raised-bed Raised bed gardening with concrete stones

Hey All,

I need advice concerning raised bed gardening. I want to build a type of raised bed gardening that's a little more attractive than a wood box.

I was thinking of making the box out of those concrete faux stone look blocks you can find at Lowe's or Home Depot. Is there a problem using these, ie: bleed off of chemicals from the concrete?

It's amazing how attached I am to my little pepper plants that I've germinated. I don't want them to die from a stupid mistake.

By the way, I want to thank you all for advice in other topics. My plants are doing very well because of you and I should have a blazing crop come late August or September.

Also, what are precautions I should take to keep rabbits out of the garden?

Dave
 
Several members here have used cinder blocks for raised beds. You might want to try a site search, although it might be a tricky one
 
Its funny you brought this subject up because i was just about to ask the same question about using corrugated iron sheeting!! dont know about the stones at all.... i know that my last wood bed didnt last all that long and i have tried to use cinderblock but the grass and weeds just ran amok amongst it!!
 
http://www.thehotpepper.com/topic/20287-justaguys-2011-garden-season/page__st__20

bottom of the page is the one I built that will get soil added next Friday and become a Fatalli bed.
 
If you use cinder blocks with the holes that aren't solid set holes face up to prevent weeds coming through them.
 
The only issues I've ever heard about using any sort of concrete for a garden is the lime leaching out of blocks and raising your soil pH. Don't think it is a major problem but something to keep in the back of your mind.
 
The only issues I've ever heard about using any sort of concrete for a garden is the lime leaching out of blocks and raising your soil pH. Don't think it is a major problem but something to keep in the back of your mind.


That's what I had in my mind about it being a problem. I wanted to see if it had caused problems for others. I think I will go ahead and give it a try.

I will make it 12 inches deep and terraced three times, so basically three 4x5(inside demensions) gardens. It will be terraced due to the slope in my backyard. I think I have drainage worked out, though this is causing me to use a slight slope and gravel at it's base and a quasi-french drain system between levels to prevent it from becoming three nice ponds with two waterfall effects. I will put two short paver walkways between each "box"(french drain underneath).

Please critique what you think of this idea, I would rather correct the flaws prior to making it than after. :banghead:

I'm thinking of making each terrace a dedicated mini garden to each major pepper type; jolokia on one level, t7's on the next and salsa plants (roma tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, celantro) on the top. Not quite sure where I'll fit my chocolate habas yet. I'll wait for inspiration I guess. :pray: or :beer:

Anyway, thanks for the help,

Dave
 
If you use cinder blocks with the holes that aren't solid set holes face up to prevent weeds coming through them.

I was thinking of using what amounts to fancy looking bricks to build the walls. I was going to line the bottom of the garden with weed matting to help with the weeds, then mix my soil for the top. Think that will work? I'm not used to making something this elaborate for my gardening, but to get my wife on board with me with the super hots, I want it to look extra spiffy.

What's a good way to keep moles from digging in? We have those around here. Maybe chicken wire below the matting? :think:

Thank you for the advice,

Dave
 
http://www.thehotpepper.com/topic/20287-justaguys-2011-garden-season/page__st__20

bottom of the page is the one I built that will get soil added next Friday and become a Fatalli bed.

I'm using ones similar to those bricks. Post a picture when you have it all done, that ought to look very cool. :cool:

Dave
 
Its funny you brought this subject up because i was just about to ask the same question about using corrugated iron sheeting!! dont know about the stones at all.... i know that my last wood bed didnt last all that long and i have tried to use cinderblock but the grass and weeds just ran amok amongst it!!


I was thinking of using more like a brick for the border and dig down a couple inches and put gravel and weed matting below the bricks and dirt. I have bermuda in my backyard, it loves to grow where you don't love it to. I hope my idea works. :pray:

Thanks for the reply, can't really say about the iron sheeting, my experience is fairly limited.

