Why I Don’t Use Weed Fabric Under My Raised Beds



Weed fabric should never be used in my opinion because of far better options and far more benefits to not using it.

36 Comments

  1. Well we have our first frost warning tonight. I am growing Carmen Peppers and only one has turned red so I know it's seeds will be good for next year. However how do I know if the seeds in the others that are the same size but not red will be viable? I know all peppers are green before they turn color but when are the seeds viable?

  2. Well I don’t have quack grass but it sounds just like the bermuda I battle! We had the top 8-10 inches of soil and grass removed from our backyard with heavy equipment, then put down about 1-1/2 feet of wood chips. One year later the bermuda has grown back in at least 50% of our yard. We have wonderfully fertile clay soil so it is very disheartening. We built 8 raised beds lined with cardboard, hardware cloth (we have gophers too and the wood chips make it hard to find them early!) and yes, weed cloth. I know it’s only a matter of time before the bermuda gets in there. I can only hope to contain it! To give you an idea of the persistence of this grass/weed, we had and area with MORE than 1 ft of wood chips and has a few bales of hay out in the yard. Bermuda grew right up thru the wood chips and thru the INSIDE the bale and come out the top. At that point I pretty much knew that even the wood chips would not stop it. Slows it down but only by a few months. Sad. Very sad😢 If it weren’t for bermuda I would have the richest soil to garden in! I still garden in ground but only very small areas…

  3. I have 18" height raised beds and staple landscape fabric along the sides and especially corners to prevent dirt/compost from migrating out. The corners of beds can warp/separate and since the ground on our soil is not level, some boards have gaps underneath them. The majority of the center of our beds is open and we installed them right over flattened grass/weeds with no problem.

    No quack grass fortunately so I can't speak from experience but that almost sounds like a case for using spot treatment of Roundup just to get it gone. I know there are lots of gardeners that will rebel at this statement but I keep an ink syringe that I will occasionally use to inject a small amount of it into the stems of pokeweed that pops up around our yard (thank you birds!) anything beyond that and I just pull/mulch the heck out of it.

  4. Thank you I use 4-inch hardware cloth to deter cats. Just bend the ends so that it is suspended over the soil. It's big enough to put a hand through to weed or plant, but cats don't like it.

  5. I had that in a section of my garden when I bought my house. I ripped it out and found a bunch of worms underneath and planted my onions there, they did as good as the weather would let them, very up and down this year. I had some leaves grow to 4 1/2 feet, I thought that was amazing for my first time growing from starters that I thought were half dead and didn't think they'd do anything.

  6. Very happy you mentioned hardware cloth. It's actually my favorite way to make structures for compost piles! A 10' length (3' wide) will create a cylinder that gives you the perfect 3'x3'x3' size to get nice hot compost! And super easy to flip/aerate.. I just knock over the cylinder and re-fork the compost back in. Super easy to put together. The kind I get from Lowe's comes with extra wire that I use to tie the ends together, so I don't need to buy anything extra to put it together. All you need is a basic wire cutting tool (which I already have in my household tools).

  7. I have hardware cloth around my garden about 2 ft high, but groundhogs climb over it, any suggestions on keeping them out??? They ravish my tomatoes!!! Repellent or higher fence???? I put cardboard down in my raised beds!!!!!!

  8. Hey! I have that shirt! 🤔😁 I agree! When I first started gardening the thought of fabric just didn't make sense to me. I also have a small yard and when making my beds I didn't want to get rid of that much grass(/dirt that clung on) because I had no place for it, what I did was dug out where I wanted my beds, put the grass aside, dug down about 8-10 inches and flipped the grass clumps over inside the flowerbeds then covered them with a thick layer of dirt. I haven't had any issues with grass reappearing! My beds look great!

  9. You must not have quack grass. I build my raised beds with weed fabric stapled to the bottom with cardboard underneath and every time quack grass makes it's way into the raised bed. It eventually gets so bad I have to tear the bed apart every few years and make sure I get every tiny speck of rhizomes out and refill with compost etc. I don't put quack grass in my compost either. (E. WA zone 6)

  10. Thanks for your insights Luke! This confirms my plans for my future beds: I had a lot of mole and vole damage this year, and I planned to nail hardware cloth to the bottom of my future beds.
    I also put wood chips between the beds, but I initially put one layer of cardboard underneath to prevent weeds in there (this place was wild since several years when I installed my garden here). It worked like a charm!

  11. I tried my first raised garden bed last year (year before that I had a few tomato plants in pots) and I tried a variety of different plants… a few big types of tomatoes, a few cherry tomatoes, one bell pepper, one cantaloupe (which I topped early on and it turned into an absolute monster), one watermelon, and finally a cauliflower. This was in about a 8'x4'x4" bed. The only problem I had was with my cauliflower. It seemed to me that moles had eaten away the roots or the crown. Is there any kind of "topical" (if that's an appropriate word) prevention for moles? I really didn't want to have to lay down any kind of fabric or cardboard or whatever else people suggest. I need good info on mole prevention.

  12. What would you recommend for the size of a raised bed garden for someone who cannot get on their knees or bend over, due to health issues and they still want to have a garden.

  13. I change soil every season so I use it. I move soil in a circle of piles yearly …and I live in an area where its a good option. We have acreage so that's an option for me. We also put everything back into the soil…grass clippings and all. We have 7 to 10 compost piles going all the time in various stages. I use the cloth because it looks neat and it works for me. Its not necessary I don't guess for some areas but I find it is for my area and lifestyle.

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