Raised garden bed liners

Why Raised Garden Bed Liners are a Necessary Layer

Raised garden beds have a variety of benefits and can be used in many different applications and scenarios. From the apartment owner with enough room for a small box on their patio, to a homeowner with a small backyard, to residents living in locales with less than desirable soil conditions, raised garden beds can be a beneficial alternative to in-ground gardening. Raised garden bed liners are a necessary layer when constructing a successful growing experience.

After constructing the raised bed of your desired size for your gardening needs, installing a liner is the next step before planting for the season. Bed liners can be applied to plots of different sizes and have many benefits.

Benefits of Raised Garden Bed Liners

  • Weed control – Raised garden bed liners act as a barrier between the ground and the soil you put in your box. If you use weed-free soil in your box, this barrier should protect your garden from weeds.
  • Pest control – If you don’t want to share your vegetables with gophers, moles and other critters, adding raised garden bed liners in before pouring your planting soil will help keep them out.
  • Good drainage – When gardening, one of the hardest factors to perfect is the ideal level of moisture in the soil. Raised 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.
  • Prevent soil loss – Raised garden bed liners are durable and prevent soil from washing away, while still allowing water to drain. In preventing soil loss, raised garden bed liners also help keep boxes tidy and not in disarray because of washed away soil.
  • Install raised beds on firm surfaces – Raised garden beds with liners can be installed on any firm surface, including concrete or stone. Gardeners living in apartments or with minimal yard space will appreciate this fact when planting their gardens in these otherwise impossible areas.

Raised garden bed liners are a crucial layer when constructing your boxes and extending your growing season. Using the plastic garden bed liners from BTL Liners will help protect your vegetables from pests, weeds and soil loss, while providing good drainage. Contact BTL Liners for more information about our raised garden bed liners.

22 responses to “Why Raised Garden Bed Liners are a Necessary Layer

  1. I have used raised beds for six years. No liner. No problems. Likely just another thing you don’t need to buy.

  2. M. Baxter, as an experienced gardener I have used beds with and without liners. For problem beds where there were gophers, excessive weeds or other pests, liners were crutial, but for other gardens they were not neccessary. Just because you did not need them, doesn’t mean that other people don’t.

  3. Should you put a plastic 6 mill liner in a raised plywood box in a green house. The box is 12 inches deep.Well using plastic cause the soil to go stale in the bottom of the box.

  4. Earl,
    I apologize for the delay in your response.. I have replied by email!

    Thank you,

  5. What about planter boxes that need to be waterproof (with drainage built into them ) such as inside or as permanent part of a structure (deck etc) where you don’t want the water just leaking out onto the floor or deck or more quickly rotting the structure itself? AND,,,,that is planned to be used for planting food ??? Do you have a plastic or EPDM liner for this application that can be smoothly formed into corners of a built in planter box and is food safe, for planting edibles??? For whatever reason, every single site like this, once getting into the “gardening” section reverts by default to draining fabric/liners on the assumption that it is a garden bed that can just drain naturally into the ground or surface below and where constant moisture on the structural materials is of no concern, presumably on the basis that the garden bed is intended to replaced every couple seasons. Either that or its only about aquaculture and they contemplate you need to buy enough to run a commercial business!!! Help!!!

  6. I was thinking about laying down a 6mil tarp to line the entire lower 6″ of my raised bed I have outside in my yard with the intention that it would retain water. Opinions? I wish you had posted the responses for the above questions so I didn’t have to bother you

  7. Thank you for your inquiry Rebecca! Several people choose a liner in their raised beds.. You do just need to be thoughtful of what you have growing in there and if too much water will affect it as the water will not seep through, it will remain in the soil. BTL does not carry a 6mil but we have several options if you would like to discuss your project! Feel free to call or email!

    Julie Hughes

  8. I have a raised flower bed about 16′ x 4′ x 20″. I put landscape fabric down first, but a have maple trees in the area and small roots come up through the fabric.(No cuts or tears in fabric). My question is if I put a heavy plastic down, then put about 4-3/4″ pvc with holes drilled in it for drainage in it on the bottom work? The pvc would go out the back of the flower box, much like field tile. Also the soil under the flower box is hard clay, as I live in northwest Ohio.

