Pros are: they’re inexpensive, widely available, durable, and allow flexible design.Cons are: leaching of chemicals from the concrete, high transportation costs, and they can make soil too hot for plants.When you’re thinking of building a raised bed, you’ve got a lot of choices for materials.What about cinder blocks?What are the pros and cons of cinder block raised beds?Cinder Block Raised Beds Pros.Cinder blocks may seem like a material that would possibly be expensive, but you will end up saving more in the long run with cinder blocks compared to wood, which can easily degrade.Choosing a cinder block raised bed is also great for overall accessibility to your garden.Cinder Block Raised Beds Cons.But what are the downsides to building a raised bed with cinder blocks?Price, durability, and accessibility are usually the strongest selling points for choosing cinder blocks, but the cinder blocks come with some downsides for gardeners.Likewise, even if you only need to carry the blocks from your car to the garden area and customize the blocks to your choosing--you will need some strength to deal with the back and leg work involved.To piggyback on the fact that cinder blocks are just plain heavy, if you’re building several raised beds, you’re going to need a fair number of cinder blocks.The concrete from cinder blocks--like other calcium-based building materials like stucco--can affect soil pH.You'll need to fill them with soil.There you have it, the pros and cons of using cinder blocks to build your raised bed.Although leaching and the weight of the blocks can pose some potential problems, the pros might outweigh the cons. .
Are cinder blocks OK for vegetable gardens? Answers to that & other
He found universities recommending the use of concrete blocks in container gardens or raised beds.The concern cited in many warnings is specifically fly ash, the residue you get from burning coal, that might have been used in older cinder blocks, but he doubts whether that is commonly used anymore.“Connie, you and Farfaglia are wrong – fly ash is still used in manufacturing ‘cinder’ blocks, sometimes.“I take that to mean that sometimes they have to put fly ash in a batch because it is requested by a builder, and to keep costs down, assuming the builder does not want to buy the whole batch, they have to sell the remainder to home depot and other retailers so the block you buy at a retailer like home depot might have fly ash in it.Naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar or redwood is the best choice for raised bed construction for gardeners that have concerns regarding any possibility of exposure of chemicals in the building materials.Fly ash is a byproduct of burning coal and so contains heavy metals and other hazardous waste.The risk of using new treated lumber is low, but he still recommends using natural wood such as cedar to be safe.“In a lot of cases the risk is not high, but as a general practice, save that strip for ornamental plants,” he said.That area can contain residues from salt and other chemicals used on the road, and there may be a higher concentration of lead still there from auto exhaust.You should also be wary of beds near the foundation of an older home that may be contaminated with lead from paint that flaked off and accumulated in the soil, he noted.How big the risk is depends on many factors, including how high the concentration of the contaminant is, how often you eat the food and how you cook it. .
15 Best Cinder Block Raised Bed
Go with these 15 easy cinder block garden ideas, and build the lovely and true designs of raised garden beds, which will be quick to put together.You can directly start growing vegetables and herbs and even the flowers in the cinder blocks, rather than using the big inside space.For amazing design inspirations, check out these 15 best free cinder block garden ideas that will make it easier even for a beginner to plan and build a raised vegetable bed.Cinder Block Raised Bed.Cinder Block Garden Bed.Garden Bed Using Concrete Block.Concrete Blocks Raised Garden Bed.Get the easier way to build the raised garden beds using the cinder blocks.Garden Bed with Cinder Blocks.The instructions are pretty easy to follow, and you need extra cinder blocks to join this beautiful cinder block raised bed that is looking amazingly gorgeous.Planning to grow vegetables this winter season and are totally unfamiliar with the construction of raised vegetable beds?Then get here the ultimate cinder block garden ideas about how to build better, lasting longer, and super beautiful raised garden beds to grow vegetables and herbs smartly.Look no further if you are wishing to make a raised garden bed for growing fresh vegetables.Raised Bed with Cinder Blocks.Then going with a concrete block raised garden bed design is recommended.Build a Concrete Block Raised Bed.One you bound the entire raised bed design with cinder blocks, cover the whole inside with landscaping fabric, and then add the potting soil and mulch mixture.Raised Garden Bed Out of Cinder Block.Get concrete garden instructions to build a small rectangular cinder block raised bed, will rock for growing flowers and even the vegetables and herbs on a small scale.Here the cinder blocks, making the boundary of the raised bed, have been covered with the concrete tile tops giving you the gorgeous looking cinder block beds in no time.$50 Cinder Block Garden Bed.Concrete Raised Garden Bed.Then the idea is to build this raised garden tomato bed that is quite inexpensive and easy to build.Get here easy to follow guides and instructions to whip up cement block raised garden beds, will take your growing vegetable and herbs game to the next level.Cinder Block Raised Garden Bed.The cinder blocks are easy to grab and plan to build the rectangular or square raised garden beds and will give a solid fit in the ground. .
