete block on each corner and we have five beds. before buidling our beds we placed weed cloth down on the entire area. maybe that was a mistake and we should have just allowed the grass to be there? now we have weed cloth. not very pretty. we tried pine straw but it decomposed pretty quickly and then we ended up tracking more inside the house than we could keep outside! next we are trying hay and that seems to be holding up better but because we have no border around it, it tends to stray. i know in mel's book there are some suggestions for using rock and also decking. just wanted some ideas from you on what you have found that works and is pleasing to the eye. i am open to anything including going back to grass or some sort of ground cover. thanks so much!
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cnjroark

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Post  Kelejan 6/22/2011, 11:49 am

what to use around raised bed 396615 cnjroark from a two-month newbie to this forum.

Someone will be along shortly and give you suggestions for the walkways around your beds.

Some have wonderful surroundings that cost a bomb, but I am assuming you are looking for something that looks good and does not cost too much; I am looking forward to those replies as well.
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Post  littlejo 6/22/2011, 11:54 am

Our power company trims trees under the lines and chops them up. I called and they brought the chipper truck full to our house several times. So I used it in the isles. It is chipped on the large size so will take a while to decompose. I have weed cloth under my isles too.
littlejo
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Post  westie42 6/22/2011, 12:01 pm

Mine are new so really nothing yet but my thought is some line of defense like marigolds would be attractive and functional however plants would just make reaching in more difficult. They are tearing down several old buildings in my village. I hope to get old bricks from them and build my own cobblestone walkways but cost and work content will dictate....
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Post  Furbalsmom 6/22/2011, 4:06 pm

cnjroark wrote:Would love some suggestions...preferably least costly......on what to place on ground around our beds. we have the beds raised on one concrete block on each corner and we have five beds. before buidling our beds we placed weed cloth down on the entire area. maybe that was a mistake and we should have just allowed the grass to be there? now we have weed cloth. not very pretty. we tried pine straw but it decomposed pretty quickly and then we ended up tracking more inside the house than we could keep outside! next we are trying hay and that seems to be holding up better but because we have no border around it, it tends to stray. i know in mel's book there are some suggestions for using rock and also decking. just wanted some ideas from you on what you have found that works and is pleasing to the eye. i am open to anything including going back to grass or some sort of ground cover. thanks so much!
what to use around raised bed 396615 cnjroark, putting down weed cloth was not a bad idea at all. I have raised Table Tops that are even higher than one cinderblock, and cutting the grass underneath was difficult even with a weed whacker.

If free or inexpensive wood chips are available, they would be less likely to be tracked into the house than the pine straw and hay. But they will also wander if no border is present and could cause a problem with your lawn mower if they roam outside the garden into your lawn.

I really think your first step is a border of some type, landscape timbers, rocks, whatever you can find, then most any type of ground cover would be fine.

Please keep us updated on your progress, and we want to see pictures of your SFG.

Again, what to use around raised bed 396615
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Post  Ha-v-v 6/22/2011, 4:10 pm

I am using cardboard for my walkways for now, until I can do the permanent remedy I find that will work for us. I want to go with pine chips because they are decompose nicely and they can be bought here so easily by the truck load. Cardboard is free and I prefer to go to a furniture store because their boxes are huge and take up lots of space. So far it has worked well, I do need more cardboard now though, some things have popped up in some spaces where the cardboard moved.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 6/22/2011, 4:19 pm

Hey...welcome aboard!

I will tell you without reading any of the above responses that I kept my grass until further notice. And, it's nothing but a problem. Extra trimming around the beds and the trimmings go IN the garden. If I don't pay extra attention to the way the discharge from the mower is blowing....more grass in the garden. This leads to both dirty lettuces and weeds.

My recommendation is to find a place nearby, if possible, and pick up some free mulch. We have a park near us that has a dumping place for firewood and mulch. Some local tree companies dump the chippings there. I plan to use those all over my backyard since I am utilitarian back there instead of decorative.

Happy Gardening!
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Post  Glendale-gardener 6/22/2011, 4:27 pm

I did the same as BBG at first I thought the grass would be fine-it was a pain to trim around it trying to keep all the grass clippings from going into the beds- so weed cloth is great! I ended up having to rent a manual sod cutter to go around my beds and get rid of the grass, then I layed weed cloth and I went with a shredded cypress mulch around the beds. It doesn't break down as fast as most and since it is shredded so much-it sticks together and doesn't blow away and is soft on my knees if I kneel down to pull a couple of weeds without a kneeler.

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