How To Make A Cardboard Trench Beds (8 Helpful Steps To Know)

Cardboard trench beds are an excellent way to create a garden bed in your yard. They are simple to assemble and provide a deep root system for plants and vegetables.

You can create a bed up to 3 feet deep, allowing your plants to receive ample water and nutrients from the soil.

This is especially beneficial in areas with poor soil quality. The cardboard helps break down over time, adding organic matter to your soil. It also aids in suppressing weeds, saving you time on weeding and helping prevent weed seeds from germinating.

What Are Cardboard Trench Beds?

A gardening cardboard trench bed is a simple, no-dig method of growing vegetables and flowers. You create the bed by laying down a few layers of cardboard boxes in a trench that’s been dug in your garden.

The cardboard will quickly break down into compost, and you can then plant your vegetables or flowers right into the compost.

Cardboard trench beds are an easy and efficient way to get the most out of your garden! They are a great option for those who want to get started quickly with minimal setup requirements.

In addition to their many benefits, cardboard trench bed are also thought to be environmentally friendly. They use fewer resources than traditional gardening methods do and they help keep organic matter out of landfills.

Plus, cardboard is a renewable resource since it can be recycled after you’re done with your trench bed.
So, not only will you have an efficient and effective garden setup but you’ll also be doing your part in helping the environment!

Lastly, cardboard trench beds are incredibly versatile. You can use them for anything from vegetables to flowers or even shrubs!

How To Make Cardboard Trench Beds

Making a cardboard trench bed is a fantastic way to save money and help reduce your paper waste! This fun DIY project is easy enough for anyone with basic tools, supplies, and an hour of free time.

Whether you’re looking for a simple and straightforward raised vegetable bed or something more decorative for your garden, cardboard trench beds are the perfect solution.

With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why cardboard trench beds are becoming an increasingly popular choice for gardeners!

Sourcing Cardboard Boxes

When it comes to sourcing cardboard boxes, you have a few options at your disposal. One popular option is to purchase them from a local supplier.

This can be beneficial as they may be able to provide custom-sized boxes and delivery services.

Another option is to reuse or recycle existing cardboard boxes that may already exist around your garden or home this not only helps the environment but can also save you money.

If neither of these options is available, then you can always find online suppliers who offer bulk orders of standard box sizes at cost-effective prices.

Whichever route you choose, there are plenty of ways to source cardboard boxes for whatever project you’re undertaking in your garden!

A third option might be renting cardboard boxes. Many companies offer rental services of cardboard boxes, often with the option to return them after you’ve used them.

This can be very cost effective and convenient, especially when it comes to large projects in your garden that require many boxes.

No matter which route you choose, sourcing cardboard boxes for your project doesn’t have to be a difficult task – there are plenty of options to suit any budget!

No matter which way you decide to source your cardboard boxes, make sure they are high quality and fit the specifications of your project.

It’s always important to ensure that the box is able to handle whatever items or products you plan on storing in it.

If necessary, seek advice from professionals who may be able to provide some guidance.


The cardboard trench bed design is a great way to create an aesthetically pleasing feature in your garden. It offers an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution to landscaping and can be used for multiple purposes such as creating a focal point or edging a walkway.

This creative gardening technique involves digging trenches into the soil and filling them with cardboard pieces that are then covered with soil and plants.

The cardboard acts as a barrier for plant roots, allowing them to better absorb nutrients from the surrounding soil while protecting against weeds and pests.

Additionally, the cardboard also helps retain moisture in the ground which helps maintain healthy plant growth.

With this method of designing garden beds, you can easily incorporate unique shapes and sizes into your outdoor space without using too much of your time and resources.

Furthermore, combining the cardboard trenches with other materials such as stones or mulch will help to create stunning visual effects in any backyard.

Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance garden bed or something more intricate and eye-catching, cardboard trench beds are an ideal choice for any gardener who wants to make the most out of their outdoor space.

Digging a Trench

Digging a trench with a cardboard bed is a great way to improve the soil and create an ideal rooting environment for your plants. This technique can help you achieve better drainage, regulate moisture levels, and create an ideal amount of aeration for your garden.

