(13 Ways): How To Fill A Raised Garden Bed Cheap

Here learn super easy and budget-friendly ways how to fill a raised garden bed cheaply this blog. Raised garden beds are becoming the preferred option for plantations among gardeners due to various purposes.

Since raised beds for gardening have various advantages over conventional in-ground gardens, they have become an increasingly common option among gardeners.

They may be constructed in a number of different shapes and dimensions, which makes them appropriate for both tiny and big places.

Additionally, raised garden beds enable improved soil drainage, elevated soil temperature, and enhanced soil quality control.

Yet choosing the proper soil mixture for the raised garden bed constitutes one of the most vital points in the building process.

The measures you have to take to fill a raised garden bed correctly will be covered in this article to help your plants prosper and yield a bountiful crop.

Select The Perfect Area For Raised Garden Bed

Select The Perfect Area For Raised Garden Bed

Before we proceed to the numerous ways for filling your raised garden bed. First, understand how important is the location of your garden bed.

No matter what you use to fill your garden, if not placed in the right direction will not give you the best harvest for your vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

The proper location must be chosen before you fill a raised garden bed. A site that gets a minimum of six to eight hours of light from the sun each day is the best choice for a raised garden bed.

Additionally, the space needs to be level with sufficient drainage. To make watering easier, if at all possible, pick a position near an adequate supply of water.

It’s crucial to take the atmosphere in your surroundings into account. Avoid walking through busy areas because this can harm your plants.

You might want to think about constructing a barrier against the wind to safeguard your plants if the region is subject to severe wind gusts.

Furthermore, avoid placing your vegetable garden close to any huge plants or trees that can compete with it for nourishment and water.

You can proceed to choose the ideal soil once you have determined the ideal placement for your raised garden bed.

How To Fill A Raised Garden Bed Cheap?

Super cheap ways to fill your raised garden bed

1. Make Use Of Compost Along With Manure:

Compost and manure are excellent options for the filling of raised beds because of their high nutrient and organic matter content.

Waste from the kitchen, fallen leaves, and grass clippings can all be used to make compost at home.

You can get manure from nearby farms, and most of the time it won’t cost you anything or will only be a very small amount.


  • Provides high nutritional content
  • Improves soil structure
  • Reuse of food scraps and garden debris results in a reduction in waste.


  • Composting at home is a labor-intensive process.
  • Raw manure has the potential to harbor weed seeds as well as diseases.
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2. Right Soil

The next step in this process is choosing the soil mix for your garden bed. One of the crucial points is that it must be loose, have nutrients, and have good drainage.

It is important to employ a high-quality soil mix. For a mixture to be good, you need to add compost and garden soil in equal parts, and sometimes a bit of soil can help too.

If you are not interested in making the mix yourself, there are many different mixes in the market to buy.

how to fill a raised garden bed with soil

Don’t use the soil that is already in your garden; it may have weeds or pests in it, which can lead to diseases and low yield for your plants. You must use fresh soil.

Use slightly acidic soil because almost all plants survive in this range.

Always opt for soil that does not contain any synthetic material like pesticides and fertilizers. These are harmful to the atmosphere.

Add perlite or vermiculite as they can help improve soil drainage and aeration, essential for healthy root growth.

Once you have selected the right soil for your raised garden bed, you can move on to adding compost or organic matter.

3. Using Compost In Soil Mix

Compost in your garden bed is extremely beneficial. Adding organic matter can elevate its properties and can become the source of nutrients needed for the plantation.

The compost is the decaying organic matter like fruit peels, dead leaves, and decaying vegetables which are of no use to you but can definitely work wonders in a raised garden bed.

The compost with high nutrients is supposed to be of dark color, with a crumbly texture, and it must give off the sweet smell of earth.

You can purchase compost from your local nursery or garden center or make your own.

how to fill a raised garden bed with soil Mix

Fill a raised garden bed with a layer of compost at the end of the bed; this is the first layer in the bed before adding the soil mix.

These materials will help improve soil structure and water retention.

Additionally, well-rotten manure can also become a source of food for the soil. A single layer of aged manure improves the quality of the soil.

