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I planted herbs and flowers in the holes in the concrete blocks. I also planted the lettuce, radishes and spinach early then later sowed the squash, peppers and tomatoes between the rows. As the early crops were harvested, the later crops grew into that space.
By rbrady from Meridian, Texas
I have a series of photos from the beginning of the project. I put down landscape fabric that came in four foot widths. Then we dry stacked the blocks two high overlapping for more stability. I filled the bottom half with top soil from my acreage (we were doing some drainage work.) The top half to within about 6 inches of the top of the blocks was compost from a dairy.
I filled the openings in the blocks with soil topped with potting soil mixed with compost.
I do believe you can paint the blocks and I may do that eventually. I plan to put in several more of these gardens before fall growing season.
This is when the early crops were filling in and the later crops were planted between the rows. I did plant squash and zucchini with my other crops but next year plan to have one bed devoted just to them. They take lots of space. And probably another just for tomatoes.
Think of the possibilities of bending PVC pipe over this and covering with plastic to create a greenhouse environment. I just need to figure out how to vent since the sun can really heat up here in Texas - even in the winter.
One more that shows an even later view. I actually pulled out two squash plants today to give a tomato (which is covered in fruit) more room. I have neglected to put up a cage around the tomatoes and planned to put one large cage made out of fence posts inserted into the blocks, then wrapped with fencing with openings large enough to fit my hand.
We have been using concrete blocks for raised bed gardening for three years. They are heavy, but once placed, you don't have to worry about them anymore! We are expanding our garden (and reconfiguring to make the best of our space) this year. We have grown lettuce, squash, tomatoes, green beans, onions, cabbage, peppers and borage in our garden!
This is a very good idea. They say raised beds save a lot on your back. You can sit on the wall and pick and weed the beds.
I would like to know how you did this, I have a lot of concrete blocks in the back of my house that I would love to put to use, E-mail me at sickandandsexy AT aol.com, Thanks
Great idea! But it makes my back hurt thinking about having to haul those things! I really like the idea I just wonder if maybe you can paint it? Like maybe to make it look like real stone or brick or something. I really think it was a very thrifty idea!
I also would like to know more about the specifics of this project. I have many concrete blocks just sitting stacked. One question: Are the blocks just around the perimeter and the middle of the bed filled in with soil or is the entire bed grown out of the holes in the blocks? My email is cwells1231 AT comcast.net Thank you and look forward to more about this project.