Since the containers for the deck garden are going to be on an elevated deck, I decided to implement a trick that I’d read about. Rather than filling the entire container with dirt, I’d use some sort of filler. The plants don’t need a full 18 inches of soil so I used empty plastic bottles as filler based on the recommended amount of soil for each plant type. In square foot gardening, the plants in a raised bed garden only need six inches of soil but it is a very different kind of soil. A deck garden is a little different and my biggest concern is the weight of the deck garden containers and toting them up 25 feet of steps!
Filler Before Soil in the Deck Garden Containers
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Deck Garden Containers can Contain Too Much Soil
A container that is 18 inches deep can easily contain too much soil and be impossible to move. Filling the deck garden containers with empty plastic jars can take up space without adding weight and volume. Large empty plastic containers for plants that need shallow soil. With this shallow container, I’m going to use regular garden soil instead of a special soil mixture more suited to rain drip irrigation.
Medium empty plastic containers for plants that need medium depth soil.
And small empty plastic containers for plants that need deeper soil.
Summary of Deck Garden Container Fills
It’s easy to overload your deck garden containers with too much soil or the wrong kind of soil. Empty plastic bottles work well to fill space without adding weight or volume. Use different sizes to adjust the depth based on the needs of each plant’s root system in your deck garden container. Next, the soil!