Dave
 
Several members here have used cinder blocks for raised beds. You might want to try a site search, although it might be a tricky one

It sure looks like a bunch of people have done it successfully. I think I'm going to roll on with it and see how it goes. :rofl:

Thanks Potawie,

Dave
 
hint to BhutDave...see the Multiquote button at the bottom of each persons post?....if you willjust click on that button for the multiple posts you want to respond to,then hit ad reply after you have them all "multiquoted"...you can repspond to all you want to in one post instead of post after post after post...no big thing...just thought maybe you didn't know...

I use cinder blocks and have had no issues...
 
hint to BhutDave...see the Multiquote button at the bottom of each persons post?....if you willjust click on that button for the multiple posts you want to respond to,then hit ad reply after you have them all "multiquoted"...you can repspond to all you want to in one post instead of post after post after post...no big thing...just thought maybe you didn't know...

I use cinder blocks and have had no issues...

I think I get it, I did some reading in the help section. My wife says I'm helpless, let's just see if she's correct!

Thanks for the shove in the right direction though, I hopefully will have the hang of this stuff soon and get rid of my newbie and stupid status. :lol:

Dave
 
everybody is new at one time or another...
 
I think I have drainage worked out, though this is causing me to use a slight slope and gravel at it's base and a quasi-french drain system between levels to prevent it from becoming three nice ponds with two waterfall effects. I will put two short paver walkways between each "box"(french drain underneath).

If I read this right you are going to have three beds side by side dropping like steps/terraces. I would dig 2 parallel trenches going down the hill about 3-4 inches deep and 6 inches wide and fill with stone(crushed probably best). From half way up the 3rd one to the bottom of the bottom one and possibly 4 or 5 inches past where it will end. Once you get past where the last garden ends you can not quite fill with stone to leave room for soil and new grass. Then build and fill the gardens. This should prevent the gardens from becoming ponds. Although that is what I would do I am sure others have better ideas.
 
If I read this right you are going to have three beds side by side dropping like steps/terraces. I would dig 2 parallel trenches going down the hill about 3-4 inches deep and 6 inches wide and fill with stone(crushed probably best). From half way up the 3rd one to the bottom of the bottom one and possibly 4 or 5 inches past where it will end. Once you get past where the last garden ends you can not quite fill with stone to leave room for soil and new grass. Then build and fill the gardens. This should prevent the gardens from becoming ponds. Although that is what I would do I am sure others have better ideas.


If you are going to do all that digging, put a 4" diameter french drain pipe in that is wrapped in weed cloth....then cover with stone...saves on stone and will not clog up for a few years...
 
What's a good way to keep moles from digging in? We have those around here. Maybe chicken wire below the matting? :think:
You could use some "hardware cloth" which is kinda like chicken wire but the mesh is finer. Not sure in your scheme to prevent Bermuda grass if it would be better above or below the matting. I've heard 1/4-inch hardware cloth reccomended for moles, but I'm going with 1/2-inch squares.

...if you willjust click on that button for the multiple posts you want to respond to,then hit ad reply after you have them all "multiquoted"...you can repspond to all you want to in one post instead of post after post after post...
Just testing multi-quote. Thanks, AJ!
 
Like I said...better ideas. Didn't think of french drains


Big test of me multi-quoting here, I'll see what happens.

The french drain with the wrap was what I was thinking. If I knew how to draw a picture and put it in this post to show you what I had in mind, it might help. Yet I can't because I'm a electronic loser. :mope:

The three gardens will be one over the other going up the hill. I want to hide as much of the things that make the garden functional as possible, hence the french drains.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I want my wife to be impressed with the look of this to help drag her on board the super hot bus with me. Life is soooo much better when the wife is pleased! :dance:

I'll attempt to get pictures of the garden posted as I build this if anyone's interested.

Dave
 
You could use some "hardware cloth" which is kinda like chicken wire but the mesh is finer. Not sure in your scheme to prevent Bermuda grass if it would be better above or below the matting. I've heard 1/4-inch hardware cloth reccomended for moles, but I'm going with 1/2-inch squares.


Just testing multi-quote. Thanks, AJ!


Hardware cloth? I have'nt heard of it before, I'll go find out today. Thanks,

Dave
 
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