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Ground cloth above ground garden bed

Attn: Roger!

I was curious if anyone has had any luck with making an above ground garden by laying down ground cloth instead of tilling the ground. I was thinking about laying ground cloth down and boxing around it to make an above ground garden for vegetables. I want to do this because the soil underneath it doesn't seem to be very good and instead I was going to haul in good soil and do it this way. This is new to me and I could use any advice you may have.

What are your thoughts?

A. Spruce
Re: Ground cloth above ground garden bed

You can garden in just about any fashion that suits your needs. Raised beds can be done with just about anything, just depends on your budget, ingenuity, and how much work you want to put into it.

I personally would not use weed cloth or anything like that, it is an unnecessary expense because weeds and grass cannot germinate if below a depth of just a few inches. That means that the soil you're going to fill your beds with will choke out whatever is under them.

Whether or not raised beds are feasible depends on how much space you've got. If its just a few square yards, then beds will work great, if it's a larger area, then standard practices will work better, you just have to amend the soil.

You can turn dead soil into fertile loam in short order just by applying copious amounts of organic materials such as compost and/or fresh manure. I would start with 4" - 6" of material spread across the area, then work it in as deeply as possible with a rototiller. You can plant in this immediately, or better, you do this in the fall and not only work in the material, you apply another 4" - 6" over the top and let it stand for the winter. Come spring, work the ground again and you're ready to plant.

Re: Ground cloth above ground garden bed

No need to segregate the poor soil from the good added topsoil above. Any mixing of the two will be done by earthworms and that's a good thing.
Even the roots of plants penentrating the "poor" soil will help to turn it into topsoil.
In general, poor soil is only soil without enough organic matter in it. Although people with Pennsylvania shale for soil might disagree.

Re: Ground cloth above ground garden bed

I would just cover the area with newspaper, wet it so it doesn't blow away and maybe put small rocks on them too and wait. This will kill the grass and weeds there and will compost in about a year so you can just put new soil or compost right ontop of it and plant away.

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