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“I don’t like spending money on stupid things,” proclaims Ashley a.k.a. Sonoma.Mama on TikTok. “And you know what’s stupid? The price of potting soil.”

Anyone with a raised garden bed would have to agree. Filling those suckers to the brim is a total money pit, and frankly isn’t that great for raised garden beds at all. Instead, Ashley suggests turning to your yard’s bounty to not only fill them up, but to allow adequate drainage.

Ashley shows off her raised garden bed and inside it looks like a mess.

But we promise it is a mess with a purpose. Inside you’ll get a peek at how she fills up her beds, and you’ll see everything from leaves to sticks to grass trimmings. She then instructs you to put down a layer of sticker and tape free cardboard and then gives you permission to dump your potting soil in there.

This technique works for flower gardens as well as vegetable gardens, so no matter what you’re trying to grow in the backyard, it’ll be hit.

Thanks Ashley for saving us some big bucks this year, we’ll definitely be working smarter and not harder in our gardens!