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How to Fill a Raised Garden Bed When You’re On a Budget

Filling a raised garden bed gets expensive fast.

You need at least 6-12” of good soil depending on what you’re planting, and root vegetables (like potatoes and carrots) require a minimum of 12”.

For a raised bed that’s 12 ft long x 4 ft wide x 2 ft tall, you need 48 cu ft of soil to get it 12” deep, and that leaves you with 12” of space between your soil and the top of the garden bed if you don’t put anything else underneath.

You don’t want to pick just any soil, and especially not the cheapest soil on the shelf. Choosing soil that’s lacking in the right nutrients for a raised garden bed will lead to dead or wimpy plants that don’t produce a good yield.

So, how much is all that soil going to cost you? Let’s do a little math to find out.

Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil will cost you $8.98 per 1 cu ft from Lowe’s at the time this article was written. That means you need 48 bags to fill your garden bed 12” deep. 

48 X $8.98 = $431.04

Yikes! And that’s only enough soil to fill one bed halfway up. Think about how many plants you’re going to grow and how much space they’ll need. A raised bed that’s only 12 ft long x 4 ft wide probably won’t be enough room for your whole garden.

To grow enough food to feed a family of 4 for a year, you’ll need at least three garden beds this size, if not more. That’s a lot of soil. And what about that extra 12” you need to top off your raised bed?

Let me show you how you can fill your garden beds with top-quality soil for less.

Where to Find Top-Quality Soil at the Best Price

When you need enough soil for a few raised garden beds, you’re better off looking for a local supplier that sells in bulk — like us.

Bulk suppliers charge you a much cheaper rate for larger quantities of soil, and some of them even offer delivery for a fee if you can’t haul it yourself.

Are you located in Chattanooga, TN, or the surrounding area?

WindWood bulk is located in Ringgold, GA. Our top-quality topsoil is priced at $27.00 per 16-17 cu.ft., and Windwood’s Planting Mix Compost, which is best used for raised vegetable gardens at $30.00 per 17 cu.ft. So either way, you can fill your raised garden beds for much less.

For example, you could fill a 12 ft x 4 ft x 2ft garden bed 12” deep for only $81 if you buy your topsoil from us, or $85.00 if you use our compost. 

Side note: If you choose topsoil, it’s best if you top it off with a layer of compost to give your raised bed the necessary nutrients for you to grow your healthiest garden plants.

You can find out more about our planting mix and what makes it unique here

Our pricing is subject to change, so make sure to check our pricing page for the most up to date information.

Now that you know where to get the most affordable top-quality soil, let’s talk about how you’re going to fill up the space that’s leftover in your 2 ft tall garden bed.

Recommended Reading: How to Start a Vegetable Garden: 6 Steps for Beginners

What to Put Underneath the Soil

The best thing you can do to save money on topsoil is to use a cheaper material underneath.

I recommend filling your 2 ft tall garden bed 6” deep with one of the materials listed below and then spread 12” of planting mix or topsoil over that. Again, if you use topsoil, add a generous layer of planting mix on top.

Some people like to use rocks at the bottom, but that can get pretty expensive too.

The best materials to use are organic materials that will decompose and create a rich layer of bottom soil. 

Materials you can use for this purpose are:

You can use all things listed above, either separately or in combination, to make your bottom layer.

Recommended Reading: How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden

Get Your Top-Quality Topsoil Now

Are you located in the Chattanooga area? 

Let WindWood bulk help you get the top-quality soil you need for less. Our all-natural, organic Planting Mix Compost is perfect for raised beds, flowers, shrubs, and vegetable gardens. Mix it with our topsoil, too, for your larger beds.

Our soil is so popular that even Rock City Gardens and Erlanger Hospital uses it for all their landscaping needs.

Need smaller amounts and want to purchase it by the bag? Simply visit your Chattanooga area Ace Hardware store and ask for a bag of WindWood Planting Mix or Planting Mix Plus.

Stop by our location today or give us a call to purchase bulk amounts of our top-quality soil you need to fill your raised garden bed without spending a lot of money.