Placing A Raised Garden Bed On The Grass: 4 Things To Consider
If you have been looking at your yard and think you want to build or install some new raised garden beds, do you want to know how to handle the lawn?
There is no need to weed when installing a new raised garden bed. Instead, lay several layers of thick cardboard on the grass, and then put the new bed on the cardboard. Cardboard will kill grass, but it will also decompose over time and release carbon into the soil.
But in most cases, before installing the elevated garden bed, there is no need to dig out or remove weeds, as long as you have a deep enough bed, and you first put down the materials that will kill anything currently growing there.
Placing a raised garden bed on the grass: 4 things to consider
Therefore, you decide to place a raised garden bed on your property and choose a good place for them. What do you do with that grass?
Before doing anything, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of grass grows on your lawn?
To install a new raised garden bed on the lawn, you don't have to know what kind of grass is in the yard, but if you can find out by calling an expert or using an application, I suggest you do so.
The reasons are as follows: some grasses are usually more difficult to manage than others.
Take Bermuda grass for example.
If, like me, you have the misfortune to plant Bermuda grass in the yard, you need to be particularly active when laying cardboard, manually weeding or both to kill as much grass as possible.
Bermuda grass has two parts: creeping (the part growing on the ground) and rhizome (the part growing on the ground).
If any part of carnation or rhizome enters the new elevated garden bed, it will produce new Bermuda grass, and the new grass will produce more grass. Unless you take out every piece, it will never stop.
This is why once Bermuda grass is built in the yard or garden bed, it is almost impossible to be destroyed.
Or take nuts (also known as nut grass). Once the nut begins to grow, it is difficult to stop because it can reproduce itself, unless you pull out every small nut growing under the surface.
If there are root nodules or other annoying weeds in your yard, you will want to be very positive about the suggestions I share below, because you need to kill as many weeds as possible, so that it will not invade your new raised garden bed.
- How deep is your raised garden bed?
When it comes to placing elevated garden beds on the grass, depth is important. The deeper the raised garden bed is, the more likely it is to hinder the growth of grass below.
You'd better learn from a mistake I made a few years ago. This is the case.
I'm building a raised cinder bed in the backyard along the fence line. I didn't think that day, I put all the cinder blocks in place, filled them with mud, and then realized that I didn't put any cardboard under them.
I should take everything away, put down a few layers of cardboard, and then put everything back, but I don't think it's a big deal, because there isn't much grass there anyway.
Well, I'm wrong. A few months later, I realized that Bermuda grass and nuts had entered my cinder block.
The problem became so serious that I finally made a new bed the next year because the grass was unstoppable.
I learned from that experience that we should never underestimate the destructive power of grass. You can't ignore it. You must kill it.
- Is the ground horizontal or inclined?
As I mentioned above, I usually don't dig out the grass under the garden bed, because when the cardboard is laid in a thick layer, it will effectively kill it.
However, when I install a raised garden bed on a sloping ground, I will make a major exception to this general rule.
Last year, I installed six raised garden beds in the slope area behind the garage.
I absolutely didn't want my raised garden bed to end at a certain angle, so I completely dug out the area to level the ground. In this process, I finally dug up all the grass.
But I made another mistake. I thought because all the grass had disappeared, I didn't need to use cardboard. Boy, I'm wrong!
I must have missed the bermuda grass roots, because a few months later, bermuda grass sprouted on my raised garden bed.
Thankfully, I have covered my bed very heavily, and I have prevented the Bermuda grass from taking over, but after digging out the grass, I really should put down thick cardboard before filling the bed.
- Are there cave animals in your yard?
I think it is worth mentioning that cave animals, because my father encountered many mole problems in his garden.
If you see any evidence of burrowing animals in the yard, you will want to put thick cardboard on your lawn, as you expected.
But you also need to put a layer of hardware cloth on the cardboard.
The cardboard will eventually decompose, but the hardware cloth will stay in place and prevent any burrowing animals from crossing the grass and soil into your garden bed.
The good news is that the hardware cloth will allow worms and other microorganisms to enter your raised garden bed from the native soil, which will help the decomposition process.
If you follow these rules, your new raised garden bed will be ready, and your plant may have everything it needs to grow and thrive throughout the year.