fill a raised garden bed

3 Cheap and Easy Ways to fill a raised garden bed

Are you looking for a fast and affordable way to fill a raised garden bed and get started on your gardening journey? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the easiest and most cost-effective ways to fill a raised garden bed and get you growing in no time!  

Creating a raised garden bed can be an attractive and efficient way to grow your plants, but it can come with a hefty cost. It’s wise to save money when creating multiple beds, rather than spend a fortune on them. So what are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to fill raised beds? Let’s break it down.

fill a raised garden bed

3 Methods to Fill a Raised Garden Bed

Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting ready to fill a raised garden bed:

  • Healthy soil will help you produce healthy plants in your raised bed.
  • Gardening success depends on healthy soil; the kind that is full of nutrients and air, and loose enough to provide plants and soil organisms with water. The ideal soil is deep and crumbly, so that it can hold the right amount of water for plants to absorb while allowing any excess rainwater to quickly filter through.
  • Organic matter is a major contributor to soil health. Most garden and landscape plants benefit from increases in soil organic matter. The organic matter content in a raised bed containing garden soil, should be 25%-50% by volume or 5%-15% by weight. 

1. The Hugelkultur Method

If you’re looking for an innovative way to grow your plants, using the hugelkultur method to fill a raised bed may be the perfect option for you! Hugelkultur is an amazing permaculture gardening technique that utilizes wood and organic matter to create a living, self-sustaining soil-building system. This method helps to conserve water, promote healthy soil development, and even reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides. With hugelkultur, you can create an abundant, sustainable, and efficient garden that will last for years to come. Read more about the hugelkultur gardening method here: Hugelkultur: An Amazing Permaculture Gardening Technique

To achieve this, just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Pile wood, logs, branches, wood chips in the bottom of the raised bed. 
  2. Add layers of organic materials: grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, manure, compost.
  3. Finish with topsoil. 

2. The Lasagna Method

The Lasagna Gardening Method is an easy and effective way to create a thriving garden. You can create an abundant garden bed by layering organic materials and soil in a repeating pattern. 

To use this method to fill a raised garden bed, start by laying down a layer of organic material, such as cardboard, newspaper, straw, or mulch. Top this layer with a layer of soil, and then repeat the process with additional organic material. As the layers build up, they will help to create a rich, fertile environment that will promote healthy plant growth and provide beneficial nutrients to your plants. By using this method, you can easily create a beautiful and productive garden with minimal effort.

Here are the three steps you can follow to do this type of gardening method:

  1. Line the bottom of the raised bed with cardboard to suppress grass and weed growth. This will serve as the first layer of your lasagna garden and will decompose over time.
  2. The second layer of your lasagna garden should be made with organic materials that absorb water. Grass clippings and straw are common choices.
  3. Next, create the third layer and fill it with green wastes like compostable kitchen scraps like eggshells, vegetable peelings, and coffee grounds. 
  4. Lastly, cover it with topsoil or compost.

3. The Core Gardening Method

An innovative gardening approach, this method is great for conserving water and growing healthy plants. It is somewhat similar to the hugelkultur gardening method, but without the need for large mounds of material.

Core gardening is a smart way to make the most of your garden, especially in areas with limited water resources. The idea is to build up the core of your garden bed starting at the base, then cover it with healthy soil. This core acts as a reservoir, allowing water to slowly wick out over the entire garden throughout the growing season. This approach originated in the Middle East and sub-Sahara desert region, where it is commonly used to conserve water and maintain sustainable gardens. By core gardening, you can reduce the frequency of watering and enjoy a flourishing garden!

Follow these steps to try your hand at the core gardening method for filling a raised garden bed: 

  1. Cover the bottom of the garden bed with cardboard. Cardboard smothers the grass, and over time, it breaks down, adding nutrients to your soil. 
  2. Add garden soil on top of the cardboard. 
  3.  Make a trench 8-10 inches deep horizontally down the middle of your raised bed. 
  4.  Add organic materials to your trench.
  5. Lastly, cover your organic material trench with a healthy layer of nutrient-packed topsoil. Aim to pile on the soil at least 5 inches deep. It’s important to add enough topsoil so that the roots of your plants have plenty of depth to spread out naturally.

Here are some materials you can add to the core of your garden:

  • Dried grass
  • Planting cuttings
  • Composted manure 
  • Coffee grounds
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Straw
  • Hay 
  • Bark
  • Wood Chips
  • Branches
  • Twigs 
raised bed garden


Congratulations on taking the first step towards creating a beautiful and bountiful raised garden bed! By following these three simple and inexpensive steps to fill a raised garden bed, you can get your raised garden up and running in no time. 

Now that you have gotten started, take the time to explore other articles and resources about gardening and permaculture to help you get the most out of your experience. With the right resources, you can create a thriving and sustainable garden that will provide you with years of joy and satisfaction. Happy gardening!

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