Plants and flowers pour soul into your garden. They are so refreshing to one’s soul! Are you someone who wants to make use of your garden space? and want to know how to fill a raised garden bed cheap? As I searched on it for the longest time, there are plenty of options to go. Recently, I got a sudden urge to make my garden beautiful and presentable. I had a few spare garden beds that could accommodate the garden space, so I used them.
So, the next thing was how do I fill those beds? I had limited money on my hand for the investment, so I found cheap options. In this post, I would like to share how you can raise your garden bed cheaply.
What are garden beds?
This article is for people who are not familiar with raised garden beds. As you can judge by the term, raised garden beds are 3 to 4 feet wide containers. They can be made of concrete, wood, or rock. They can have an approximate height of six inches or more.
Flowers, vegetables, small herbs, any plant could be grown inside these beds. I wouldn’t recommend planting vines, crawlers, or climbers unless you can provide good fixtures. These plants grow and spread uncontrollably, therefore need a lot of maintenance.
How are garden beds helpful?
I’ve been so happy with the way my garden beds turned out. The best thing about these garden beds is that they’re protected. I don’t need to worry about people stepping on my plants every time. This kind of garden bed design is efficient for disabled people to work with, as it won’t require them to bend over or put in the extra effort.
Why Soil is important?
If your local soil’s quality is not good or not productive, you can easily get other soils and plants in your raised garden beds. In this way, you can plant your desired items. Another great thing I like about these raised garden beds is that you can extend the planting season. You can plant your favorite vegetables or flowers for longer periods.
The probability of weed production also significantly decreases if the plants are correctly planted and well maintained. It’s easy to replace the soil and maintain it as compared to an on-ground conventional method. Raised gardens are easy to organize and clean!
How to make use of garden bed spaces?
There are varieties of ways; you can make use of your garden bed spaces. I grew vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander, mint, bell peppers, and carrots in my backyard kitchen garden. Similarly, for my front garden, I grew various kinds of flowers. I grew a variety of roses, poppy, sunflowers, jasmine.
Arranging your beds in rows creates a beautiful pattern and ease for you to walk among them and maintain them well. The sight of how everything turned out gives me such a satisfying feeling. For decoration, I added fairy lights over the beds, so when I light them up at night, they look more beautiful. Everyone can design or add things according to their desire.
How to fill a raised garden bed cheap?
Garden beds can flourish and go a long way if carefully planned and maintained. One potential factor that affects from growing productive crop is the soil. Improving your native clay is often really hard and expensive. How to fill a raised garden bed cheap is by adding desired soil.
Small vegetables can be ideally grown in these spaces. A combination of topsoil, loamy soil, and organic compounds is ideal for improving the soil quality. This process is referred to as layering. It helps with the provision of great quality nutrients and improves the soil in the best ways.
What will be your requirements and cheap resources?
It is essential to calculate the amount of organic material and soil you’ll need to fulfill your garden bed requirements.
1- Calculate the volume of soil.
To calculate the volume, you will need to multiply the depth, length, and volume of the soil. In case you have multiple beds as I had, you’ll have to buy a bulk of soil for your beds. Buying in bulk can help you save money.
Let me give you a small example, you have a raised bed of depth 3ft, the width of 2ft, and a length of 6 ft. in this case, when you’ll multiply to get the volume, It will come out to be 36 cubic feet. Buy the soil in bulk as it will be economical and you can save some for later.
2- Addition of Plant source.
If you’re planning to add a plant source to create the Compost, then definitely you’ll need a small amount of soil as the bulk could be achieved with the addition of plants, wood, twigs, and pines, etc. You can make use of soil from another batch of soil instead of buying an entire new bulk.
3- Methods of raising soil.
There are different techniques and methods of raising the soil in the raised garden beds. Usually, there’s a layering of materials and substances over each other within the bed, as I described above.
The method that is most commonly used in conventional beds is the Hügelkultur method in garden beds. I’ll briefly describe below what it is.
What is the Hügelkultur, and how is it done?
First, let me help you pronounce this weird word (no offense). It is read as ‘Hoogle- cult-er’. German word and means’ hill culture’. It is a layering technique where grass, twigs, wood logs, and straw are buried together to produce organic matter over time. This recycles different organic materials. It is preferred to use small-sized plants as they decompose in shorter, easier, and in shorter durations. Nutrient-rich soil turns into Compost over time. Compost is composed of inorganic and organic compounds that are produced as a result of decomposition. These are high in nutrients and extremely beneficial to growing plants.
