Placing Birdies Beds on Various Surfaces
Birdies Raised Beds can be placed on any surface, from bare dirt to concrete. Here are our recommended instructions for placement for each type of surface you may want to locate your beds on.
If you’re placing your bed on bare dirt, setup is easy. Assemble your bed and place it where you want it to be. Repurpose the cardboard it was packaged in as a sheet mulch inside the bed to prevent weed growth. Fill your bed, and you’re ready to grow!
If you’re on uneven soil, try to level surface of the soil before setting your bed in place. Remove any rocks that are in the way. This gives you a solid, flat surface to support your bed.
If your bed is going on grass, you’ll need to smother the grass directly under the bed. This is actually quite simple, as the weight of your soil should do that task for you.
Assemble your bed and put it into place. Use the cardboard that your bed was packaged in as a sheet mulch inside the bed. If it’s a deep bed, add a few logs to keep the cardboard in place as you fill the bed with soil. All the soil, logs, and cardboard will kill the grass directly underneath, allowing for good drainage while doing so.
On a wooden surface, you have two concerns to take into account. First, you don’t want your wood to stain. Secondly, you want to prevent warping or accelerated decomposition of the wood surface.
Begin by making sure that your wood is completely sealed. If it’s not, you may want to clean it and add another coat of sealer, allowing that to cure before you set up your bed.
Lay down a sheet of thick builder’s plastic on the surface of the deck and place your bed on top of that. Do not run the plastic upward inside the bed, as that will capture water rather than to allow it to drain off properly. Fill the bed with your soil.
Once the bed is filled and won’t move around, use a pair of scissors to cut excess plastic away, leaving a 1” plastic edge around the outside of the bed. This ensures that if it moves somehow, your wooden surface will still be protected.
Concrete is a surprisingly porous material and can get stained easily. If you don’t mind a little staining, set your bed in place and fill. If staining is a concern, there are a couple options to keep the soil from direct contact with your concrete.
The easiest option is to use landscaping fabric inside your bed. Cut a sheet of landscaping fabric that is at least 2 feet wider and longer than your bed. Then, when the bed is in place, lay the fabric inside with the excess pointing upward. Carefully fill your bed, being careful to keep the soil from going between the fabric and the bed wall. As you fill, the weight of the soil will help to keep the landscape fabric in place.
For absolutely-guaranteed lack of staining, use both landscape fabric and black builder’s plastic. Lay the black builder’s plastic down first, and set your bed on top of it. Set in the landscaping fabric as described above and fill. Once the bed is filled, use a pair of scissors to cut excess plastic away, leaving a 1” ring of plastic extending out at the base of the bed. The landscaping fabric will keep the soil in the bed, and the plastic will prevent all possible stains.
Pavers or Bricks
Pavers or bricks are an attractive option if you want to level your Birdies bed perfectly and provide a stable surface to set your bed on. Set your pavers down on your surface and level them, then place your bed down.
Lay down 1-2" of gravel at the bottom of the bed for drainage, and then fill the bed as recommended in our Filling Your Birdies Beds With Soil tutorial.
We recommend 1" of gravel inside the bed for drainage if placing on pavers.