Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Here is a post I've been waiting to share to see how they worked. Several of you emailed or commented in the past to see how we covered them.  

First up, this is what became of the raised bed covers that we had on the unused raised beds.

They just didn't work out (at least in the way we had them).  It was too hard to keep them down but I'm afraid even with them down via some sort of clip or screw, or even if we created some sort of frame for them, they would have acted as a greenhouse and just grown weeds.

So here was my solution. 

I did this late this last Spring and wanted to see how they would hold up all Summer.  I took the weedblock fabric that I put down all over the garden ground and cut some to fit each raised bed.  It helped that we bought the 4' wide fabric since the beds are 4x4 or 4x8.

Covering a raised bed
Then I just stapled it down on all four sides...a nice tight fit!

The ones we are actually planting in, I left open of course.  Even tightly down, they still "breathe".  They also let moisture pass through so it won't dry out the soil but the lack of light won't let plants (or weeds) grow beneath them and that's most important. 

Garden out of control
Believe it or not, this is an actual photo from about this time last year...there are the same raised beds in there...somewhere...that are in the photos below.  

For those that have been following the blog, you'll remember what it took to get this all cleaned up.  It was NOT easy.  But that's in the past now.  

Raised bed covers
Here it is this Summer.  That "before" photo from last year was taken standing just to the side of the gate at the top of this "after" photo.  This was taken a few months after I put them on (and a few thunderstorms later) and they look like the day I put them on.  Perhaps not the most attractive solution but hey, it works and we're happy with that.

Best of all: No. More. Weeds.


Colleen said...

Oh, how I do remember them last years weeds.
Just think, all your hard work paid off to where you can concentrate more on your garden with planting and enjoying your harvest and not constantly pulling weeds; well maybe a few but not what you had in the past.

Carla said...

Are you going to cover the cloth on the ground with gravel?

Sol said...

Such a good idea. Then when it is time to plant again you will be off like a shot! Excellent

Marcia said...

You have learned a lot with your experimenting and others can learn from you. Great job!

Elephant's Child said...

Well done.
I am currently weeding up a storm here. And have worked out that if I weed everyday until Christmas (which won't happen) I might be on top of it.

Linda said...

It may not look crunchy, but no weeds is a good look. That is one huge weed in the back right of the photo. Do you know what kind it is? It looks like it may have needed a chainsaw taken to it if it stayed much longer.

Texas Rose said...

Wow, your method of keeping the weeds away is working so well! And it's fairly inexpensive and easy to do. Great!

1st Man said...

Oh, it was a nightmare. And I just would stand there, look at it, and wait one more week and then one more week, until it was so bad I just couldn't keep letting it go. Yes, now we get to enjoy more and work less, ha.

1st Man said...

With something, we aren't sure. My first plan was to let it go a season and see how it holds up. It's been great. Occasional weeds between a few seams but manageable. Now we're torn...I think gravel would look great. BUT, I'm worried that if it doesn't work over the long term, all that gravel would be next to impossible to get it all out to put more fabric down. So we lean toward bark mulch but now we don't know if that will be more problem in allowing weeds (since it's an organic material). Not sure what we're going to do. All suggestions accepted, ha.

1st Man said...

Thank you for that. Yep, when I did the garlic this past weekend, I just pulled back the cover on one of the beds, and stirred up the soil and added a bit of compost and it was much easier. :-)

1st Man said...

Thanks, it's trial and error. That's why I like to post things like this so we can help others. Good or bad, ha.

1st Man said...

Fending off weeds is a never-ending thing isn't it? And anywhere in the world, ha. Thanks! (p.s. can't believe Christmas is only two months away).

1st Man said...

No weeds is ALWAYS a good thing, ha. As for that (and all of them) really tall weed, the good thing is that most were growing IN some of the raised beds and the loose soil let me pull them up very easily.

1st Man said...

Thanks, it is working, did this originally last May so we're almost six months in and it's staying mostly clear of weeds. And its been fairly inexpensive, all things considered.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've been reading your posts with great interest.

I would not use gravel over the weed- proof membrane. I've inherited some and replacing the fabric is a nightmare. After a few years, enough organic matter accumulates in the gravel that weeds can grow. The action of walking on the gravel can cause the membrane to rise to the surface if the pegs become loose.

I would recommend bark which will break down over time. Weeds will grow in it after a while, but no more than in the gravel. It is easy to top it up or remove it.

Although the membrane works well and weeds are inhibited, perennial weeds in Scotland can appear at the sides of the membrane where there may be a gap. Dandelion, Mares-tail, Couch Grass and Ground-elder all manage to travel and sprout. Removing the bark and lifting the membrane reveals a mass of roots to be dug out. It's oddly satisfying.

Carol from Scotland.

Linda said...

Weeds are inevitable. In the mulch, they will be very easy to pull. There will be weeds in the gravel, too. Gravel might make your garden too hot for the vegetables and for you.

absolutelytrue said...

I can second what Carol said.. my experience with gravel has been harrowing to say the least.

LOVE what you've done here. I'm going nuts with landscape fabric this year. Now that weeds have stopped outpacing me with growth, I'm working hard on removing them and getting the fabric down before anything else can grow there. I just had 8 yards of mulch delivered, so time to go all out garden warrior against the weeds.

I am enjoying your posts! Just found your blog today and can't stop reading through it. Thanks for the enjoyment.

1st Man said...

Well first of all, hello from all the way over in Scotland (a country on our bucket list for sure)....we've experienced the weeds in the sides for sure. But at least they are easy to pull up. And thanks for the heads up on the gravel. We LOVE the look of gravel but I just worry that it would be SO hard to ever change (this is a rather large area). I just have visions of backbreaking work to fix/change. Thanks so much!

Don't be a stranger!!! :-)

1st Man said...

Well thank you SO much for the sweet and kind words. We love new 'friends'!!! We may just do the mulch thing again (if you look back further when we first did the garden area a couple seasons back, we had beautiful black mulch down but it was on top of rather cheap weed fabric. It didn't take long to come back. This stuff is nursery/commercial quality and has been down since April and there have been almost no weeds. I say almost because there were some between the seems but a few tucks here and there and that stopped that, ha.

Thanks again and you are too sweet to read back through it. Hope you don't get bored, ha.