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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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  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 2,359
    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: 2,359
    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: 166
    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 :)
  • WildFlower85WildFlower85 Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 166
    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: 35,520
    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....


  • WildFlower85WildFlower85 Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 166
    Thanks @philippasmith2 and @Fairygirl. Will ponder all the info and eventually start digging! 
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 255
    I found that cardboard under compost didn’t keep the tough weeds down for long enough, because the wet compost rotted it so quickly. I think it’s better to put compost on the bottom, and then card plus maybe membrane, or plastic over that for a while if your weeds are tough ones. If it’s just ordinary grass, a thick layer of compost/soil would be enough with nothing else. 
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 642
    steph.jarrett  I suppose many of these methods could be affected by the degree of scale applied.  My only concession to raised beds was an early attempt (13 years ago) to use a small piece of 'unusable' ground, full of docks, nettles, grass etc.  My 'beds' were two huge tractor tyres that a local tyre depot was only too glad for me to take away, and from which I'd sawn away some of the side walls on one side, leaving the other underneath.  We'd just taken delivery of several large items of 'white goods', complete with their thick cardboard packaging so, before positioning the tyres, I simply laid double layers of the packaging on the existing weeds and then filled with soil.  Once soggy, I ripped off all the unsightly bits of packaging that were outside the tyres but I can honestly say I haven't seen a weed since, other than the little ones that have arrived since on the surface.  This suggests that 'card' may be divided into thick and thin, the former being your answer, perhaps?
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