Do You Need to Drainage for Raised Garden Beds? (Answered)

When it comes to gardening, there are many different decisions you need to make. One of the most important decisions is whether or not to use raised garden beds. If you decide that raised garden beds are suitable for you, you need to make another decision is how to drainage. Do you need to add drainage holes? And do you need to put something under the raised bed? In this article, we will answer these questions and help you make the best decision for your gardening needs!

What Are Raised Garden Beds?

A raised garden bed is a gardening structure that allows you to grow plants in elevated soil. A raised bed is different from traditional gardening, where the plants are grown directly in the ground. Raised garden beds have many benefits, such as easier weed control and better drainage.

They also make it easier to reach your plants, which can be especially helpful if you have mobility issues or find it hard to be bent over for long periods.

Some additional benefits of a raised garden bed are extending your growing season and protecting your plants from pests.

How to Setup Drainage for A Raised Bed

One of the most common questions I get from people looking to start gardening in raised beds is if they need to add any drainage holes. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as simple as a yes or no.

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There are a few factors that you need to take into account when deciding if your raised garden bed needs drainage holes. In this article, I will go over a few of those factors and help you choose your own raised garden bed drainage strategy.

The first factor is the type of soil you will use in your raised garden bed. If you are using sandy soil, you most likely will not need to add any drainage holes. This is because the sand allows the water to drain through the ground and out of the raised bed quickly. However, if you use heavier soils, such as clay or loam, you will want to add drainage holes to your raised garden bed.

Another factor is how much rainfall your area receives. If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, you will want to ensure that your raised garden bed has drainage holes. The rain can quickly fill up your raised bed with water and drown your plants.

The final factor to consider is the type of plants you will be growing in your raised garden bed. If you are growing plants that like a lot of water, such as cucumbers or tomatoes, you will want to make sure your raised bed has drainage holes. Adding drainage holes will ensure that the water can quickly drain out of the raised bed and not drown your plants.

So, now that you know a little more about drainage for raised garden beds, you can decide if your raised garden bed needs drainage holes.

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What to Put Under a Raised Garden Bed

When constructing a raised garden bed, you have a few different options for what to put underneath it. The most common materials are either concrete blocks or lumber. If you use lumber, be sure to choose something that is rot-resistant, such as cedar or redwood. Treated lumber is also an option, but be aware that the chemicals in treated lumber can leach into the soil, which might not be ideal for growing vegetables.

Concrete blocks are a more permanent option, but they can be more expensive. You will also need to make sure that the blocks you choose are not made of pressure-treated lumber, as this can also leach chemicals into the soil.

Another option is to leave the ground under the raised bed bare. Leaving it empty is fine, but you will need to make sure that the soil is well-draining so that your plants don’t get too much water. You can achieve this by adding organic matter to the earth, such as compost.

Do You Need to Dig up The Grass Under a Raised Garden Bed?

You do not need to remove the grass underneath your raised garden bed, as it will eventually die. In addition, you don’t need to dig up the grass because the raised garden bed will block out the sunlight. However, if you have a weed problem, you may want to consider removing the grass and adding a layer of cardboard or newspaper.

Adding a layer of cardboard or newspaper will help to block out the sunlight and prevent weeds from growing. If you are concerned about the aesthetics of your raised garden bed, you can always add a layer of mulch on top of the cardboard or newspaper.

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The paper you bury will also act as a sponge to absorb water and hold it in the soil, benefitting your plants. In addition, having the paper keep the water low in the garden bed will encourage the roots to grow deeper.

Conclusion

While there are many factors you need to consider when deciding if your raised garden bed needs drainage holes, the most important thing is knowing which type of soil and plants will be in that raised garden bed. If you live in an area with heavy rainfall or you’re growing plants that like a lot of water, it’s best to make sure your raised garden bed has drainage holes.

Additionally, when choosing what to put under your raised garden bed, be aware of the type of lumber you’re using and whether or not it is treated. Treated lumber can leach chemicals into the soil, which might not be ideal for growing vegetables. If you have a weed problem, you may want to consider removing the grass and adding a layer of cardboard or newspaper. Doing this will help block out the sunlight and prevent weeds from growing.