DIY Cinder Block Raised Garden Bed
But expenses can go crazy high with vegetable prices at the supermarket, especially if you plan to go full-on salad recipe and smoothie snacks for the whole week.But in any case that you don’t own a lawn that’s been troubling you, well no worries when you’ve got a raised garden bed choice for you.That’s because you use a retaining wall or material in order to maintain the integrity of the bed over time.They are easy on your back and will give your plants good drainage and generally better soil quality.By growing your produce in a raised garden bed, you can worry less about weeds and pests.Overall, cinder blocks make for a very practical and economical choice for building raised garden beds.What sort of produce will you be growing in your cinder block raised garden bed? .
Safe Vegetable Growing in Cinder Blocks
Creating raised beds out of cinder blocks makes a permanent, as well as inexpensive, structure, especially if you use mortar, advises University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension horticulturalists.For safety, make sure you build on a level surface; if you don't use mortar, limit the height of your bed to two blocks tall so that the walls won't fall over.Creating raised beds out of cinder blocks makes a permanent, as well as inexpensive, structure, especially if you use mortar, advises University of Florida/Miami-Dade County Extension horticulturalists.Even if you don't have room for raised beds, cinder blocks can provide efficient containers for vegetable production, according to Clemson Extension horticulturalists.Radishes are the only common vegetable crop small enough to grow in a cinder block opening that prefers very acidic conditions, with a pH under 5.5.Cinder blocks from flooded areas, for example, can contain contaminants such as fuel oils, warns North Dakota Statue University Extension engineer Kenneth Hellevang. .
Cinder blocks are an easy way to build raised garden beds
But, my neighbor, Keenan Stephenson, frugal gardener extraordinaire, came up with a great alternative to lumber – cinder blocks.But leave a couple of spots open and you have a nice, wide, 8” edge to sit on while planting or weeding the garden.The wood absorbs a lot of rain water and releases it back to the soil over time thereby reducing the amount of irrigation needed.Vertical gardening is made easy when you can just insert poles into the holes in the cinder block and back fill with gravel or dirt.Keenan starts many of his plants from seed and they are doing beautifully in his cinder block raised beds enriched with homemade compost.• Direct Sow: Carrots, Kohlrabi, Beans, Radish, Beet, Melon, Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Endive, Gourds, Leeks, Okra, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Scallion, Zucchini, Winter Squash, Basil, Cilantro.• Harvest: Beets, Peas, Summer Squash (before they turn into baseball bats), Carrots, Pole Beans, Herbs.The final class in Hallockville’s Food Preservation Series, Mark Vosburgh (New York State Cornell Cooperative Extension Certified Master Food Preserver) will present an informative program on canning fruits and vegetables. .
Toxicity of concrete/cinder blocks used as a raised bed material in
Asked October 29, 2015, 1:21 PM EDT.After the first weekend of work a teacher came into school and saw that the raised beds were made of cinder blocks and said that they are potentially dangerous as well!! .
