Raised Bed Over Gravel Base - Knowledgebase Question

Montgomery, PA
Question by griffith53
April 19, 1999
I have an existing 40 x 40' area covered with about 1 foot of small gravel (it used to hold solar panels), and I would like to put raised beds there. The bed is flat, in full sun, on top of a small mountain with strong wind.

In order to avoid shoveling out the gravel, I am planning to put a layer of landscaping fabric on top of the gravel and then put a 1-foot deep layer of soil and organic material on top of that. I am planning to grow just about everything - perennials, annuals, and vegetables. I thought that the gravel would continue to keep the weeds at bay and provide good drainage.

After more thought, I am not sure this is a good plan. Will the 1 foot of soil be inadequate for good root development? With the strong sun and winds on top of a mountain, do I need to worry about drainage? Would I be better off to shovel the gravel? How deep does a raised bed need to be?


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Answer from NGA
April 19, 1999

0

concern with your project is the possibility that someone used long term herbicides on the gravel, or perhaps layered plastic beneath it in an effort to preclude weed growth around the panels.

Good luck with your project! concern with your project is the possibility that someone used long term herbicides on the gravel, or perhaps layered plastic beneath it in an effort to preclude weed growth around the panels.

Good luck with your project!

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