Fix, Plant, Build, or Grow It Sunday: Easy No Tools Needed Cinderblock Planter Box for Strawberries or Veggies

Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in cinderblocks, fix-it sunday, fruit, garden, gardening, soaker hose, strawberries, superdiva, vegetable garden | 1 comment

Fix, Plant, Build, or Grow It Sunday:  Easy No Tools Needed Cinderblock Planter Box for Strawberries or Veggies

Oh! The Cinderblock! Not only is it cheap, but it is one of the most versatile building and gardening tools. You can build retaining walls, use them as stand alone planters, line them up for a divider in your garden, place them on top of things as a heavy weight, or stack them to build a cheap, semi-permanent, no tools required raised garden bed. They usually come in concrete gray or tan which allows you, if you wish, to use one color as an accent color for cinderblock planters or walls. If you don’t like the cinderblock colors, you can always paint them. I’ve seen some cool mosaic designs on cinderblocks.

Cinderblocks are heavy! After moving twenty cinderblocks from my car, up over the deck, and to the back of the yard, I knew I had gotten a good workout. Yes, I could’ve used a wheelbarrow or dolly; but, what is the use of superdiva power if I don’t use it? I swing kettlebells for a reason!

Raised Cinderblock Bed with Strawberries and wire coveringI built two raised beds for my strawberries. One using lumber, brackets, and screws and one with just cinderblocks. The cinderblock one took less than half the time and is just as good if not better. If you are short on space and plant veggies in it, you can always dismantle it once the season is over. Since I live in California, I was still getting veggies from my garden long after I was supposed to plant my winter garden. I would’ve had to carve out a whole new space in the yard and it just didn’t seem practical. Also, since the cinderblock planter can be dismantled, it allows you the flexibility to move it elsewhere . . . and get another great workout!

With a cinderblock raised bed, there is enough space for the strawberries to run. The dirt filled holes in the cinderblocks supply the much-needed additional pace for the runners to set roots and grow. One strawberry plant, over time can probably fill a whole planter box. I planted three different strawberry varieties in my raised bed. They didn’t run too much last year, but I planted them fairly late in the season. We’ll see what happens this year . . .

I built my strawberry cinderblock planter box with 20 cinderblocks. It is two rows high and about 3′ x 5′. There is a soaker hose that runs across the top of the raised bed for easy watering. With a backyard that faces a creek and birds that already steal our cherries, I used PVC piping with mechanical mesh over a wooden frame to keep out any and all critters. The frame is removable so I can pick strawberries and weed (ugh!). It worked beautifully last year and I got handfuls of strawberries! Let’s see what happens this year . . .

Cinderblock Raised Garden BedCINDERBLOCK PLANTER BOX FOR STRAWBERRIES OR VEGGIES

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
Measuring Tape
Garden Soil
Landscape Fabric
Chickenwire or Hardware Cloth
At least 20 Cinderblocks (yields about a 3′ x 5′ rectangle)

BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Measure the space you wish to use.
2. Measure it again.
3. Cinderblocks are about 8″x8″x16.” Calculate how many cinderblocks you will need for the planter box of your design. I often get a couple extra just in case.
4. Roll out and cut landscape fabric to the size of the planter box that you will be building. You will have fewer weeds and it will deter critters like gophers from coming up from underneath your garden and making holes everywhere!*
4. Once you have purchased your cinderblocks, build your planter box, fill all the spaces with garden soil and plant away!

*If you have or know you might get gophers, place chickenwire of hardware cloth on top of the landscape fabric before you build your planter box!

Raised Cinderblock Bed with Strawberries and wire covering

© 2013, the superdiva, dk. All rights reserved. www.thesuperdiva.com

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the clear instructions above. I wanted a planter box, but I do not wood. My area gets termites and that is the last thing I want. Cinder blocks will be great. Every nook and cranny in my small backyard is filled with plants and I figure I can use the planter box on top of the concrete I currently have. I have a small shipment coming of Yacon and papalisa. I don’t want the gophers or the squirrel digging through it. The cover mesh will work great.

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