We’ve been eager to grown our own veggies, fruit, and herbs. At first I wanted a wooden framed raised bed, but my mom suggested a cinder block bed. Cinder blocks are more cost efficient and will last a lot longer than wooden frames. No doubt, wooden frames are beautiful, but the cinder blocks were just more practical for us since this is our first vegetable bed. Mom had these cinder blocks on hand so for us they were free! The expense came with the soil and plants. We’ve been eager to make a raised bed since we moved into the house and decided now was finally the time to get started.
We used 14 cinder blocks to create a rectangular shaped bed. The inner planting area roughly measures 3′ x 6′ and 7.5″ deep. We started out by laying cardboard as the base, which will kill the grass and also decompose. The placement of the bed is just a few feet from our back patio door for easy access from the kitchen. This area is also our high traffic walkway where grass grows minimally. Next, we headed to the garden nursery to pick up all the soil, which consisted of cow manure, organic compost, garden soil builder, and top soil. We also picked up a bag of Bio-tone Starter Plus, an all natural plant food with beneficial bacteria. 1/3 of this was scattered across the top of the bed prior to our last bag of top soil. At the next growing season, we can use handfuls under new transplants. For on-going fertilizer, we bought Garrett Juice Plus. You can buy Garrett Juice commercially packaged or you can mix your own! Feed your garden every 2-3 weeks. With organic gardening, we will not be adding any harsh chemical pesticides, but instead grabbed Earth-tone 3n1 Disease Control spray. This spray is safe to use and controls fungus, insects, and mites. It was suggested to spray once a week for two weeks only, until next season.
To keep those cute (but pesky) feral cats out of the bed, we added a sheet of plastic perimeter fence to the top of the bed. We cut this down down to shape and held it down with U-clips. Now, this won’t deter them completely, but it will definitely annoy them when they attempt to dig and bury within the bed…hopefully they will find it easier to go mess with one of the other flower beds…sigh. This fencing is easily cut with scissors, which we cut holes to size of each plant for planting. Lastly, we need to buy bags of mulch to cover the fencing and protect the plants. We plan on buying enough for the bed and the perimeter of the bed for walking on.
Now for the plants! We planted garlic in half of the cinder block holes, one clove per hole. These look bear now, but will soon sprout. We then planted herbs in the remaining holes and left empty ones for annual flowers. Within the bed we planted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and a wide variety of lettuces. We had a very rainy couple of days and today was cloudy and cold. Ignore the muddy conditions and enjoy the beautiful shades of green and purple ❤ I will be sure to post updates on the growth and harvest as we move into the winter months.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the varieties we planted or soil details. We are gardening in zone 8 Texas temps and all of these plants are cold/frost hardy! Super excited about our first veggie bed and hope to keep it growing strong! I’d love to hear from you on any tips or suggestions. If all goes well, I’d like to get another bed going… maybe fruit? 🙂 Many thanks to my mom and husband! We got our hands dirty and had some fun today!