TOO MUCH WATER IN RAISED BEDS


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Hi everyone. Last year I built two raised beds out of cedar 24 inches tall. The beds are sitting on top of soil in the back yard where I removed the grass.
I put down landscaping cloth on the bottom of each bed and added some larger stones on the bottom to try and improve drainage. I also put the landscaping cloth 12 inches from the bottom to the sides of the bed. I feel I added the correct type of soil to grow vegetables however last year was my worst year growing vegetables. I think my biggest reason may have been the beds were holding too much water. I did purchase a moisture sensor and it seemed to always show wet. Again not sure if this is the main reason that the vegetables did not grow as well as they should have however I am wondering if I should drill a 1/2 inch hole on each side of the bed in an attempt to drain possible excess water. Does this make sense? Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I am adding compost and some manure to the beds this year which I believe will help with making the soil better for growing. Thank-you
 
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That is a very disappointing result for a lot of hard work and expense.
I am not sure what 'landscaping cloth' consists of, there are several possibilities. I don't understand why you put it down either, you removed grass and then put 24" of soil on top, that should cope with weed control.
Some of those cloths appear to be waterproof, assuming yours is not it strikes me that it might become so as small particles washed down and caught in the weave. Something must be stopping the water from escaping, I would be tempted to drive in a spike at intervals to piece the base in case you have created a twelve inch deep subterranean pond. I can't see a half inch hole in the side doing much.
What is the base ground like? Is there a reason, like tree roots, to separate it from your bed?
Manure is pretty wet stuff, and be careful of your source. There are weedkillers used on grass for hay crops that go straight through the animal and contaminate the manure. Because they don't break down easily it can take five years or so for the effect to wear off. A simple test if you are at all unsure is to make a mix with some and plant beans in flowerpots, plant a couple you know to be clean as a control.

Edit, Sorry, I nearly forgot to say. Welcome to the forum.
 
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Are you talking about plastic or the actual weed block material? A plastic bottom would make your bed be slower to drain but weed block is supposed to let water through. Either way you don't need those under the soil. That stuff goes on top.

A waterlogged soil will kill the roots of the vegetables although I'm not understanding how a raised bed is holding that much water. What kind of soil is in it?

I think I would remove the rocks. I don't think I would drill holes in the side boards since the water should go down. Even if you set the raised bed on a rock it should still drain out of the side of the bottom board.

What size bed is it? Have you got some pics of what your dealing with?
 

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