Now evenly mix the organic matter with the traditional soil mix to ensure even nutrient distribution throughout the soil.

In addition to this, the next step is to fill the raised garden bed with fertilizer. Learn below how to obtain the right fertilizer for your garden bed.

4. Layer Your Garden Bed with cardboard

Filling raised garden beds with cardboard is another cheap way to fill your raised garden bed.

Adding newspaper or cardboard to the bottom of your elevated vegetable bed can aid in weed control and enhance soil moisture retention.

Here are some pointers for piling newspaper or cardboard in your raised plant bed:

Use an extensive covering of newspaper or cardboard to kill weeds successfully. A minimum of 5–6 sheets are ideal.

Spray the newspaper or cardboard to make it more adherent and less prone to tearing or flying away. To avoid weeds from bursting through the spaces, cover the newspaper or cardboard’s edges.

After you have put newspaper or cardboard on the bottom of your raised garden bed, add an additional layer of soil on top. This will aid in keeping the cardboard or newspaper in place.

Manure and soil mixture should be added after the soil layer.

  • First, add a layer of compost, manure, or different organic matter. Your crops will benefit from a nutrient-rich environment as a result.
  • You may lessen the growth of weeds and enhance the retention of soil moisture by stacking your raised garden bed with newspaper or cardboard.
  • Your crops can grow stronger and healthier as a result.

5. Add Gravel Layer

You can employ a spread of gravel and stones to improve the soil structure.

A layer at the very bottom of the bed of about 3 inches of small rocks can help with water draining and allow the soil to dry easily.

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You should also add a weed fabric layer after this layer and then put the compost and the soil to ensure plant development and no root decaying.


  • Gravel reduces root rot by improving drainage.
  • It prevents soil erosion through drainage holes or timber bed fractures.
  • Gravel adds weight to the base, stabilizing higher raised beds.


  • Reduced Planting Depth: Gravel occupies soil space, reducing plant root depth.
  • Roots may struggle to penetrate heavy layers, limiting growth.
  • Gravel-layered beds are heavy and hard to move. Removing pebbles can be difficult if you change your bed.

6. Hugelkultur:

To implement this technique, you will need to fill your garden bed with decaying wood and other organic materials.

The wood will help your plants retain water and will degrade slowly, supplying nutrients over a longer period of time.


  • Excellent capacity to retain water.
  • Nutrient absorption occurs gradually over time.
  • Beneficial utilization of garden debris such as broken branches.


  • Access to adequate materials made of wood is required.
  • The initial setup might be time-consuming and labor-intensive in some cases.

7. Purchases Made in Collaboration:

You might want to think about purchasing soil, compost, or other additives in bulk with your friends, neighbors, or the local gardening club. It has the potential to save costs dramatically.


  • Reduces individual costs
  • Creates ties within the community


  • Needs to be coordinated with other people.
  • There is a possibility that the quantity will be excessive for smaller gardens.

8. Find Free Fill:

Verify this information with local landscaping companies, municipal parks, or trash management agencies.

They frequently have extra soil, compost, or wood chips that they are happy to donate for free or sell at a reduced price.


  • Economical or available at no cost
  • Lessens the amount of trash.


  • Both the quality and the availability can be difficult to forecast.
  • May require transit arrangements

9. Produce Green Manures by Growing:

Plant crops that mature quickly, such as beans or clover, and then dig their roots back into the ground. They contribute nutrients and organic materials, which over time help to improve the soil.


  • Increases the amount of nutrients present in the soil
  • Reduces the risk of soil erosion and keeps weeds at bay.


  • It takes some time to develop and integrate.
  • It’s possible that it’ll compete with other plants for room and light.

10. Utilise Materials That Have Been Recycled

Raised garden beds can be filled with a variety of materials, including eggshells, coffee grounds, shredded newspaper, and cardboard.

To obtain free materials, inquire at your neighborhood coffee shops or recycling facilities.


  • Cheap available at no cost
  • Utilization of the amount of trash.


  • There is often a wide range of both quality and nutrient density.
  • It may take some time for certain materials to decompose.