When you dig a trench with cardboard beds, you are essentially creating raised beds that help to keep weeds away from your plants and help to warm the soil faster in springtime.

To start your digging, first lay down layers of newspaper or cardboard on the ground. Make sure it is thick enough so that no weeds grow through.

Once the bedding material is in place, begin digging the trench. You can use either a shovel or a spade to do this job; however, if you have very heavy clay soil then it may be easier to use a mattock instead.

Dig 1-2 feet deep into the ground (or deeper if necessary) and about 12-14 inches wide.

Once the trench is fully dug, begin to fill it with compost, soil mix, or other organic material. Make sure that you compact the material firmly so that it stays in place and doesn’t shift when watered.

Finally, add a layer of mulch on top of the trench bed to help keep out weeds and retain moisture. After a few weeks, your plants will be ready to start growing!

Cardboard trench beds are an excellent way to create raised garden beds in any size or shape you desire while also helping to guard against weed growth and improve drainage. With just a bit of effort, you can enjoy beautiful blooms all season long!

Laying Cardboard

Laying a cardboard trench bed is a great way to save time, money, and effort in your garden. Cardboard trenches can act as a barrier between weeds and the soil below, reducing the need for weeding.

They also help control water runoff, allowing for better water retention in the soil.

To create a cardboard trench bed, start by digging out a trench of desired dimensions and width. Place layers of damp cardboard along the bottom of the trench until it is completely covered.

Add more layers above this if necessary to achieve the desired thickness.

It may help to weigh down the cardboard with rocks or other heavy objects to keep it from blowing away. Finally, fill up the remaining space with topsoil or compost and you’re done!

They are an excellent way to start a garden without having to remove existing weeds or soil. They are also great for controlling water run-off, allowing the soil to retain more moisture and making it easier to maintain your garden over time.

With a little time and effort, you can have a thriving garden that is free of weeds and full of healthy plants! Give cardboard trench beds a try today and see what they can do for your garden.

Filling The Trench

Once the cardboard and compost have been laid in the trench, it is time to start filling it with soil. Use a trowel to dig out the soil from each side of the trench and add it in layers. Make sure that each layer is firmly packed down before adding another layer.

This will help promote proper drainage and ensure that the plants have a good foundation upon which to grow. If you are using a purchased potting soil, be sure to read the label for appropriate amounts and directions on how to mix it with your existing soil.

Once all of the soil has been added, water it lightly but deeply to help settle any loose material. Your trench is now ready for planting!

Finally, remember that if this isn’t your first garden bed, you may want to consider rotating crops between beds every year or two so that they aren’t planted in the same spot every time.

This will help ensure that your plants are getting all of the nutrients they need and keep your garden looking beautiful for years to come.


Once the trench is filled and all of the soil is in place, it’s time to begin planting. Planting can be a fun process that allows gardeners to personalize their gardens with their favorite plants.

To get started, you’ll need to decide what type of plants you want to plant: annuals or perennials, vegetable or flower varieties. You may also want to consider factors like sun exposure and water needs when selecting your plants.

After choosing the right plants for your garden, make sure they are planted at the same depth they were originally growing in their pots or containers.

Finally, give them good watering after planting and as needed throughout the growing season. With some love and care, soon enough you’ll have an amazing garden full of colorful plants.


After planting the trench, it is important to cover the area with a layer of mulch. Mulching helps keep moisture in the soil, prevents weeds from growing, and helps maintain a consistent soil temperature throughout the season.

When selecting a mulch for your garden, choose one that is organic such as straw or shredded bark.

Make sure to spread it evenly over the surface of the trench, about two inches deep for optimum effect.

It’s best to keep mulch away from plants’ stems and trunks so that they can get air and sunlight without obstruction.

For smaller areas, like pathways or between plants, use gravel instead; this material has some of the same benefits as mulch but won’t smother your plants! If you take these steps while planting, you’ll create a lush garden that will thrive all season long.


Watering your garden is a key component of its health and growth. Watering too much or too little can be detrimental, so it’s best to follow some general guidelines for watering.

