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Raised bed cardboard liner  RSS feed

 
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Hello! Very new to all gardening in general and had recently thought I came up with a pretty great idea, but now I'm not so sure.

My husband and I are setting up some raised beds in our backyard. We shaved off the grass that was in the area before, stapled wire mesh to the bottom of the boxes (for critters). Then nailed some 2x4's to the bottom so that we could move the boxes after they've already been filled. I put a layer of CARDBOARD on the bottom of the box before filling with soil.

This all worked great, until I started hosing down the soil and the thing took a while to drain. My husband is convinced the box will become a soggy bathtub every time we water. I might try watering it again tomorrow to see if it will drain better after being saturated with water.

I've seen the cardboard thing so many times online, I was sure it would work ok. Does anyone have experience with drainage problems using cardboard in their raised beds? Should I try to get underneath and poke some holes or should I scrap this whole idea? I really don't want to use landscape fabric, which is what he thinks we need to use.

Thank you for your advice!
 
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Location: Ithaca NY
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Poke a few holes in the cardboard by pushing a sharp stick down through it from the top and it will drain just fine. Please don't use landscape fabric. it is made out of plastic that will never biodegrade but will slowly shed tiny pieces of plastic that will make their way into the water supply and into the food chain. Search engine "microplastics in drinking water" and "microplastics in food chain." Happy gardening!
 
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Welcome to permies!

I have used cardboard before for mulching and most of the time it was fine in regards to letting water through. One time I used some cardboard that had some plastic hidden between its layers - I had to take this out since I did not want the plastic in the soil and it was making a puddle. Make sure you remove all the tape too since that won't break down and if there was a lot of it I could see it slowing the flow of the water down.

I like using cardboard to mulch grass - been doing that a lot at my place.
 
Kelli Meyer
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Thanks for your reassurance! I will poke some holes and just get on with it. Thank you!
 
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