Garden Hack: Frugal Container Gardening When Using Potting Soil

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Yikes! The price of potting soil keeps increasing!  I use this Garden Hack to save money when planting container gardens with the added bonus of recycling household items to use less potting soil. 

Garden container filled with bricks and potting soil.


How To Save Money And Potting Soil

If you have a container garden or flower display then this is a gardening trick for you! This gardening hack works great for large containers to save money and save your back when moving the container around.

Large pots and containers require alot! of potting soil and are heavy to move around the house. This little tip will save you money and recycle items while using less potting soil.

I learned this gardening trick many years ago and use it faithfully every year. I have utilized many different household items and am happy to report they all work well.

Simply fill your container or flower pot 3/4 full with materials that are not potting soil and then you add your potting soil.

TIP: Fill The Pot – With Recyclables First Not Potting Soil !

Flower Hack: Fill Flower Pots With Bricks

This year I used old bricks to fill up the container for annuals. Yes, bricks that were laying around waiting for a new home in the garage. I’m not sure what the green plant is as it spontaneously grew this spring. A little gift from the birds. I decided to keep it  – for now!

Garden Hack: How To Fill Planters With Filler Material

I filled my large container with bricks.
Garden hack for container gardening. Save money. recycle and use less potting soil!


Then I poured potting soil in the container and around the bricks. Leave enough space at the top of the container to plant the annuals.

I filled my large container with bricks.

Transplant your annuals and fill the rest of the container with dirt. Enjoy your flowers and enjoy the savings!

I filled my large container with bricks.


When I don’t Use the Garden Hack

Tomato plants are first on my list; the root systems need the entire container. Any vegetable plant which has a robust root system would not be a candidate for this gardening trick.

I definitely do and have used this potting soil trick for pretty much all container gardens in the northern United States. We have a very short garden season of four months if we are lucky so this is a perfect way to use less potting soil and garden on a budget.

Materials Suitable To Fill Pots – Gardening Tip

I have found that any household item that can withstand water is a great choice to fill up the pot before adding potting soil.

A few of my favorites to fill the bottom of a pot for container gardening:

  • Air filled packing bags
  • Plastic bottles with cap on
  • Gallon milk jugs with cap on
  • Boxes sealed in plastic bag
  • Bubble wrap
  • Old plastic silverware and plates
  • Pop cans
  • Old cut up garden hose

Dollar Store Gardening

This is the perfect way to utilize the dollar store for your container garden. Simply buy your containers and the potting soil at the Dollar Store; I am very lucky to have a dollar store close by which carries quality potting soil.

Another potting soil purchasing tip! Is dragging bags of potting soil from the store to the car to your home bothersome? I compared prices of potting soil from the bricks and mortar to Amazon and found the prices were the same or less expensive.

As a Prime member the potting soil is delivered to your doorstep. Now that was so incredibly convenient! The Expand n Gro potting soil is deceptive as one bag goes along way ! The potting mixture expands with water to fill the containers.

More Garden !

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  1. Have a feeling your plant in the pot is actually a weed……could be a stinging nettle, get it out of there and use gloves unless you like itchy scratchy hands and arms……

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