  9. Hello!

    I am building two raised beds on a concrete slab – 3 ft wide, 12 ft long, and 18 in. deep – do you suggest installing a lining since the beds will be on concrete? Do you all sell liners of that size? Or is there any other materials you would recommend using as a liner?

    Thank you!

  10. Holly,
    You certainly can use liners for your raised beds.. We could either sell you a flat sheet of material that you would pleat in the corners or we could make a boxed liner.. You would want to be sure we have the inside dimensions of the beds as that’s where the liner would lay… The boxed option is PP-45 material and with the dimensions given would be $287.04 + shipping and that is giving the height an extra 6″ to be sure it has a little room to hang over. Please call to discuss further if you’d like!

    Julie Hughes

  11. Essentially, you would need to have a pipe or something to lead the water where it could drain, other than right below the box.. BTL makes pre-formed box liners using PP45 material (NSF61 Certified potable water grade), however they are water tight. If you had a drawing of what you are looking for and where you would need the hole to drain, it might be something we could make custom for you! Please contact Jared to see if this is something we could come up with for you!

    Julie Hughes
    julieh@btlliners.com (jared@btlliners.com)

  12. John,
    Thank you for your inquiry! Sorry for the delayed response… You can put the plastic liner down, as the tree roots would reach the liner and then grow along it not through it, however, any holes that you make would possibly give those smaller roots a place to push through and grow up through the boxed area.. You could either line just the bottom of the box or box the whole bed.. A flat sheet of reinforced polyethylene material would be $0.39 to $0.61 per SF and if you are looking for a whole boxed liner the price would be $2.99 per SF for reinforced polypropylene. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss your project further!

    Julie Hughes

  13. Wondering if i could just spread out a huge tarp and put the raised beds on top of it to prevent the weeds grass gets. I could punch drainage holes in the tarp.
    Maybe the soil would leach out from under the frames?

  14. I have a raised garden that is up on 4 legs. So since it doesn’t sit on the ground, I wasn’t sure if the liner was as necessary, since there is no roots or animals invading the garden. I had to move it and take all the dirt out and the liner I have in it was torn in some small spaces. What is the best way to patch the few tears in the liner to still help it work to it’s best potential?

  15. Hey Ali,
    Depending on the type of material you have would be how you would repair it.. If it is our RPE liner, we have an aggressive heavy duty tape you could use.. You just need to clean the area you are going to put it with an alcohol base cleaner (rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol), stick it on and roll out the air bubbles as you can and you are good to go again!


  16. Hi Julie,
    I appreciated reading your “WHY RAISED GARDEN BED LINERS ARE A NECESSARY LAYER” article that I found searching online.
    I am about to place a 3′ x 4′ x 15″ cedar raised bed planter on leveled soil out on the edge of my patio. I want to avoid weeds, critters, et al., from coming up through the bottom of my bed, preserve the wood of my planter, yet maintain permeability for water to drain properly. I was just thinking of buying a roll of ag fabric at the local hardware store and tacking it to the bottom of the frame, but that doesn’t protect the wood.

    What would you recommend?

  17. Hi Karen! To protect the wood you will need something that will not leak water into the bed… But then you will need to be sure to monitor the watering of your plants as it will hold the water in the soil longer with a liner. You have two options, you can get a flat sheet of material and crease the corners (we would recommend the RPEL-30) or you could get us the inside dimensions of the planter and we can make a boxed liner to fit inside it (PP-45 material which is a bit more spendy with the labor) I would be more than happy to discuss your project if you would like to give a call or email!

    Thank you,
    Julie Hughes

  18. Hi Cynthia,
    Depending on if you are wanting water to make it through the liner into the soil or not would depend on the material you purchase for this application. If you would like the excess water to pass through, they an 8oz geotextile would work good for keeping the weeds down.. Over a period of time, there is a chance the weeds could make their way through the geo and grow. If you use a liner, no water at all will make it through the liner into the soil unless you puncture holes in it… For this application, poking holes is fine, however, you may see weeds try growing through those holes…

    Feel free to give me a call to discuss!

    Julie Hughes
    BTL Sales, Inc.

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