Do you want to start growing plants and vegetables in a raised bed, but don’t want the expense of having to buy lots of compost? What is best to fill a raised bed for your plants
Here are the 5 stages of how to fill a raised bed using things from around your garden.
Build your raised bed
I use the raised bed kits from B&Q, you can either use one on its own or stack them. For this project I am growing potatoes and leeks in it, so wanted some depth, so stacked two. But I also have a single raised bed that I have grown all kinds of veg in using the same method, just do thinner layers.
You can build a raised bed out of old wood, or bricks, or anything that will keep the soil inside secure.
Layer 1 – Cardboard
Cover the ground inside the raised bed with cardboard, I used boxes, remove any tape first and ideally they should have the least amount of print on them.
Then water the cardboard well, so it is soaked but not falling apart
The cardboard will stop any grass / weeds coming through if you are placing it on grass or soil etc.
Layer 2 – Sticks, twigs, and cuttings
I went around the garden and cut down old branches and other sticks, anything will do, it doesn’t matter if it’s fresh or old / dead. It will all break down.
Layer 3 – Dead Leaves
Great motivation for a good tidy up of the garden and adding a layer of old dead leaves – more food for the worms!
Layer 4 – Compost from old planters and tubs
I had lots of tubs, pots, and bags from last year that I used next, the compost will still have goodness in it, and it is a great way to re use it. I was really delighted to find lots of worms in my pots too, these will be a great help in breaking down the leaves and other layers and enriching the soil further.
Layer 5 – New compost & manure
Your final layer is new compost and manure, use the best you can for the projects you are planning on planting. If that is just basic compost in big bags, then use that. If your budget allows buy something peat-free and better quality.
And if you have the budget then get some manure, I chose some odourless chicken manure* as we have had issues with the dog and foxes digging up other manure before. So trialing this to see if it helps.
Mix the manure and soil for the final layer.
Don’t fill it right to the top, as when you water it will run off.
And you are ready to plant your raised bed