If you’re looking to plant a variety of flowers throughout your garden but have limited space or poor soil, a raised flower bed garden can make excellent and optimal use of your gardening space.
However, planting flowers comes with a lot of responsibility, especially when deciding how to fill the flower bed. Only garden enthusiasts are aware of how expensive it can be to buy soil. In fact, many people often quit their gardening plants altogether because they can’t afford it.
Well, luckily, you don’t need to give up on your gardening plans so soon. We have lined up some of the cheapest ways to fill your flower bed to build an attractive, thriving garden this year.
Although the name might sound a bit unconventional to you, the hugelkultur method is an excellent budget-friendly way to fill up your flower bed.
Unlike its name, hugelkultur is a relatively simple method that involves burying vast quantities of rotting debris underneath the soil. From organic matter to wooden sticks and large logs, you can add these materials to your soil. Given that you add big pieces of organic materials, it will be a few years before you’ll need to add more soil.
When using this method, make sure to fill your flower bed at least 10 inches deep, and fill the gaps between the big pieces of material with small pieces of rotting matter, such as grass clippings, leaves grass trimmings, etc.
The lasagna gardening method is quite similar to the hugelkultur method mentioned above. However, the only difference is that just like lasagna, this method is also largely concerned with layers. You start by laying a layer of cardboard to repress the grass, and then add a layer of leaves that is followed by additional cardboard. This layering method helps build your very own compost inside your flower bed, making it convenient for you to immediately plant your flowers.
With this simple gardening method, you will have to make a sponge down the middle of your flower bed to allow the core to hold water. Using the method will keep your flower bed well-hydrated, reduce the growth of weeds, make the roots healthier and stronger, and reduce pest and disease-related problems.
You can go about this method by digging a trench about two feet down the center and ten inches deep of your flower bed. You can put a few cardboard layers to kill any grass or weeds and then fill the core using straw bales, grass clippings, leaves, or old twigs. A mixture of these materials will also work.
After filling the core for at least four to five inches with this organic matter, water it abundantly so that it has enough moisture for your flowers throughout the season. The last step is to fill the rest of the bed with soil or compost.
Although this method doesn’t completely eliminate the need for soil, it can reduce the amount of soil you add since the core itself takes up a lot of space.
Homemade compost makes for a great addition to your flower beds. Although this is not the fastest way to fill up a flower bed, if you get an early kick start on your compost pile (perhaps a year), you will have enough age compost to fill your flower beds generously.
Animal manure, kitchen scraps, and grass clippings make for the best compost ingredients. However, you always have the opportunity to add other types of brown and green matter to help put together healthy soil.
Soil In Bulk
If you have no other option but to buy soil at the store to fill your flower bed, avoid buying multiple small bags of soil. Most gardening stores offer considerable discounts if you purchase soil by truckload. So, the cheapest option, in this case, would be to buy soil in bulk.
Adding some animal manure to your flower bed can help boost the soil. However, this highly depends on when you’re planning to plant your flowers. It is preferable to avoid placing fresh animal manure on your flower bed since the smell can be unbearable for most. Also, it is highly recommended that you only use manures of cow, chicken, sheep, horse, and goat. It is important to avoid manure from cats, dogs, pigs, and humans.
Also, a significant aspect of adding manure to your flower bed is that it requires a lot of time to break down. So, if you’re looking to fill a flower bed that won’t be planted for a few years, then this method works amazing. However, you should never plant immediately after filling your flower bed with manure.
If you don’t have space to start a large compost pile in your yard but still want to fill up your flower bed in a budget-friendly way, adding worm castings can help. Worm castings are basically worm poop. Although it might sound disgusting, but they are a great compost form that can easily be created in a small space of your yard. To do this, you simply need to get a worm bin and feeding them kitchen scrap. Once you have ample amounts of worm castings, add them to your flower bed.
Regardless of the method, you choose to fill up your flower bed, don’t forget to add elements that will promote good aeration of the soil. Soil is generally filled with living things, such as fungi and worms that need oxygen to survive. Materials such as pumice, lava rock, and perlite are a great budget-friendly way to fill up your flower bed while ensuring that your soil is in its best state. For the best outcome, make sure that your soil is at least 20% aerated.
Once you’ve chosen one of the cheapest ways to fill your flower bed, are you ready to start filling up your raised bed? Well, ideally, we’d recommend that you fill your flower beds at least a few weeks or months before planting so that the soil has time to settle and adapt to the environmental factors.