Concrete Raised Garden Beds (Easy to build, and fairly cheap)comments (12) April 5th, 2010
After years of having a regular garden, and with my wife not wanting to give up more yard I decided to build my first raised beds.
But out of what...I wanted a bed high enough so that I could pick veggies without back strain, and it had to be affordable. In an effort to save money growing your own food, you dont want to spend a $1000. building a bed. After making build lists and pricing materials making it out of treated lumber, brick, composite decking, etc. I settled on concrete block. The blocks are 8"x 8"x 16" , and each large bed has 90 blocks with 30 caps. Locally the cost me 1.24 each and stacked 3 high gives me 24" plus an additional 2" cap gives me 26" to top. A nice sitting height. So now I could even sit on the side walls if I desired to pick veggies. I made the 3 beds last season, you can see the tilled ground that used to be my regular garden. Now I have walking space, and room for much more veggies than I had with my regular garden rows. Some other benefits are that they dont have to be weeded, rabbits cannot chew up my leafy greens, and my dog cannot try to relieve himself on my veggies
I did not mortar the joints in case I wanted to move them in future. I filled each with compost purchased from our local waste station for $13.00 a pickup load. The larger two beds cost appox. $175.00 each to build.
For the hoops I used 3/4" white pvc. They were 36 cents each for 10' lengths. I just bent them over and tucked them into the bed. I strung nylon rope across the outsides for support, and covered all with construction plastic (like you would use for doing concrete work). The roll was 50' x 12' enough for the beds with some left over. The cost of the plastic roll was $36.00
I did not use any formal base product (stone, gravel, etc.), just filled them up with compost. The compost never really compacts so when you are done with a given veggie you can easily pull it up roots and all. At any time you can go out to the beds and shove your hand all the way into the bed up to your elbow if you desired. They worked great, and this year for the first time ever, my wife volunteered up some extra yard space so I can make a 4th bed. This one is gonna be even bigger.....
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