You have just created a raised garden bed and might be thinking about how to perfectly fill it. Then, you’ve arrived at the right place. Our suggestions on the cheapest ways to fill a raised bed garden will have you covered.
Try Lasagna Gardening Method
The method dictates that you gather various organic materials that are compostable such as barn litter, straw, plants, leaves, and grass clippings.
Don’t use the grass clippings that are from a garden/lawn fertilized with granular herbicides or sprayed with herbicides that can kill weeds! These persistent herbicides can kill plants beds up to two or three years right after the very first application.
Though an awesome start on compost is the mixture of leaves and fresh manure, you have to spend some time mixing them well to have an excellent matrix to plant in.
Lasagna garden has a bottom layer consisting of compost and soil on its top layer. To make the bottom layer of compost, many gardeners try their best to create a mixture of 1: 2 grass clippings to cut/shredded leaves.
Those who cannot mow their lawns to have dried leaves or grass clippings can look for alternatives at any local gardening store.
The downside of the lasagna method is that once it breaks down and compacts, you need to fill up your raised beds with more layers, which is a bit difficult to do once you have established the plants.
Mix soil and compost
If you use bagged fertile soil (planting mix) to fill a raised bed garden, expect the cost to add up quickly. For example, the volume of soil needed for your bed which is 6 feet * 15 feet * 2.4 feet (width times length times depth equals volume) comes to 216 cubic feet.
Since the bags of fertile soil mix are usually available in 1.5- to 2-cubic-feet-volumes, you will need 108 bags, each of which costs from $5 to $8, to fill that massive bed. Expect this route to cost you from $540 to $864!
Fortunately, it is much more economical to make your own soil. Though it is a bit time-consuming, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on bagged soil. Moreover, developing your own soil from native materials at hand is much more earth-friendly, and you can definitely get satisfaction.
Instead of relying on your existing constructed bed, you can form a raised bed, raise the bed level, or sometimes provide a barrier to weeds by edging the soil on the ground. Let’s see these simple steps below to cut out soil and create perfect botanical edges!
Step 1: Plan & prepare for the edging
- Remove all of the existing edging materials
- Find out where you want to set the edge line
- Make an ideal guide to follow right after cutting the actual edges
Step 2: Create (or re-create) an edge
Those who want to create a new bed can use a garden hose to mark their expected lines while those who want to freshen up their existing bed can get started with the right tool.
Traditionally, you can use either a half-moon edger or a sharp spade to move along the lines that have been set out while those who want a greater job of cutting curves can go for a more efficient tool with a circular blade on its wheels.
Step 3: Remove the turf
Step 4: Hone the edge
Step 5: Mulch the bed
Which is the most budget-friendly option?
All of the three methods above are cost-effective. While those having a tall raised bed garden will find it much easier and cheaper to use lasagna gardening, botanical edging is meant for those having a good yard with fertile soil or those having to take care of a big-sized property.
The only tradeoff to have raised beds is that once you are careless, it will cost you a lot. Fortunately, the cheapest ways to fill a raised bed garden listed above will allow you to get your own garden much healthier with the least amount of time and money spent on preparation.