Filling the entire raised bed with healthy soil is undoubtedly an elegant way. However, it is quite expensive. It is wise to consider filling an raised garden bed at a low price, rather than spending a lot of money, especially if you plan to have several raised beds. Savana will show you other cheaper ways to fill an raised bed.

raised garden bed

 1. Core Gardening Method

This method is relatively easy to do. It creates a "sponge" in the center of the raised bed. It is designed to maintain moisture on your raised bed and spread two feet of moisture in both directions. Here are four simple steps on how to perform this method.

  • Cardboard must be placed at the bottom of the raised garden bed to prevent grass or weeds from sprouting.
  • Dig a 10 inch deep trench in the center of the soil.
  • Next, fill the core with organic materials such as dry leaves, grass cuttings or branches. However, the most recommended material is straw.
  • After filling with organic materials, cover your core with high-quality soil. You can use cheap garden soil or topsoil, fertilizer, compost or vegetables.

Using this method can reduce the number of times you need to water your garden and is cost-effective. You can collect leaves or cut newspapers without spending money. Or, if you prefer to use a straw, the most recommended one is that you still don't need to spend too much money.

2. Hugelkultur Method

Another cheap way to fill an raised garden bed is the Hugelkultur method. It may seem complicated, but it is actually easy and effective.

It is beneficial to bury logs on raised beds because you don't need too much soil. This is why the use of large logs can become an effective organic material, which can be used to fill raised beds cheaply.

  • You can find grass cuttings, branches, branches, logs and other decaying materials.
  • Then, they are buried deep in the soil. The soil quickly breaks down these substances and produces nutrients that help plants grow.

 raised garden bed

3. Ruth Stout Method

Ruth Stout is a traditional gardening method, which is easy for even new gardeners to do. You can ensure that the raised bed is full by following these steps:

  • Collect a pile of wood chips, branches, leaves and other organic mulch in the soil.
  • Dig 6 inches into the sawdust layer and plant them in the soil. Make sure you know the type of sawdust to use.

In the process, it will provide nutrients for vegetables and help the soil retain water.

4. Lasagna Gardening Method

The Lasagna Gardening Method is to stack organic materials on the raised garden bed soil layer. Basically, this method consists of multiple layers of organic material in the garden bed.

Here are three steps to implement this gardening method:

  • Put cardboard on the bottom to prevent weeds from sprouting. This will be the first layer and will be decomposed over time.
  • Use organic materials to create the second layer. For example, grass chips and straw can be used. It is better to put absorbent organic waste into this layer.
  • Next, create a third layer and fill it with green waste such as dry leaves and vegetables.
  • Cover it with topsoil or compost.

Suppose you want to use this strategy to increase the height of the garden bed. You can continue to add layers until you reach the desired bed height.

raised garden bed

5. Buy Soil in Bulk

You may think it is acceptable to fill the entire planting bed with the cheapest garden soil, because it is cheaper than pot soil.

Buying a separate bag of soil can cost you a lot, especially if you plan to build a lot of raised beds. When you need to fill your garden bed with it, you may spend 3 to 5 dollars per bag.

However, this is not recommended because this cheap soil used for gardens can decompose humus and organic matter faster.

The raised bed needs a kind of soil, which can produce nutrients from organic components, thus enriching plants for a long time.

Therefore, you need the right type of soil. The recommended soil proportion is 60% topsoil or garden soil, 30% compost and 10% potted soil.

Buying bulk garden soil and potted soil is really the best way to get cheap soil.


Now that you know that using organic materials is the cheapest way to fill an raised bed, all you have to do is decide which method to use!

If you want sponge technology, please try the core gardening method; If you want to decompose quickly, please use the Hugelkultur method or thousand layer gardening!

Have you considered the traditional way? Try the Ruth Stout method. Do you plan to make multiple raised beds? Consider buying soil in bulk!

I hope you learned a lot from this article and can make cheap but wonderful raised beds in your garden!



December 13, 2022

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