Depending on your budget and gardening goals, you can line the bottom of your raised garden beds with wide-mesh hardware cloth, stainless steel mesh, landscape fabric, burlap sack, or newspaper/cardboard. Below are details on each.
- Wide-mesh hardware cloth This material keeps weeds and burrowing animals out, yet earthworms can still get through. These are nature’s gardeners, aerating and enriching the soil for the benefit of your plants. Staple the cloth to the bottom of the garden bed frame during the construction process. Once in place, it should serve you year after year.
- Stainless steel gopher or rat mesh This durable material is aimed specifically at keeping burrowing animals out. Staple it in place to make sure it doesn’t shift around.
- Landscape fabric If you have a weed problem in your yard, landscape fabric is effective at keeping unwanted plant growth from showing up in your raised garden beds.
- Burlap sack Do you have an old potato sack on hand? This material makes a great weed stopper when stapled to the bottom of a garden bed frame.
- Newspaper or cardboard Even these simple, cheap materials can block weed growth from below your garden beds. You can simply lay them on the ground before setting up your garden beds on top of them. Alternatively, you can place sheets of newspaper or cardboard toward the top of your planters for the added moisture-retention benefit that mulch provides.
Avoid lining your garden beds with plastic, as this prevents drainage and could drown your plants’ roots. If you have a weed and pest problem, consider installing a combination of metal mesh and fabric or hardware cloth and cardboard to get both benefits at once.
Need Help with Your Raised Garden Beds?
You may be passionate about growing your own flowers and vegetables, but gardening requires a lot of work and knowledge. We can help. Learn more about The Grounds Guys’ lawn and bed maintenance services.