Raised bed questions

Director

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Hey gang, long time no post. :)

Given current events I am focusing a bit more on food security at the moment and have decided raised beds are the way to go (after weighing up the notion of buying a rotary hoe V raised beds). I already have a couple of raised wicking beds but was after some advice on how to setup the metal beds like the ones from Birdies? Do I need to line the ground with weedmat first?
And what is the trick to it? I have a flower bed where I lined the ground with weedmat and the sides with plastic and the grass still seems to work its way in there.
Also, what do I need to chuck in the bottom of the bed? Logs and branch offcuts, any bits of wood? I have a ton of advocado leaves I can hoover up with the mower and throw in as well. What about grass clippings (or will that just be introducing grass seeds?). Also, what do you guys use to top them off with? Just some garden mix from the local garden centre?

Anything I need to avoid?

Thanks in advance. :)

(P.S. I tried searching on raised beds but didn't get what I was looking for. :) )
 

JoshW

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I didn't line under the bed with anything. I used cheap bush mulch as fill, with veggie mix on top. I separated layers with newspaper to stop anything from the bush mulch coming through.

Grass clippings will sink quicker than using logs etc. The bush mulch hasn't sank a great deal over the year I've had them in, but it's mostly chipped up branches so will go eventually.

My thread is here if interested https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/threads/my-raised-bed-adventure-hugelkultur-inspired.2365/
 

Director

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Thanks Josh, did you mulch all that base material yourself?
 

JoshW

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Thanks Josh, did you mulch all that base material yourself?

No mate, just from the local bulk supplier (the rockyard) where I get my veggie mix from. There's no guarantee it's weed free but it was $30 for 2m³.
 

Director

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Sweet, I'll see what our local guy has in stock.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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I'm actually intending on layering the bottom with newspaper and carboard as a temporary weedblock.
Cardboard is another great material for putting at the bottom of a raised bed if you're on a budget. Like newspaper, it is also very cheap and easy to get your hands on. Cardboard will eventually decompose overtime however, since it is thicker and more durable than newspaper, its decomposition will take much more time.
 

DThille

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Assuming that the depth of the beds is around waist height (the similar ones I found here in Canada have a range of heights), I wouldn’t worry about lining below. That’s a long way to go without light.

I followed Mark’s Hugelkultur style with logs / branches followed by leaves / yard waste, some unfinished compost, and topped with topsoil with some old cow manure and ash mixed in.

This is our first season with them, so it’s a learning experience. With mulch, we are finding moisture is being maintained much better than without. That makes sense of course and isn’t unexpected. I did dig soil from our country property, so unfortunately, there are weeds, but they’re easy enough to control.

Good luck.
 

badkarma318

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Some people put down weedmat, as you call it, some put down cardboard and/or newspaper, as Mandy mentioned, some go the full monty and use weedmat and hardware cloth (which is actually metal), to help prevent weeds and burrowing/digging critters from beneath, and some use none of the above and just start placing logs, etc. in the bottom.

Search Mark's main channel videos for "Hugelkultur".
 

DivingTemptress

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I'm actually intending on layering the bottom with newspaper and carboard as a temporary weedblock.
Cardboard is another great material for putting at the bottom of a raised bed if you're on a budget. Like newspaper, it is also very cheap and easy to get your hands on. Cardboard will eventually decompose overtime however, since it is thicker and more durable than newspaper, its decomposition will take much more time.
Cardboard is great food for the worms as well! Happy Gardening
 
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