When a plant is burnt, carbon is released into the air. Similarly, when we bury the plant inside deep layers of soil, it breaks down and is merged in the soil’s deep layers. It is also suitable for the atmosphere as carbon dioxide is not released into the air. Instead, it is trapped inside the soil to provide nutrients.
Normally, in garden beds, a trench is built. It is one or two deep. It is kept long enough to incorporate the logs, wood, and twigs. In raised garden beds, a trench is not made. Instead, a plastic cover or fabric is placed at the base of the raised bed.
Back to Eden Method
This method is best for raised garden beds. It is an organic gardening method that is as old as 55 years. It utilizes wooden chips and doesn’t require much soil. This method is pocket-friendly, and the wood chips will be used as a mulch layer. The moisture inside the wood will remain for a more extended period and improves the soil quality.
1- Cover the bottoms.
The first thing you’ll do with your raised garden beds is that you’ll place plastic sheets at the bottom of the boxes. Fixate the sheets with the help of large staple pins. This helps tackle the issue of weeds creeping up in the soil.
2- Compost source.
So, we want to opt for a cheap way to nourish and improve the soil’s quality to lay down the compost production source. For that, I lay down tree branches, logs, and small twigs over the plastic I laid at the bottom of the garden bed. Over several months, the wood will form into Compost. The wood adds to the bed’s volume, and hence you’ll need little soil that will save you money. Another benefit of Compost is the retention of water; the water retains within the wood and leaves and produces good quality compost.
3- More layering.
Add a layer of grass, preferably dried over the wood. Make sure that the grass hasn’t been chemically treated before. It should be free of chemicals, weed killers, and fertilizers. After a layer of grass, add some straw. Straw should cover an area of half of the garden bed. After this, add a layer of sandy soil over it.
4- Soil layer
Lastly, add a layer of organic bed soil, vermiculite, organic Compost, and organic mulch. Additionally, add a layer of sandy soil as well. The sandy soil should merge with the garden bed soil and Compost.
With time, the organic and inorganic substances underneath the soil break down and decompose to produce a good quality Compost. Just within months, you’ll start to notice significant progress. Trust me. You’d be more than happy and satisfied seeing the growth of your planted seeds.
How to fill a raised garden bed cheap? other options
There are different methods by which you can fill your raised garden beds. If the soil is expensive to you, you can opt for much cheaper options.
1- Core Gardening method
This sounds like a very creative option or may sound difficult as well. In this method, a sponge is created in the middle of the raised garden bed. This sponge holds and slowly releases water to the adjacent soil in all directions. Water will be held and retained for all seasons, and you won’t need to provide water more often. There will be relatively fewer weeds.
The roots will grow further deep into the soil to reach the water and attach firmly to the soil and provide a good anchorage to the plant. The frequency of plant disease and pests will also reduce.
How is it done?
A trench is dug in the middle of the raised bed. It can be 10 inches deep. The core of the trench is filled with straw. Grass twigs or leaves can also be added instead. Add water to the core and then add soil or Compost over it to cover it completely.
2- Peat Moss
Peat moss is best for acid-loving plants as it is acidic. Plants like marigolds or peppers grow best in the presence of peat moss. It has to be bought from but is relatively cheap as compared to planting soil or the topsoil.
3- Add Worm Castings
This seems gross, but trust me, it’s a good option when you don’t want to invest so much in the soil. The worm poop is nutrient-rich for the plants.
4- Ruth Stout Gardening Bed
Ruth stout method is named after Ruth Stout. It is a method that uses mulch. For this method, you need to prepare a bed with about 8 inches of hay. It is done preferably at the start of spring. The soiled hay is layered on top of the Compost. It is 8-12 inches deep.
Animal manure is the best source of nutrients for the growing plant. Manure of cow, chicken, goat, and horse is useful. Human, dog, cat, or pig manure should be avoided as they’re not great for the plant. When you place the manure in raised beds, give it some time for adjustment and breakdown to incorporate deeply and merges with the soil. After some time, then plant your seeds.
Garden bed spaces can be raised economically, these are few options How to fill a raised garden bed cheap, Raised garden bed add beauty of your garden if well-planned and maintained. According to their liking, one can opt for what they want to grow in their raised garden beds. They have many advantages as compared to conventional methods. Any vegetable, flower, or plant can be quickly grown in these spaces.