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Do I need to dig or prepare the ground below raised beds?

No digging is required if your raised beds are tall enough to allow plant roots to grow, or if the soil beneath the beds is healthy with adequate drainage. If the ground is compacted, it is recommended to loosen the soil with a turning fork or shovel, and add a drainage layer of loose gravel to the bottom of the planter. For raised beds on lawn, it is sometimes necessary to smother the grass before filling the beds with soil.