The Best Materials to Put on the Bottom of a Raised Garden Bed

If your backyard has less-than-ideal soil or land, consider using a raised tree bed or garden bed design. Raised bed gardening blunders can be costly to your plants. So once you’ve mastered the ins and outs of building a raised garden bed, it’s time to go to work on preparing your bed.

If you’re building a raised garden, you might be wondering: “what to put on bottom of raised bed?” If you’ve just put in raised bed structures in your yard, we will tell you why we think a solid base is important.

Here, we consult the experts to find out what materials work best as a base for a raised garden bed, so that you may provide the greatest possible environment for your plants to thrive. Here are some of the best suggestions:



Even though the newspaper is resistant to disintegration, it will gradually deteriorate into smaller and smaller pieces if given enough time. While this will result in the destruction of your barrier, it will have the beneficial effect of releasing a great deal of carbon into the soil. This is good because carbon feeds beneficial soil bacteria, leading to richer, healthier garden soil.

As was previously stated, newsprint will decompose in the end. Nonetheless, you can delay decay by stacking newspapers. The barrier will take longer to degrade if you use multiple layers of newspaper.

Earlier, we established that newspapers would decompose in the end. Though, if you stack newspaper, you can delay the decay. The barrier will take longer to degrade if more layers of newspaper are used.


  • Cheap option
  • Abundant


  • Flimsy
  • Decomposes over time



If you’re working with a limited budget, cardboard is another inexpensive yet effective material to use for the base of a raised tree bed. Along the same lines as newspapers, not only is it very inexpensive but it is also very simple to acquire.

In the long run, the cardboard will break down into its component parts, but this process will be much slower than that of newspaper due to cardboard’s greater density and durability. The average time it takes for cardboard to degrade is between four and six months.

However, the type of cardboard that is used has a significant impact on how quickly it decomposes.

In the same way that there are many locations that provide free newspapers, there are also many locations that provide free cardboard. People frequently have boxes that they are eager to give away for free and they may be found in retail stores, recycling centres, and even on websites like craigslist.


  • Cheap
  • Abundant
  • More durable than newspaper


  • Decomposes over time
  • Bad to use if comes with glossy chemicals



Leaves placed at the base of a raised tree bed can be an effective weed barrier for a certain amount of time, even if you do not have access to any of the other items discussed above.

Even if it isn’t too difficult to stuff leaves down into the base of a raised bed, sooner or later those leaves are going to break down and become compost. The decomposition of leaves normally takes between six and twelve months. 

On the plus side, once those leaves have been composted, your soil will have a significant increase in the amount of organic matter it contains.

The process of decomposition can be greatly slowed down when organic matter such as leaves become matted together and clumped together. Therefore, the longevity of your barrier will be directly proportional to the number of leaves that you load into the base of your raised bed.


  • Abundant
  • Totally free
  • Adds better nutrients to the soil


  • Decomposes quick



If you don’t have much time or money to spare, rocks, stones, or even pebbles will do. Rocks are the only choice on this list that won’t degrade (at least not in your lifetime), thus they’ll provide a lasting barrier.

Stones and pebbles provide an excellent barrier for your raised bed because they are practically impossible to disintegrate. However, there are certain drawbacks that may make you reconsider using them.


  • Won’t decompose


  • Needed in large quality to line the base of a garden-raised bed.
  • Poor drainage
  • A chance for weeds to grow in the cracks present


Landscape Fabric

Landscape cloth is a terrific material for the base of a raised tree bed if you’re ready to invest a little more money.

Landscape fabric is highly resistant to disintegration, which is one of its many advantages. When used as landscape fabric, it can go more than ten years without being renewed. As a result, it’s a fantastic choice for the future.

Landscape cloth laid across the bottom and the top of a raised bed effectively eliminates any chance of weeds from sprouting in that location.


  • Durable
  • Lasts several years
  • Permeable 
  • Good drainage


  • Costs more money



Whether in the form of planks, logs, tree branches, or even just scrap wood, the bottom of your raised garden bed can benefit from a barrier made of wood for raised beds UK.

Wood is more long-lasting than many of the aforementioned materials, but it will still rot away in the end. The time it takes wood to disintegrate completely might vary widely depending on the type of wood for raised beds UK used and its current condition.

There are some worries over the use of pressure-treated wood in raised garden beds because this type of wood includes chemicals that may provide a health risk to the plants and vegetables grown in the beds.


  • Combustion time is very high


  • Costs more money



A fantastic substitute for landscape fabric is burlap, which can be found here. Although it won’t survive quite as long as landscape cloth, it still won’t degrade for a good number of years after it’s been used.

Because of the spaces that exist between the threads, burlap is excellent at allowing water to move through it without causing any problems. If you use burlap in your raised tree bed, the drainage in the bed will be much improved as a result.


  • Takes a while to decompose
  • Cheaper as compared to the landscape fabric
  • Eco-Friendly


  • Costs money
  • Not as long-lasting as the landscape option
  • Prone to fraying

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