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Raised Bed Liners

Hi everyone,

I am hoping for some direction here! image

I have just purchased three 4ft x 4ft raised beds from greenfingers, but my main dilemma is do I use a raised bed liner with these? I have scoured the internet and just come across so much conflicting information.... use cardboard.....use liners.....use plastic lining. I am now more confused than ever before!! The beds will be sited on what was a lawned area of the garden (clearing some of the area to landscape).

Any info would be greatly appreciated! 





  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Is there any need to use a liner?
  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    Hi Welshonion, that's exactly what I'm unsure of ??

    it didn't even cross my mind until I started delving into it on tinterweb!



  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    I would have thought the liners are for raised planters and trugs ie to stop the soil falling out rather than for beds that go on the soil.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,887

    I used permeable membrane on the bottom of mine, to prevent soil being washed out as the lawn wasn't totally level.  I stapled it to the sides to fix it, and then stapled some thick polythene around the inside to help protect the wood from the wet soil and the roots of the plants from any preservatives in the wood.   Total cost about £3 each raised bed. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    Thanks for all the info so far from everyone certainly give me something to think about!

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I would echo Dove there.  My raised beds are straight onto soil, but have plastic membrane from Toolstation/Screwfix stapled to the insides of the wooden boards to protect them from rot.  They are old scaffolding boards.  So just round the sides basically. 

  • SupernoodleSupernoodle Posts: 954

    Not convinced that the polythene would help the wood, Dove - would have thought it would hold the damp in. See the point about stopping preservatives though.

  • Goose2k7Goose2k7 Posts: 14

    That seems to be the main conflicting point I seem to be getting supernoodle some say use the polythene to help slow down rotting process others say speeds it up? I do have some landscaping weed matting the type used on new build estates?

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Goose it may depend on how exposed the wood on the outside of the bed is.  Ours are quite exposed to drying winds, and I prefer that the moisture in the soil doesn't affect them, and I am sure that whatever water gets into the wood of the boards evaporates from the other side pretty quickly.  I think more water would soak in if it weren't for the polythene.  They always seem quite dry tbh.  But maybe in a damper environment it would work the other way.  We have very free draining soil here. 

  • I have many raise beds here and don't use liners at all.  Try to avoid plastic in the garden.  But then I do live in rather a wet climate generally speaking, West Coast Scotland.  I would certainly Not put a liner on the ground.  Where would your worms go to and come from if there was a barrier there?  And what about drainage when it rains for weeks?

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