You may be wondering, “Can Cardboard be used as a Raised Garden Bed liner?” Well, it can be! There are many options for you to choose from: corrugated cardboard, hardware cloth, and landscape fabric. It all depends on your preferences and budget. If you’re going to use cardboard, here are some tips. You can use it as a raised bed liner and save money!
Before you put landscape fabric on your vegetable garden, you should determine the size of the bed. If your garden is a square, you should make sure the fabric is large enough to cover the entire bed. You should allow a few inches of fabric overhang for weed growth. A landscape bed usually has a border around the perimeter. This border should be about six to twelve inches wide. You can then staple the fabric to secure the entire border.
Aside from the aesthetic appeal, raised garden beds have a lot of advantages. The soil will be better than in the ground, but nearby roots will be more likely to find their way in and compete with your garden plants. If this happens, landscape fabric will help prevent this from happening, but it won’t last forever. Besides, the depth of the soil in a raised bed should be shallow enough to prevent weed seeds from germinating.
Another advantage of landscape fabric for raised garden beds is the fact that it won’t let unwanted debris and inorganic mulches sink into the soil. Mulches made from recycled rubber or wood chips are very difficult to remove and can cause soil to become deficient in nutrients. Landscape fabric for raised garden beds is not recommended for vegetable or annual flower beds, however. It does protect your garden from moisture loss, but it won’t prevent weeds from sprouting. Weed seeds need sunlight to germinate. By blocking the rays of the sun, they won’t be able to germinate. If you do decide to use landscape fabric, you’ll want to invest in quality landscaping fabric for your beds.
A raised garden bed can be made of either a plastic or landscape fabric. The plastic option doesn’t hold the soil and decomposes quickly. The landscape fabric is made of synthetic fibers and won’t degrade. Burlap is another great alternative to plastic. The fabric has gaps between the threads, so water can pass through and helps with drainage in raised garden beds. It’s not always necessary to add a separate layer of mulch for raised garden beds.
You may be wondering how to use newspaper as a liner for a raised garden bed. Although it is not as effective as fabric, it is very affordable and can still offer a lot of benefits for the garden. First of all, it is a great mulch, as it can help suppress weeds while still allowing moisture to reach the soil. Additionally, it decomposes quickly, restoring nutrients to the soil. Second, it can be easily manipulated to fit around plants.
Another great alternative to newspaper is cardboard. It is inexpensive and easy to find. Although cardboard decomposes over time, it is much thicker and will take a little longer than newspaper. It can be obtained for free at recycling centers, retail stores, and websites like Craigslist. These materials are also good for raised garden beds, as they can help protect the soil from weeds.
Hardware cloth is another option. This mesh material is available in 4 by 25 foot rolls at hardware stores. It works great as a liner for a raised garden bed because it prevents animals from digging in from underneath. Another alternative to hardware cloth is canvas or landscape fabric. Both of these materials are great for keeping pests out and allowing water to drain away. A few pros and cons of using hardware cloth are:
A newspaper liner can be made from cardboard, but it does not decompose as well as cardboard. It is not the ideal choice for a raised garden bed liner because newspapers are made of cellulose and will break down in a short time. Additionally, newspapers have a higher compost rate than cardboard, and they can be easily ripped up for reuse. They can also be cheaper.
When making raised garden beds, it is important to consider the amount of weeds you want to control. To prevent weeds from growing too rapidly, newspaper or cardboard are ideal. The organic material in newspaper makes soil more fertile and easy to work with. It is also great for keeping soil moist. If you use newspaper or cardboard, it is important not to go too deep. The liner should be able to hold the soil in place.
Corrugated cardboard makes a great liner for a raised garden bed. Thick multilayered cardboard resists decomposition better than thin ones. Avoid glossy or shiny cardboard, as it releases chemicals when it breaks down. These chemicals will harm your plants and soil. Instead, choose a standard brown cardboard with little to no printing. It is best to avoid glossy cardboard because it is less effective in liner applications.
If you have an empty box lying around, you can use it as a liner for your raised garden bed. Cardboard works well as a liner for the garden bed because it holds down the soil. It also makes for a nice look in your garden. Use this method for all of your raised beds. Make sure that they are elevated and have drain holes. Alternatively, you can use corrugated cardboard boxes to create a raised bed liner.
Another advantage of using corrugated cardboard as a liner for a raised garden bed is its biodegradability. It contributes nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. In addition, cardboard contains carbon, which is a vital building block for life. As it decomposes, it will also add energy to soil microbes. By using a mix of both materials, you will increase the nutrients and structure of your soil.
For a unique raised garden bed, you can use rocks. While rocks are a unique and unusual option, they will not decompose in a lifetime. This makes them a long-term barrier. However, rocks are not without their drawbacks. If you use them as a raised garden bed liner, make sure to get them in bulk. It is also a great way to start a raised garden bed.
If you plan on using hardware cloth as a liner, you should purchase the proper material. The hardware cloth is made from a metal mesh, which prevents weeds and pests from digging in from below. You can also use fabric or landscape fabric to cover your raised bed. The fabric will protect the soil from weeds and pests, and it will drain easily.
In raised garden beds, hardware mesh is an ideal material for lining the bottom and sides. It will prevent burrowing creatures from accessing the soil beneath. Whether you have a rigid border or no border at all, hardware cloth should be installed at least six inches above the soil level. Hardware cloth should overlap at least six inches to ensure complete coverage. When using hardware mesh, be sure to use stainless steel hardware mesh, which will resist rusting and pest infestations.
To install a hardware cloth frame for your raised garden bed, cut four 8-foot boards in half and overlap them by 4 inches in the center. Once you have completed the two pieces of hardware cloth, attach hinges to the corner posts and sew them together with a thin, flexible wire. If you do not have a framing square, you can use fence wire to secure the connections at corners. Once the frame has been assembled, lay hardware cloth over it.
Hardware cloth is an effective barrier against burrowing animals, which can cause damage to your garden. It also allows earthworms to penetrate the bed, which help aerate and enrich the soil. It can be stapled to the frame of your raised garden bed and will remain in place year after year. Stainless steel mesh is also durable and will prevent rodents from damaging your new garden bed. Whether you are growing tomatoes, cucumbers, or other veggies, hardware cloth can protect your garden from pests.
Another reason to use hardware cloth for raised garden beds is to keep out underground rodents. While these rodents are not beneficial to humans, they are essential to the ecosystem. Voles churn the soil like worms do, and their excrement fertilizes the soil. In addition to their ecological function, voles serve a protective role for your garden plots. Modern Farmer recommends putting owl boxes nearby to keep vole populations in check.
If you plan to use hardware cloth for your raised garden bed, make sure to purchase enough to cover the bottom of the bed. The hardware cloth should be three feet wide to fit your box. When placing the hardware cloth, fold the fabric at 90 degrees and tuck it tightly at the bottom. Then, affix a wire between the two pieces, ensuring no gaps. In addition, you can use extra hardware cloth to cover the sides of your deep bed.
With that said, here are a few quick pointers:
- Clearing the bottom of the raised garden bed of as much vegetation as possible.
- Cover the entire bottom, with no gaps, of the raised bed.
- Overlap up the sides of the garden bed for 6 inches or more is recommended.
- Use at least two layers, but three or four would be better.
- Avoid boxes with plastic or other coatings.
The benefit of this repurposing cardboard boxes like this are:
- The cardboard boxes will provide a barrier for any vegetation you may have missed when you cleared the bottom of the bed.
- The cardboard will allow water to pass through.
- The cardboard is biodegradable and will amend the soil.
- The cardboard is free.
- Last but not least, the cardboard does not end up in the local landfill.