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Raised beds

Hi I have been using card to line the base of my raised veg beds. Could I use coir lining? Any ideas? 
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  • If you are constructing your raised beds on soil, you don't need to line the base.
    If on turf, you can line the base with cardboard or a porous  "weed" membrane.  This will help suppress the growth of the grass but still allow drainage.
    There are a couple or more threads on the forum relating to construction/lining of raised beds.  May be worth you having a look at them :)  
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 2,037
    edited November 2020
    Your question invites several follow up questions. Why do you want to line the base of the raised beds? Are you trying to stop something growing through in which case cardboard, and coir, are of limited use. Are you talking of new raised beds? Or is it the existing ones in which case you might to going to a lot of trouble taking out the soil to replace something that might not need to be there anyway and then putting the soil back? 

    I would say it is more beneficial to line the sides of the beds to slow down the deterioration of the wood, if that is what they’re made from, and to limit the capacity of the wood for taking moisture from the soil.
  • Thank you 

    I have always used card, I avoid any membranes as they just add plastic to the soil, I liked the idea that the coir is biodegradable and does hold water quite well, and would help weaken the bindeweed. 
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 2,037
    If your experience is that cardboard effectively inhibits bindweed I would carry on using that. But, tenacious sod that it is, if the bindweed is still coming through you could switch to Terram which is quite expensive but won’t degrade and will suppress almost all weeds.

    For moisture retention I would incorporate lots of compost or manure into the beds.
  • WildFlower85WildFlower85 Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 124
    Sorry to jump in on this conversation but I have a similar, related query. I'm going to be adding 3 small raised beds (individual beds because I picked up some wood and old crates for free to save money) approx 1m x 1m each, and placing them on a sunny part my lawn. I was planning to cut out and turn the turf over, fit the frame within the recess, fix the base to the ground (posts and cement) and fill with a top soil/compost/manure mix. Total height of each will be around 25-30cm (of soil).

    Do I need to place anything between the upturned turf and the soil mix? It's only grass a few dandelions in the lawn, nothing like bindweed (in this part of the garden, anyway!). I see above suggestions for if placing beds on soil or turf, but not unturned turf! 

    Thanks :)
  • All I can say is that I constructed raised beds on a lawn ( grass, clover, plantain etc.)   I simply strimmed the grass, laid the thinnest weed suppressing membrane ( porous, black material ) and built the beds ( approx 1 mt square x 1/2 mt high ). The 4 sides were lined with old compost bags and filled with a layered mixture of raw veg waste, top soil, paper and cardboard, MPC and manure. 
    This method has worked well for me with only the odd bit of grass struggling through - weak enough to pull out so not a problem.
    I'd suggest much depends on where and on what the beds are sited as well as the depth.  Drainage is vital but moisture leakage through the sides also needs to be dealt with.
    @steph.jarrett  I'd have thought that invasive weeds such as Bindweed need to be eliminated first.  Not an easy job by any means.  However, if you find that cardboard or coir do the job, then that is a solution to your problem.

    As already said, there are a number of threads dealing with the construction and filling of raised beds and they are worth perusing to get a better idea of what will or won't work for specific conditions.


  • WildFlower85WildFlower85 Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 124
    Thanks @philippasmith2 - your experience is really helpful. My main reasoning to flip the turf was to provide a recess for the sides of the bed to fit into, just slightly below ground level, because our lawn is quite lumpy (classic new build with lots of bricks and insulation left in!) so the side panels might struggle to sit level.

    I think I'll look into the weed supressing membrane. I presume this will suppress grass/weeds but still allow the beds to drain? We have quite clay soil so this is very important for us.

    We too plan to line the insides with compost bags. Sounds like I think I know what to do! Just got to build them now... :#
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    Just scalp the turf and turn it over. Stick the beds on it @WildFlower85. Unless there's only going to be a few inches of soil over it, the grass won't re grow.
    I put layers of turf [ I was reducing an area of grass] in pots before adding compost and then my sweet peas. The grass gets no light, and can't re grow. I've just been emptying them and there's no grass. That will now be broken up a bit, and  put on borders as a mulch. 
    I've done it many times  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....




  • I think I'll look into the weed supressing membrane. I presume this will suppress grass/weeds but still allow the beds to drain? We have quite clay soil so this is very important for us.

    We too plan to line the insides with compost bags. Sounds like I think I know what to do! Just got to build them now... :#
    The weed suppressant I used is indeed porous - you could also do as @Fairygirl says .  I used it simply because I had acquired a lot of it and was also too lazy to dig and turn the turf as I'd already done that elsewhere ;)

    Yes.......you've done the "thinking" bit .......just the physical stuff to contend with now :D  Hope you have a good season with them next year.
  • WildFlower85WildFlower85 Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 124
    Thanks @philippasmith2 and @Fairygirl. Will ponder all the info and eventually start digging! 
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