Thursday, May 28, 2020

Raised Garden Bed Using Concrete Cinder Blocks

Gardening is something my husband and I have done since the days we first moved from a condo to a single-family home. 
We've had our disagreements about many things over the years but whether we should have a garden or not has never been one of them.

Living in Florida means having raised garden beds.  There are very few things that grow well in traditional builders' sand.  Builders sand is what passes for dirt in the peninsula state.  It's a fact we have learned to live with I suppose.

When my husband builds raised beds he always opts for some form of untreated lumber.

However, that also means that after 3 or 4 years we need to replace those garden beds.  So when it came time to replace them in 2020 we had another idea.

We had two raised garden beds in our backyard.

We liked both of them and had a fair amount of gardening success.  However, weather and ants had taken their toll and one of the beds started to fall apart.

Since I wanted something very durable, we decided to swap out the wood with some concrete blocks.

DIY Raised Garden Bed Using Concrete Cinder Blocks:

The first thing we had to do was get rid of the old bed.  That isn't too difficult as the thing was already falling apart as it was.  Then we grabbed a hoe and pulled the existing dirt back toward the center of the bed.

I suppose we could have just laid out our new cinder blocks next to each other however the ground allowed them to lay but my husband's compulsiveness just wasn't going to allow that.  He took the time to level the ground so that when he placed the blocks next to each other they sat level and flush all the way around.

I spent some time raking up the dried pine needles around the yard.  I also cleaned out our gutters for and additional supply of needles.  A few pavers placed strategically around our new indestructible beds helped complete our project.

Once everything was back in place, it looked like the bed had been there the whole time.

The one thing I did have to do was bring in some more dirt to fill in the holes in the concrete blocks.  Mainly to get my husband off my back as he kept pestering me about when I was going to plant some fabulous flowers to round things out.

Instead of spending our retirement savings on flowers at the local nursery I had some little helpers with seeds start some flowers in each of the holes.

I was surprised but most of the seeds out of the packet germinated.

The cement blocks were not very expensive.  They were a $1.12 each at our home improvement store.  This made the cost for that portion just under 20.00 as we used eighteen to complete the bed.

I added additional soil which cost around $10 to the final total.

If cinder blocks are not your style and you want to know exactly how we built and build our wooden raised garden beds you can check out this video.

Final Thoughts

This type of bed is great for someone who might want to make their bed into different shapes and sizes to conform to their yard.

I recommend checking the sun exposure of that area ahead of time before you lay down your blocks.

We have a problem with weeds growing around our beds so I took a little extra time to lay landscape fabric between them.

For mulch, I used what I already had which was a bunch of pine needles.  We have a ton of pine needles thanks to two large pine trees on our property.  I'm always looking for ways to rid myself of them.

If backyard projects are your thing here is another one we built just for our own sanity and to be able to enjoy our new garden beds.

Until then!

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