Choosing the Best Materials for Raised Garden Beds ~ Homestead
Raised beds can provide superior protection from pests and weeds, offer comfortable ergonomics, and can be filled with ideal soil to grow food, flowers, herbs and more.This article will go over the most common (and not-so-common) materials used to make raised garden beds – including wood, metal, concrete, and more.We’ll discuss things to consider when choosing materials such as durability or safety, as well as the differences between various types of lumber.Finally, don’t miss the list of potential raised bed materials that we suggest to avoid for organic gardening.In addition to the list above, you could create a raised garden bed out of just about anything capable of holding soil and plants!After all, garden beds are subject to near-constant moisture, outdoor elements, and potentially insects or pests such as termites.If you opt to save money upfront and choose more affordable materials, you might be sacrificing the lifespan of your raised bed.For example, a planter box constructed of reclaimed pallets or soft pine wood likely won’t hold up half as long as one made with premium lumber.Likewise, large stones or concrete blocks will cost more than straw bales, but last a literal lifetime in comparison!Depending on your situation, you may be more than willing to give up a little lifespan to keep upfront costs down – especially if you’re renting your current home, or only setting up a temporary garden space.Heck, if you have easy access to large felled logs, it’s possible to create an incredibly durable AND affordable bed.For example, we are able to find great deals (and a larger variety of materials) for stones, blocks, gravel, bulk soil and mulch at our locally-owned landscape supply companies.My friend Katie (@frecklesandsprouts) created this rustic masterpiece from felled trees on her property.For instance, I would think twice before using painted or treated salvaged wood to create a garden bed for edible crops.The wood may be contaminated with toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic, or other heavy metals that can migrate (leach) into your soil and food.I’ve seen people use all kinds of up-cycled materials to make garden beds: like styrofoam coolers (made of polystyrene, a suspected carcinogen) or old car ties (contain benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and a host of other substances that are toxic to human health).We’ve found that redwood is more affordable on the west coast, while cedar is more readily available and thus less expensive in the eastern US.Examples of long-lasting hardwood lumber include teak, maple, beech, hemlock, walnut, black locust, and oak.We built redwood raised beds around our patio, and attached trellises to the back to also double as chicken-proof fencing.Redwood and cedar definitely don’t require a protective sealer, but may benefit from it in climates with high humidity or precipitation.Cedar also gracefully ages with time, changing from reddish tan to silver grey (unless a sealer is routinely applied).That said, galvanized steel raised garden beds are a great choice for super wet climates!Even if the metal feels warm to the touch, damp soil does a great job of buffering temperature swings.Or, turn a prefabricated metal container into a raised garden bed – such as adding drainage holes to the bottom of a galvanized steel animal feed or water trough.My friend Kevin just started selling some super durable and stylish Birdies garden bed kits, shown below.Gardener’s Supply Company also offers a stellar selection of well-rated galvanized steel options like this modular bed kit.Through the galvanization process, steel is coated with a layer of zinc that effectively seals it and prevents corrosion and rust.Plants rely on zinc for healthy root development, for added resilience to cold temperatures, and to support other phytochemical processes such as the formation of chlorophyll.However, if your galvanized steel beds start to visibly corrode on the interior, it is best to play it safe and replace them.Like those made from metal, raised garden beds constructed from concrete pavers, cinderblocks, or brick have the potential to be supremely durable and sturdy.The installation of concrete block garden beds require a decent level of commitment, especially if you secure them in place with mortar or adhesive.A freshly terraced slope in our front yard garden, made with concrete blocks and adhesive.Fly ash is a common concern when using pavers, bricks, or cinder block materials to create raised garden beds.Fly ash is a masonry additive that contains heavy metals such as radium and arsenic, and is often used in concrete products for added durability.If you’re concerned about this risk, buy your materials from a reputable source where you can ask questions and check specifications to see if fly ash is present or not.A raised concrete block planting area in our back yard, used primarily for perennial ornamentals.Going beyond concrete blocks, you can make long-lasting raised planting areas using natural stone too – such as cobblestones, flagstone, small boulders, or other foraged rock material.Because the shapes and sizes of natural rocks aren’t as cookie-cutter as concrete blocks, the construction will require more imagination and finagling to puzzle-piece them together.Historically, pressure treated lumber was cured with an arsenic-based compound called chromated copper arsenate (CCA).Arsenic is very bad news, and studies show that it readily leach from the treated lumber into the surrounding soil.Historically, pressure treated lumber was cured with an arsenic-based compound called chromated copper arsenate (CCA).Arsenic is very bad news, and studies show that it readily leach from the treated lumber into the surrounding soil.Other risky materials such as styrofoam, used car tires, or miscellaneous plastic products (as discussed in the safety section above). .