Asked on May 18, 2012

What kind of mulch should I use in my raised garden bed?

Katy FoxMbierystoneAnnette White


I am planting a vegetable garden this year after many years of not having one. I spent $35 for a yard of premium garden soil to put in my very first raised bed. I think I should cover the soil with mulch so as not to get weeds in my good soil, but am not sure what I should mulch with. Suggestions?
8 answers
  • 3po3
    on May 18, 2012

    I have been growing veggies for a few years, and just lay down high-quality weed barrier (sold on big rolls by the square foot at good garden stores, ie not the garden section attached to the big box stores), and it's pretty effective. You can just cut holes for the plants. In Oregon, you shouldn't have to worry about the soil drying out with the black fabric, which is the only possible drawback here. I think that is easier than mulch, and more effective for blocking weeds. It also keeps the ground warm for your veggies, and is more pest-resistant than mulch. The good weed barrier is more expensive, but should last a few years. The cheap stuff, on the other hand, will last a year at best. If you insist on mulch, I recommend the stuff they call "gorilla hair" around here. It lasts a while and is less likely to get blown around by wind.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 18, 2012

    If you go with mulch, I always think a good, finely ground, hardwood mulch is best.

  • Erica Glasener
    on May 18, 2012

    Anna, if you are using a good quality soil with compost mixed in, I don't think you need mulch but I agree with Doug if you use it, finely ground hardwood is best. Home Depo sells Nature's Helper which is a soil conditioner and I sometimes use it as a mulch.

  • Barb C
    on May 18, 2012

    I like a fine bark that has been mixed with manure, I think it's called SteerGro. Very dark and can be mixed in at the end of the season.

  • Garden Inspire
    on May 31, 2012

    I have used the Square Foot Gardening method for over 20 years and don't have a weed problem. If you do feel the need to mulch I would just use compost. Compost will cover weed seeds (many need light to grow) and feed your soil at the same time. Whatever you use keep it away from the stems of plants to avoid rot.

  • Annette White
    on Apr 26, 2013

    I'm wondering what are anyone's thoughts on using newspapers for keeping weeds out of my raised beds, with mulch on top of them.

  • Mbierystone
    on May 1, 2015


  • Katy Fox
    on Jun 10, 2015

    Check out rubber mulch from Home Depot - made from recycled tires, comes in a couple of colors and you don't have to replace it every year. AND animals don't like to do their business in it !!

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