I posted this in the other raised bed post but probably should have started a new one, so here it is. What is the best way to hold in soil when there is a gap between the raised bed frame and the ground (due to unlevel ground)? Landscape fabric?
We have this problem with our vegetable garden which is on a slope. So far we have been digging into the high side of the hill. and building up the low side with small flat stones. We have put in 3 of the 6 beds so far so I’m curious if other people have some ideas. I’m not sure this is the best way; it’s more attractive than landscape fabric, but takes a bit of time! Eventually the landscape fabric will probably breakdown at which point it will be hard to replace.
I live on a steep hillside and have had raised beds for 20 years here. Just built some more. To level them, one side (the downhill side) will always be out of the ground if the other (uphill) is even with the ground.
In some cases I bermed the soil up on the downhill side so that the lower sides of the wooden beds are really in the ground. I think you can see what I mean in this photo (the downhill side is to the right).
On the new raised beds I just had built, we are adding an additional 8 inches of wood on the downhill sides at ground level to fill the gap, because the slope is that bad. I recommend a stable, permanent solution like this — either one side dug into the ground, to achieve a level bed, or one side using more lumber and staying out of the ground but being deeper.
Thanks ever so much, Leslie and Margaret. Very helpful!
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.