What to Put Between Your Raised Garden Beds

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What to Put In Between Your Garden Beds? In this post we’ll get into the topic of garden bed pathways. There are a number of different ways you can plan them out and design them so they are more inviting and easy to maneuver around. By now, you should know that it is important to be sure there is at least 2 feet of space between each bed.

You could choose to leave them be and let the normal patches of grass remain intact.That’s a-ok, just remember you’ll have to manage that strip of grass (and subsequent weeds) somehow. Do you plan to mow it down periodically – as for myself, I have one of those vintage push mowers (that doesn’t need gasoline) which is easier to get around small strips and corners – but I gather, most of you would rather not. So what can you put down in that space instead that will look attractive and spare you from further upkeep?

gravel lined garden paths
Gravel as a substrate for bed walkways

You have several options – I have a few neighbors who have lined their front porch grass patches replaced with small gravel stones, which are not only pleasing to look at, but they will keep your area weed-free. I live in an area where cutback of wild vegetation growth is practically an eight months out of the year job – No joke. We live in an HOA area and one thing our fees go towards is weekly grass cutting (in the front yard. we’re still responsible for upkeep in the backyard, which means you either do it yourself, or you hire someone.

Gravel lined pathways around your beds can look really nice, but consider the cost and then, factor in the weight of all those bags of gravel, depending on how much help you have in transporting and moving those bags around, would you be up for the job?My backyard is roughly about 50 square feet, even though our vegetable beds are pretty long, we’d still have a lot of territory to cover with gravel. The aforementioned people I mentioned only had gravel in a small plot of space – think 3 x 5 feet.

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what to put between garden beds

Stepping stones could look really good too, but they will be heavy and cumbersome to move, especially with a lot of them.You could always do a center layout and combine them with gravel on the outside, again,, a little ambitious, but the effects would be really stunning.

So I think putting down wood bark chips is the best approach. The bags we purchased in bulk are still heavy to move, but nowhere near the weight of gravel stones. They come in red and brown, I didn’t like the red as it seemed “too” red and kind of garish, the brown ones look more natural. Plus once you get the bags situated and the contents dispersed around the area, you won’t have to do much else.

wood chip garden bed walkway
Wood bark chips are among the best walkway substrate.

Before you decide on a substrate, you’ll have to put some material down in the walkways to prevent and stifle off unwanted grass growth. We used landscaping fabric which is sold by the yard on a roll, it’s black in color, about 2 feet wide and has the consistency of tulle. We’d start at one end of the beds and unroll it to the end of them and use metal clamps (I don’t know what they’re called, but they’re kind of “U” shaped and also made for staking down tent corners. At each corner I’d insert a metal stake to hold the fabric down tightly.

Some people don’t like this kind of fabric. For larger space on the other side (where we haven’t finished our fourth bed yet) we spread out a silver heavy duty tarp that is about 10 x 12 feet, something like that, and staked it down before spreading out the chips. The material is strong and I don’t have to worry about grass trying to sneak through or it buckling up.

I’m not a fan of plastic – but the other material I’ve see weed barriers come in is polypropylene. If you can find some like this that is UV resistant and strong enough to last after being put down you’ll be on the right track for your beds’ walkways. Eventually, we grew dissatisfied with the “tulle” fabric, and switched to this heavier, better quality material instead.

landscape fabric for garden beds

This spring we picked up where we left off from last year, and completed the walkway behind the beds. I prepped the area via the weedwhacker for that swatch of grass that was overgrown first…which is a good idea prior to putting the fabric down.

Then we finished it off with more brown wood bark chips. Everything looks great now…and I no longer have fear of walking through tall grass not knowing if snakes are around (I’m sure some of you can relate!)

SO hopefully, you have some knowledge to go forward and plan out attractive looking walkways for your beds!

 

 

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