We can all agree that raised garden planters are game changers. They allow complete control of soil health, provide better drainage and not to forget save our knees and backs!
But the question that seems to arise is, Should I line my garden planter? Well let’s dive into the pros and cons to help you answer your question.
Having your planter lined allows for better soil insulation during harsh weather conditions and healthy soil = healthy plants.
Garden bed liners help keep soil moist for optimal growing conditions, but not stagnate. Water gets absorbed into the lower layers of the bed, keeping it evenly moist.
Lining the bottom of the bed with permeable landscape fabrics will allow excess water to seep into the ground but keep all your good soil in the bed. They also assist to keep boxes tidy and not in a muddle because of washed away soil.
If you want your crops pest free liners are also great at protecting roots being nibbled at from unwanted guests.
If using weed free soil and liners in your raised planter it will act as a barrier and protect your garden from weeds.
They prevent chemicals from timbers leaching into the soil if a nonporous variety is used.
The liner protects the structure from contact with soil and moisture.
Good drainage - When gardening, one of the hardest factors to perfect is the ideal level of moisture in the soil.
Some Liners are easily damaged and become difficult to replace due to the need to dig up all the soil.
Once water gets between the liner and the wall of the raised bed it is difficult for it to escape. They can accelerate the deterioration of the structure.
So, the answer is YES! The pros massively outweigh the cons, and these cons can be avoided by choosing the correct material to use as a liner depending on what suits your needs.
The best materials to use as liners
Weed matting is a woven material made from polypropylene, it makes for a great liner as it allows water to pass through, long lasting and affordable.
4 MIL Black Plastic is a continuous plastic sheet also made from polypropylene that will not allow water to pass through it. It will completely protect the sides of the raised bed, but drainage of the water will need to be considered.
Pond Liner can also be used for this job. It is similar to the 4 MIL Black Plastic except that it is about twice as thick. The increased thickness will make the liner more durable, more difficult to damage, however it is pricier.
Geotextile is certainly the most durable and highest quality option for a liner. The material is water permeable and still around 5 times thicker than other options.