11. filling raised garden beds with logs

The practice of producing a growing environment that is productive and capable of retaining moisture by stuffing raised garden beds with logs.

Which is often known as the hugelkultur method, is becoming an increasingly popular method.

Initially, a base made of logs is created within the elevated bed, and then layers of various organic materials are stacked on top of it.

The Use of Logs: Some Benefits and Drawbacks

The use of logs to construct raised beds comes with its own special set of benefits, but there are also some drawbacks.

When thinking about going with this choice, make sure to weigh both of these positives and cons.

12. filling raised garden beds with straw

Straw is a multipurpose substance that can be applied to the ground either as a mulch or as an amendment to the soil.

It is possible to assist establish a growing environment in raised garden beds that is loose and well-draining, which is great for many different kinds of plants.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Straw

When used in raised garden beds, straw, like any other material, has both positives and negatives associated with its utilization.

If you have an understanding of these, it will be easier for you to assess whether or not it is the best option for your garden.

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Once raised bed is filled: Water The Bed

After adding the soil mix, the next step is to water the bed.

To make sure the water reaches the roots of your plants, water your raised garden bed thoroughly in the morning.

To lower the danger of disease, regularly check the soil moisture and steer clear of overhead irrigation.

For efficient watering, thinking about employing a drip system or even a soaker hose would suffice.

Time To Fertilize The Soil Of Your Raised Garden

Adding fertilizer to your raised garden bed can provide your plants with additional nutrients that may be lacking in the soil.

However, you must select and use fertilizer sparingly and employ the correct kind of fertilizer for the bed. Here are some tips for adding fertilizer to your raised garden bed:

You need to examine the soil before adding fertilizer. Using a soil test kit to is a good idea to analyze the soil and detect what nutrients may not be present in it.

Selecting the correct fertilizer for your soil is quite an important part of filling a raised garden bed. Not every fertilizer is the same.

There are varying ratios of nutrients in each, and you need to choose the one that has the highest nutrient that your soil lacks and then add it so the deficiency is overcome.

Another type of fertilizer that is all the rage today is organic fertilizer.

This fertilizer not only promotes sustainable farming but also ensures that there is the least impact of the chemicals on the soil and that the land thrives, producing crops all the time.

These organic fertilizers contain fish, bone, and blood meal; these act as slow-release fertilizers for the crops.

Do not overdo it with fertilizer. Synthetic or organic fertilizers should be used in minimal quantities so that nature’s balance in the soil is not disrupted. The issues like nutrient burn are due to over-fertilization of the soil.

You can also use liquid fertilizers because they are easier to use; you only have to spray them on the top of the plant or the soil surface but make sure never to overdo it.

how to fill a raised garden bed on legs FAQs

Q: How Deep To Fill A Raised Garden Bed

It is important to tailor the depth of a raised garden bed to the specific plants that you intend to cultivate; but, in general, a depth of between 6 and 12 inches is adequate for the majority of plants.

Q: How High To Fill A Raised Garden Bed

Raised garden beds should have 6–12 inches of soil. However, deep-rooted vegetables like carrots and potatoes benefit from 18–24 inches of soil.

Q: Can I Add sand In My Garden Bed?

It is normally not advised to add sand to the bottom of an elevated garden bed, despite the fact that doing so can enhance drainage.

In fact, sand can cause soil to become more consolidated, which can harm plant health and root development.

Instead, it is advised to mulch the soil with a few inches of organic material or compost, which can eventually improve the soil’s structure and draining.

Wrapping It Up

In a nutshell, a raised garden bed’s proper filling is essential to providing your plants with a healthy growth environment.

The procedure involves several crucial steps, including picking the ideal location, selecting the ideal soil, adding compost or other organic matter, and covering the bed with newspaper or cardboard.

Although adding a layer of sand is not advised, adding gravel or rocks can help with drainage.

Last but not least, correctly watering your raised garden bed is essential to ensuring that your plants have access to enough moisture to grow robustly and healthily.

You may build a flourishing raised garden bed with these instructions and take pleasure in a plentiful crop of fresh fruits and veggies.