Raise beds - Knowledgebase Question

Lake Zurich, Il
Question by amayaalfredo
December 12, 2010
My vegetable bed is about 10' away from a maple. I need to fight roots every spring; I want build a raise bed and shield it from the roots by using garden cloth in the bottom. Any idea? Thank you


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Answer from NGA
December 12, 2010

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Lining a raised bed with hardware cloth will slow the root growth but won't completely stop the roots from invading the bed. They are drawn to the moisture and nutrients and will seek them out, even if it means growing through the small openings in the hardware cloth. You'll probably need to empty the bed every 4-5 years and remove the roots. I do this regularly and while it's a chore, I consider it just a part of my garden maintenance. An option is to build your raised bed with a solid bottom and drill holes in the bottom for good drainage, then set the bed on legs so there's air space between the bottom of the bed and the ground. Elevating the bed in this manner will definitely keep the tree roots from invading the bed.

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