What to use at the bottom of a Smartpots Urban Raised bed?

Other than sticks. will leaves and card board work for a SmartPots Urban Raised bed? It's a 4x4 Fabric container stood up with PVC for stability. I heard sticks are good, but since it has a bottom, I'm wondering if cardboard and leaves can be used as well. Thank you.

Best Answer

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2021 Answer ✓

    @borchcedroid Welcome to TGN! I have landscaping fabric pots (not quite the same as raised beds), but I put leaves and non-sharp organic material in the bottom to take up space and reduce the amount of potting soil I need to fill them. Sticks are fine as long as they don't damage the fabric. As the organic material breaks down, I add more compost and potting soil.

    And yes, you can use cardboard, too. It might be a good idea to tear it into smaller pieces, so it settles in better without creating air pockets.

Answers

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited May 2021

    @borchcedroid Welcome to the TGN forum! I am not well versed in the Smartpots Urban Raised Beds. We have a very knowledgeable group here, and I'm sure someone will have experience to share!

    When you get a moment, I'd like to invite you to check out our Rules & our FAQ sections to help you navigate the forum more effectively. I see you already introduced yourself in the Introduction section! 😄 This was created to help people network more effectively. I will leave a link below for your convenience.

    https://community.thegrownetwork.com/categories/our-front-porch-welcome%21-%28please-read-before-posting%29

  • Colleen
    Colleen Posts: 6 ✭✭✭

    This is basically a 4x4 fabric container, that's all. I was wondering what would be beneficial to line the bottom with that would be helpful to the plants and reduce how much soil I need to fill it. I have reviewed the Rules and will review the FAQ section as well. Thank you so much!!!!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    Welcome to TGN @borchcedroid.

    I wasn't familiar with these units but I have had a look on line. I think sticks might have a tendency to damage the fabric. Because it is fabric, it will drain but I think you should definitely have something in the bottom to prevent soil compaction. Possibly wood chips?

    I'm sure you will get other good suggestions.

  • Colleen
    Colleen Posts: 6 ✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone! I'm on the right track!!! I appreciate the feedback.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2021

    @borchcedroid Welcome to TGN!


    Hügelkultur is good for raised beds. I helps reduce the amount of soil you have to add to fill the bed as well!

    https://www.diynatural.com/hugelkultur-raised-garden-beds/

  • Colleen
    Colleen Posts: 6 ✭✭✭

    This is more of a contained raised bed - it has a bottom but I can definately see the value in using branches for the bottom and layering with leaves. Thank you so much! I had heard this int he Grow Summit on Friday so it was cool to find out what it was. :-)

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Epic Gardening has an excellent YouTube channel on how to do container gardening.

    One thing that I've noticed about fabric containers is the tendency for water to pour out the sides before soaking into the dirt. I've fixed that by mounding a little dirt up the sides, so there's a slight well to hold the water over the dirt long enough for it to soak through instead of pouring out the sides. The extra will seep out the bottom.

  • Carlos Clavell
    Carlos Clavell Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone I found the information very helpful here. I just moved in a new place with a yard and the wife and I are very excited about getting our future raised beds going. We are still battling the partially covered yard with vine and hope to rip them out within a week. I wish I knew about this hugelkultur technique prior to having the pine tree cut down and hauled away. lol. Well, the good news is we have several hundred pounds of wood chips from a couple trees cut down. I am still trying to decide on low or high raised beds and what are the benefits/disadvantages to both.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @borchcedroid David Wolfe had a great suggestion in a recent workshop. Put charcoal in the bottom of all pots. He said that rice-sized particles are best. You don't need biochar, he said. Just good old charcoal from your firepit will work.

    He says it enriches the soil & helps give drainage.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks. I'm going to try that. We're heading into spring shortly, and I'm preparing soil and pots right now.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Excellent, @Tave! Nice avatar. 😉