When it comes to gardening ideas, many people have lots, but when it comes down to material costs and budgets, then they quickly find their dreams are shattered.
Luckily, there is a solution to this, and it is in the form of the humble cinder block. These are rapidly accessible and cheap. This makes them very versatile to use around the garden in several ways.
Here we will take a quick look at these and a few options, or you can have your own great idea for your garden.
What is a Cinder Block?
You have cinder blocks or concrete cylinder blocks. These can look the same, but cinder blocks are much lighter and used in areas where there is no structural capacity required.
The key difference being the concrete variants use sand and gravel to deliver strength, and the cinder block variety uses fly ash or bottom ash mixed into the concrete.
These blocks are recognizable as they come with two holes all the way through. You can also find these made which contain recycled materials, this can give a unique finish, so your cinder block landscaping can take on a very unique look.
Cinder Block Steps
If you have a sloped or split-level garden, there is no easier way of using cinder blocks. You can quickly build a set of steps using these blocks.
All you need to do is dig out an area. Then calculate how many steps you will need and lay the first concrete block bed.
Fill the holes with gravel, and lay your next laver of blocks while leaving the first row as your first step. Another way if you have a winding path, is to put them on their sides and use one block per step. (Read Trellis For Cucumbers)
You can very easily add some furniture to a patio or a front porch. Take two stacks of three double cinder blocks and space them apart.
With two lengths of strong timber, you can rest these in the two holes and cover them with concrete pavers.
This makes a very durable bench that will last for years and can easily be moved if required. Once you have constructed a small one, you can see there is no limit to the designs you can come up with.
For any person who loves tackling some DIY, cinder blocks can be an easy way to construct walls. A block wall doesn’t need to be just straight and flat because these blocks are very versatile.
You can rotate the double blocks, so they sit sticking from the face of the wall. These quickly become cinder block planters, and not only is this a unique look, but it makes it ideal for holding pots. This can be the easiest way you can get into cinder block gardening.
Space these out, and the wall can become highly decorative with flowers, or it is a fantastic addition to vegetable gardens for utilizing vertical space and growing herbs or other small vegetables.
Starting a Veg Garden
As useful as cinder block is for use around the garden, nothing beats their applications when it comes to ideas for a garden bed.
A DIY raised garden bed is super simple to make, and it won’t rot the same way a wooden one will do.
Not only this, but you can make it just one layer of cinder blocks in height, or you can make it smaller and higher, so it is suitable for growing potatoes.
To make a cinder block raised bed, all you require are around 20 blocks for a single layer. This is enough to make a bed that is 7 blocks in length, and each end has 3 blocks.
To make this raised bed, you may need to dig the ground level where the blocks will sit.
Once you do this, lay them out in a rectangle, and fill the holes with earth or gravel. This gives stability.
Like any raised bed used for container gardening, you line the inside with weed control fabric or plastic sheet that contains plenty of drainage holes.
A cheaper alternative is one or two layers of old cardboard. This stops the grass from growing through your soil.
The best soil to use is potting soil, this should be high quality, and if you already have compost, it doesn’t hurt to mix this in.
Keeping the soil as light as possible allows for faster root growth and better drainage. You can remove one of the blocks if using a wheelbarrow, this will enable you to dump your soil quickly.
If you fill the holes with soil rather than gravel, you can use these as planters for herbs, so there is no space wasted.
Once you have this, you are ready to decide what veggies you wish to grow, and as these cinder block container gardens are raised, you actually require fewer gardening tools to plant and tend for your vegetable gardens.