DYI Wheelbarrow Alternative – Simple and Cheap

Gardening season is upon us in the southern part of the country. Northern gardeners already have some of their seeds started indoors for a few weeks now. The race is on to get those flowers and vegetables in the ground and growing. Bragging rights are at stake and bragging rights is serious gardening business.

I am caught up in the excitement of gardening this year too. The soil in my back yard is rock interspersed with some sand. The last rose bush I put in took a pick and shovel, and about 30 minutes of pick work to plant a gallon sized container. Creating a garden plot was unthinkable.

This year I am going to try raised bed gardening which does not care what soil conditions are because the soil is custom made, and mixed together before adding adding into a raised bed. I picked up a book case for $11.00. I found a portable closet for $12.00. The closet is eighteen inches deep, so I can cut it in half and have two raised beds.

I found a truck load of free compost. The compost owner even helped me shovel it in to the back of my truck. I bought peat moss, and steer manure from a Borg Store. I found 3 cubic feet of vermiculite at a local nursery.

The big problem was getting all that soil to the back yard. I owned a wheelbarrow previously. It was an average size wheelbarrow with a plastic barrow (what hold the dirt). Of course over time the plastic barrow became brittle and cracked apart. Plus it took up valuable garage floor real-estate. I did not want a repeat as the long term problem is worse than the solution. Then the cost of such a seldom used tool made me rethink a purchase of another wheelbarrow.

Necessity being the mother of invention I found a practical and I thought simple solution. I bought four 14 gallon storage containers from the Borg Store. I own a dolly which I find is very hand to own tool for many odd jobs. I used my dolly and the four containers to move all the soil easily – for the most part – from my driveway to the my back yard. I must admit by the fifth load I was getting a little winded.

Wheelbarrow alternativeI had to pull my improvised dolly & container wheelbarrow through a stretch of small rock. It was manageable, easier than I remember pushing wheelbarrows of soil over the same rock to the back yard previously. If you need to move soil, and own or have access to a dolly, this may be a good solution for you. This combination saves space and has added usability.

I thought I would share my modified wheelbarrow with you, as you may also have limited space, and the need to move a lot of soil easily. Total coast was about $30.00 which is less expensive than any wheelbarrow I could find. Another plus is I do not have the problem of storing a wheelbarrow which is used rarely by the average urban or city dweller. Happy gardening!