When Cost-Cutting Goes Wrong: Beware of Free Soil From Facebook Marketplace

Are you a gardening enthusiast who’s always on the lookout for ways to save money? Well, we’ve all been there.

But what happens when your cost-cutting endeavors take a disastrous turn? Witness a passionate gardener’s epic fail experience. And then, get ready for some valuable lessons learned.

Image Credit: TikTok @madelinetriesherbest.

How Cutting Costs Led To Planting Disasters

Madeline, known for her gardening expertise, has gained a significant following on TikTok, with 130,000 followers and 1.8 million likes.

Despite her extensive knowledge and successful gardening endeavors, Madeline encounters setbacks like any experienced gardener. 

The Cost-Cutting Experiment Unfolds

In gardening, it is common for individuals to find ways to minimize expenses. So, Madeline also decided to explore this idea.

Our woman obtained free-fill dirt from a Facebook Marketplace and used it to fill her grow containers.

Without assessing the soil’s quality, Madeline filled half of the container with dirt and layered organic soil on top, believing it to be cost-effective. 

However, this decision would soon prove to be a significant setback.

The Consequences Of Cutting Corners

Our woman encountered a surprising obstacle—large rocks in the soil!

Rocks on soil impede the growth of the plant roots and hinder their ability to access vital nutrients required for healthy development. 

Consequently, despite using good organic soil for the top layer, her plants struggled to thrive due to the lack of proper drainage and the inadequate nutrient supply.

The Lesson Learned

Madeline’s experience highlights a valuable lesson for all gardeners: investing in high-quality soil is crucial for successful gardening. 

Good quality soil provides plants with the necessary nutrients for their growth. Although taking shortcuts and reducing expenses may be tempting, compromising soil quality can result in significant consequences.

Madeline’s experience serves as a reminder for everyone to prioritize the well-being of plants over short-term cost savings.

The Ideal Soil For Container Plants

Experts recommend using soilless mixes as they provide adequate root aeration, ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging, and limit the amount of sand to avoid hindering plant growth.

Choosing the right soil creates a solid foundation for your container plants to thrive and achieve optimal growth in your garden.

Related: DIY Enthusiast Creates a $50 Picture-Perfect Raised Garden Bed In Just 30 Minutes

From Gardening Mistakes To Green Thumb Lessons


This is embarassing to admit but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes! #gardening #gardentok #containergarden #soil #soilhealth

♬ original sound – madeline the garden gal 🌱

Gardening failures are a part of the journey, even for experienced individuals like Madeline. Her story reminds us of the significance of investing in quality soil. 

So, when faced with the temptation to cut corners in your gardening endeavors, keep Madeline’s experience in mind and choose what’s best for your plants.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.