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I'm setting up a veg patch with raised beds in my new garden which is all laid to lawn.I have purchased some weed suppressing membrane for the paths between the beds which I will be covering with gravel.My question is as the area for the raised beds is quite large and to save on a lot of back braking work and expence to hire a turf cutter,can I lay the membrane strait onto the grass?.
many thanks ... Chris
So I understand-your idea is grass, with membrane on top. covered with soil-to what depth?
My first reaction is -doesn't sound like best idea-and you may come to regret it later
Personally I would remove the turf or at least dig it in-it is hard work but no-one said gardening was easy
See what others say
I would also have said remove the turf.
It could be stacked, and would rot down to make wonderful loam. Skimming off turf when the soil is moist isn't difficult.
Aternatively you could have killed the grass where it is, by applying a weedkiller such as Roundup, and then letting the dead grass rot where it is, beneath your new soil covering . But this is not the most effective time of year to apply Roundup.
Putting down a membrane beneath an area where you intend to grow crops, possibly including root vegetables, seems a strange idea to me.
I set up a community raised bed garden this year: 13 beds, ech 4' x 8' and 3' high. They were constructed directly on to an uneven grassed surface. The ground could not be used for allotments becau of heavy metal conamination from an old gasworks very nearby. So I put down inside the boxes old thin plywood sheets and then weed-supressant membrane, then 6" well rotted manure and finally 2' of screened topsoil. This first season we've had no problems from the grass underneath, and now the worms are starting to make an appearance.
So personally, I would just build on top of the grass, so long as it's adequately barriered and has sufficient depth of growing medium
I wouldn't have thought the grass would be a problem, either under the raised beds or under the paths. The lack of light will kill it without having to use chemicals. Just make sure you root out any big weeds such as thistles and docks as these seem to be almost unkillable.
I wouldn't put any membrane under the raised beds, just under the paths. It could be held down at the edges by the structures for the raised beds and then a sufficient weight of gravel for the paths. Two inches should do it. Less is too thin and will allow weed seeds to germinate easily. More is difficult to walk on and push wheel barrows.
I cut a massive flowerbed in my garden at the start of this year, I removed all the sods of soil and it took forever, but was worth it in the end. Then, I cut out 6 more beds for my veggies each measuring 10' x 4', and have just laid weed suppressant fabric straight onto the grass between the beds, I have put about 3 inch thickness of bark mulch on top, to act as a path between the beds. I was fed up of cutting the grass between the veggies, as my garden is on a slope and I have a big heavy mower. It is trial and error, I shall have to see if the grass underneath dies back sufficiently. Thirdly I have just laid out a fruit plot, which measures some 50m2, originally I was going to cut rows for my fruit into the grass, but in the end just covered the whole area with weed suppressant fabric, and have cut holes in that for the various fruit shrubs and canes, sinking tubs for the blueberries which are in ericaceous soil. It will again be trial and error over this expanse of grass, as whilst the fabric has been down around 2 weeks, the grass underneath is yellowing now, but I did notice when planting my fruit this last weekend that a few strands of grass have managed to shove their way through the membrane. Whether or not they would continue to grow remains to be seen ....... though hopefully not, as again I covered this area with around 3" thick of bark mulch as per veggie plot. Good luck !
Thanks for the replies ... The membrane was only for the gravel paths not under the beds themselves,I intend to cut out the soil for the beds and turn it over to rot down.I'm edging towards cutting out the whole area now and stacking the whole lot to rot down for the loam