If you’re getting into container gardening and raised beds, you’re likely quickly realizing how expensive good soil is. Here’s a simple hack to help with that problem.
At the end of the day, if you want healthy and nutritious yields from your home garden, you’ll want good soil. But for anybody who has fallen in love with the idea of simple-at-home-gardening—especially by way of the best-selling book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Batholomew—there’s probably a bit of sticker shock associated with getting up and running.
Bartholomew’s “Mel’s Mix” is amazing stuff that I can personally vouch for, but the different soils, composts, and such you blend together to make it is very pricey. When I set up my square foot gardens, I spent more on the soil blend than I spent on everything else involved in the endeavor combined. Even if you don’t blend up his borderline-magical mixture, plain old potting soil isn’t dirt cheap (despite being, you know, dirt).
Over at Epic Gardening, they’re big fans of good soil and high planting beds (at over six feet tall the channel founder Kevin Espiritu really doesn’t enjoy bending all the way down the ground). Like us, they’re also fans of not spending a fortune on soil. Here’s their simple solution:
While we recommend watching the video because Kevin’s great and the Epic Gardening videos are a fantastic resource, here’s the ten-second summary for the impatient. Take advantage of the organic matter waste from around your yard—logs, tree trimmings, gathered up weeds and leaves, the bulkier and firmer the organic waste the better—and backfill your containers. A 36″ planter doesn’t need 36″ of rich soil to grow plants that only have 12″ roots, after all.
For more cool backyard gardening tips and tricks be sure to check out the full channel.