Cheap Ways to Fill a Raised Bed Cheaply

If you’re a gardener who wants to have a raised bed but isn’t willing or able to pay top-dollar for the materials, there are many cheap ways to fill a raised bed. From layering organic material to using free garden waste, you can get your beds filled without spending a fortune.

Before you even start building your beds, gather a bunch of different organic materials and compost them together to make your own homemade soil. This way you’ll be able to save money on purchasing expensive soil and also help your plants retain water and nutrients.

This method involves putting newspaper or cardboard on the bottom of the bed, then layering grass clippings, leaves and other garden debris such as twigs and branches in layers until the whole bed is covered. This will slowly decompose and add organic matter to the bed while helping the roots of your vegetables to grow deep into it.

You can also add a layer of logs to your raised bed to help with the drainage. This will keep the bed from becoming too wet and muddy, but the wood will also slow down the decomposition of the other organic materials you put in the bed.

Grass clippings, old leaves, twigs, branch trimmings and soiled hay are another great addition to the bed as they can easily be found for free around your property. This helps with the moisture retention of the bed and also provides your vegetables with nutrients and other beneficial bacteria to help them grow.

Another way to fill your raised bed cheaply is by adding a layer of wood chips to the soil. You can purchase these at the dollar store for less than a buck, so they’re a cheap way to help your veggies retain moisture.

You can also use railroad ties, sandbags or even just old scrap wood to fill your raised beds as long as it’s treated with a preservative and not made from untreated pine or cedar which may leach toxic chemicals into the soil. Old railroad ties can be purchased from local rail companies for free or at a low cost. You can also find rot-resistant railroad ties at hardware stores or Home Depot.