How to: Fill a Raised Garden Bed with Soil for Free!
This empty garden bed began its life a compost bin. The only thing not in was food scraps (this was done to reduce the likelihood of mice, but you can definitely go down that road if you wish). This is a very large raised garden bed so it took at least 3 years to have soil that could be planted in. You can speed the process up a lot by wetting, mixing and covering the heap with leaves, soil or grass clippings.
Adding chook poo really speeds things up. If you don’t have chooks ask someone who does if you could have some of theirs. Or get some – chooks are awesome 😉
This method is totally free, although you do need patience!
Add grass clippings, prunings (if you keep your prunings less than 10cm it will break down faster), chook poo and all the dug up plants from end of seasons. (Plants are normally better to composted, but since this is effectively a monster compost you’ll be fine). You can also score free straw, poo and leaves from various places around town – see our previous article on doing things on the cheap.
If you find yourself in a cafe, ask for leftover coffee grounds – they’ll often kick-start a compost heap, although you should make sure you keep the ratio of coffee grounds to everything else below 1:5.
Don’t forget to nab fallen leaves in Autumn – it’s amazing how much free carbon you can find around the streets! All you need to do is keep adding, layering, mixing, wetting, covering with fine layers of soil and eventually you’ll find yourself with your very own home-made garden bed full of soil. For free!
This post was originally found on the Dutchy and Rose Facebook page – check ’em out, they’ve got good frugal tips on gardening!