One way of making a raised bed that will last for years is to construct these from concrete blocks. Just like our dwelling houses, these constructions will last for decades and will not need to be repaired or replaced, if done properly and correctly from day one. I would like to explain before we go any further that, there are two types of concrete blocks that are suitable for this project. The solid concrete block which is made from solid concrete, aggregrate and sand and the other type that we may have heard of also is the breeze or cinder block, which is also made from the same material. The difference between the two is substantial in building circles and one is more expensive than the other. The solid concrete block is solid all the way through, hence the name and the other has hollow compartments, again hence the name breeze or cinder.
However the fact remains that if we have a good trades person or contractor when building our concrete block raised bed garden, either option will work. For the construction of this project, the work will have to be professional up to a point, in that, when laying the blocks, mortar will be required to tie all the joints together, just like constructing the walls of a house or garage. We could, if we were up to it, do this exercise ourselves, if we had the know-how and this route would save a great deal on the cost. There are hundreds of tutorials online and on YouTube, on how to lay blocks, how to lay a foundation and also on how easy they claim it is to rener the walls afterwards.
Concrete block raised bed #1
One issue that we need to take into consideration when we are considering making a raised bed from concrete blocks and that is, we need to realise that this will be a permanent structure. So therefore we will have to give this project a considerable amount of thought and decision making into where we wish to locate these garden beds. Like we mentioned previously in this website, if it’s possible, locate these near a water sourse for irrigation purposes. The above image shows how good a well built raised garden bed looks, when it is professionally constructed. The planning in this example was well considered and as you can see a foundation was laid out and then the blocks placed appropriately on the level prepared surface. The end result looks very neat and tidy and has an appealing appearance. A professional approach for this job will enhance our gardens and backyards. At a cost of approx $1·30 per block and add in the labour, we are looking at an investment of approx $150.
Concrete block garden bed #2;
In the above example we see a different take on what a concrete block raised garden bed looks like, if we don’t approach this exercise with a little planning and proper preperation. As we can see the design is not exactly aesthetically appealing and it looks very shoddy and careless. This will not last 12 months as the soil will eventually press against the sides and eventually the sides will fall away. There is no foundation in this attempt and the blocks look like they were just placed on the ground without little or no formation or consideration to the appearance of the raised bed. The upside to this example is ( if there is one ) that the cost was at a minimum. The outlay for this exercise would amount to approx $20, which is fine if our budget is restrained by other circumstances. The only good thing that’s to be said about this example is, it can be easily relocated if required.
Concrete block garden bed #3;
The above image shows what a professional well thought out and carefully constructed raised bed could look like, if our budget allowed. It looks like it has been designed by a construction engineer and built off a set of designed plans. However this operation could easily undertaken by a blocklayer on their own. With a set of measured foundations and level surfaces to work on, its very easy to complete this set of raised beds from solid concrete blocks. Proper planning and matching dimensions for each section will result in an awesome outcome and a series of concrete block raised beds that will last for years.
Once the walls of the sections had been completed they were then rendered to give a very artistic and professional outcome. It has a symmetric and square design and looks like it was factory produced. From the location of these concrete block raised beds, we can see that its situated at about four feet from the hedge on two sides and that gives ample room to work on these with ease and comfort. The cost for this structure will be approx $2000 plus. Materials and labour will amount to most of the outlay and if there were plans and design to be paid for, these would cost extra. The upside of this investment is, it will pay us back in spades over time, as we will thoroughly enjoy working in an envoirnment like this.
Concrete block raised bed #4;
Let’s now look at something different thats very functional from a raised bed gardening option. These are cinder blocks that interlock and give a very solid bed frame base for our gardening purposes. These blocks are obviously more expensive that the other two varieties that we looked at here earlier. The end result is a super looking raised bed that will be very inviting to all gardeners and especially by senior gardeners, who would welcome the height of this construction. No bending, kneeling or stooping with these and that’s to be welcomed even by those of us that don’t have mobility or health concerns. It looks very inviting and appealing and as we can see it makes a great garden piece and would also make a great conversation piece. The cost of an outlay of this would come in at about $1000 and would be money well spent.
Here’s hoping that you have enjoyed this short descriptive post on concrete block raised beds. If so, please note that we are very sociable here at buildingraisedbeds.com and if you would like to comment on any of the above, please do so via the box section down below.
Happy gardening to all who try and succeed.
Cheers Phil Browne.
“Little things seem nothing
But they give peace
Like those meadow flowers
Which individually seem odorless
But altogether perfume the air “
— Georges Beranos