If you have mulched the trench, water should be able to penetrate the soil more easily, however, you still need to ensure that the plant roots are getting enough moisture.

For most plants, this means providing an inch of water each week either through natural rainfall or manual watering.

If there’s not been any rain during the week, you may need to increase your manual watering slightly (but never over-water).

To test if your garden has had enough water, check up to 4 inches below the surface with a trowel if the soil is dry, it’s time to water.

It’s also important to consider when you will be watering your garden. The best time is usually in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler and allow for more efficient water absorption by the roots.

Avoid watering during the middle of the day, as much of it could end up evaporating before your plants have had a chance to benefit from it.

Try not to leave sprinklers on overnight – this increases the risk of disease, fungus, and pests.

Finally, if possible, use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system rather than overhead sprinklers. This way you can accurately target specific areas and reduce wastefulness due to wind or overspray.

With proper watering techniques, you can ensure that your garden stays healthy and beautiful!


How Deep Can My Cardboard Trench Bed Be?

When building a cardboard trench bed in your garden, you should aim to make it no deeper than 8-10 inches. This will allow the soil and the cardboard to decompose quickly, while also providing a good depth for plants to grow.

To ensure that the trench is of an even depth across your garden, you can use a long stick or ruler as a guide when laying down the cardboard strips.

It’s important to keep in mind that deeper trenches may cause waterlogging in heavy rain or prolonged periods of wet weather. If possible, it’s best to create shallow beds with plenty of drainage points at regular intervals. This will make sure that your plants are able to access moisture but not be overwhelmed by it.

When filling your trench bed, always use soil from your own garden – this will help it integrate into the existing soil structure and provide any necessary nutrients for plant growth.

Can I Plant Trees In My Cardboard Trench Bed?

When it comes to planting trees in cardboard trench beds, it is not recommended. Cardboard does not provide enough stability and support for tree roots, and the roots can eventually rot and cause serious damage to both the tree and your garden. Furthermore, cardboard decomposes over time, meaning that root support is not long-term.

You can add additional soil or mulch for extra stability but it still may not be enough for a healthy tree. If you want to plant trees in your garden, it is best to use raised beds made from more durable materials such as wood or concrete.

These materials are better suited to holding up against heavier loads and will provide a better environment for tree roots. They also last longer, giving you more time before needing replacement or repair.

Therefore, while planting trees in a cardboard trench bed might seem like an easy solution, it is ultimately not recommended due to its lack of durability and long-term stability.

If you are looking for a way to add trees to your garden, it is best to go with something more reliable.

What Other Materials Can I Use To Line The Trench?

In addition to burlap, other materials that can be used to line a trench include landscape fabric, gravel, and plastic sheeting. Landscape fabric is lightweight and breathable, making it an ideal choice for lining trenches as it lets water flow through.

Gravel is also an option, providing reliable drainage while filling up the bottom of the trench and helping maintain its shape.

Lastly, plastic sheeting can be used in shallow trenches to block out weeds while allowing water to pass through.

Whichever material you choose to use, make sure the edges are sealed against soil erosion and that the material itself is sturdy enough to withstand general wear and tear.

How Much Water Will It Save?

Cardboard trench beds are a great way to conserve water during gardening and landscaping. When used in conjunction with other water-saving techniques, they can help save up to 40 percent of the water used for irrigation.

By creating a reservoir around and underneath plants, cardboard trench beds enable the soil to absorb and hold moisture longer than it would without them.

This allows plants to access the water they need for longer periods of time, reducing the need for frequent watering. In addition, cardboard trench beds can help reduce soil erosion and runoff due to their ability to hold moisture in place.


If you are looking for a great way to conserve water and keep your plants healthy, consider using a cardboard trench bed to help control the moisture levels in your garden or landscape.

These simple yet effective beds allow for excellent drainage and promote plant growth, making them perfect for anyone looking to maximize their garden’s efficiency.

With a few simple steps and regular maintenance, you can enjoy all the benefits of a cardboard trench bed in your own backyard.