Make a Cinder Block Raised Bed

Make a Cinder Block Raised Bed

Cinder block raised beds are easy to make with a little hard labor and simple planning. A garden bed with cinder blocks will never rot and can last many years with little to no maintenance. The concrete blocks form a sturdy growing bed and also allow for planting in their center holes. Concrete cinder blocks are an inexpensive way to start raised bed gardening. Look for the bunny photobombing at 10:15 (Video #155)

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50 Comments

  1. Bret Burt on December 7, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Put the blocks together with Liquid Nails or the equivalent. Did this at my Mom’s house over 20 years ago and they are still going strong. There are now "liquid nails" type products specifically for block/masonry.

  2. Nonnie on December 7, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    You must be a engineer Gardener Scott!

  3. Charlie and the Vegetable Factory on December 7, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    I want to transition from wood to cinder blocks in my raised beds. The issue is I currently have some plants such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage planted fairly close to the edges. Can remove the wood and push the dirt over to place the cinder blocks in? I have to move the dirt over otherwise there will be no room between my aisles. Or should I just wait until these plants are done and ready to be removed?

  4. Abbas Hasan on December 7, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    I put the leaves of trees on the surface of the soil and after a while I bury them, is this true?

  5. Victor Souza on December 7, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Nice shirts

  6. Quinn Mautemps on December 7, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks Scott good looking out

  7. Jacare 111 on December 7, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Great idea, but, I am cheating! I am making my own interlocking blocks, and going 3 foot high. Having interlocking tabs in both directions, no need to hammer rebar into the corners.

  8. Charlie and the Vegetable Factory on December 7, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    One more question. Will cinder blocks leach lime into the soil where it raises alkaline or harm plants in any kind of way? Someone recently told me that it might do that. However, I’ve seen a bunch of people on YouTube using cinder blocks.

  9. Verity of cooking Channel on December 7, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    How does cinder block works for rat and rabbits??in my place there is rabbit and rats are destroying the plants and not to keep them away.. can you please share any other way to keep them way

  10. Kimber on December 7, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you so much…. you just saved me a bunch of money.

  11. Ram Man on December 7, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Better make high enough so that Rabbit running around back there can’t get to them

  12. elli austria on December 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    10:18 bunny!!!!

  13. Michael Murray on December 7, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    How have they effected the soil ph? I need to rinse and soak cinder blocks for weeks prior to introducing concrete structure to fish pond due to the large spike in ph.

  14. Doug Kalmbach on December 7, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    Could you add 2B stone to the bottom of the bed if you were going 2 or 3 courses high?

  15. subhajitsengupta on December 7, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    will it draw water from the bed

  16. ragcell on December 7, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    One thing I noticed is that you used chicken wire on the bottom of your beds. The potential problem I see with this for some plants, with deeper roots, particularly on a single layer concrete block bed, is pulling up some plants, carrots, leeks, and a few other plants would be more difficult. Also, fall and / or spring bed preparation w/could be more difficult for most plants that have root system deeper than 8" (the height of blocks). Personally, I do not see the need for the chicken wire. Putting dirt (raised bed) on dirt (the base, sans chicken wire) would be preferred. Let earthworms and other soil organisms burrow up from the bottom and bring up residual nutrients from below — however any earthworm, nematode, etc., that cannot crawl thru chicken wire is probably too stupid to invite in one’s garden. Also, one does not necessarily need a 48" level; a 48" straight board with a "normal" level would achieve the same effect. When I did this years ago, I created a jig such that two, 18-24" cleats screwed / nailed onto a 5-ft board provided a faster / easier opposite side alignment matching. Thanks for the video. I now have a new house and my ground is nothing but rocks and sticky clay (Nevada…). It is next to impossible to till: too many large rocks; so, unless I would replace all the soil, at least the top18"+ of dirt, I gotta work with what I have. For several years, I accepted my neighbors’ grass clippings and put a thin layer of sand of the grass clippings on my current garden space: I need something to hold the grass in place on our numerous windy days. This has allowed me to evolve into a reasonably OK seeing bed and the grass clippings hold the irrigation moisture quite well — for at least two days in our hot summer sun. However, any plant, particularly trees, that become established with their roots can and do burrow around and thru that undesirable substrate. Oddly, the thick clay holds sub-surface moisture quite well and seems to absorb / hold winter precipitation quite well. The infiltration rate is quite slow so it works well; in the summer, what cannot be immediately absorbed, just runs off so I use more frequent and lower volume water regimens. A few years ago when I planted a couple fruit trees, I was astonished to find alot of nice, fat earthworms borrowing thru the heavy clay at least 3′ down. This year, I am going to build a 2-layer bed for flowers (for my honey bees) — and hopefully high enough to dissuade rabbits from eating all my favorite flowers. A height of 16" is probably not high enough to keep all of them out; maybe an electric fence for the smart rabbits may be needed… Your video is great!

  17. Kevenski latonyiu's on December 7, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    I would suggest lining the cinder block with plastic to keep the water in longer

  18. Anthony Perry on December 7, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    I have a mini truck + a bad back. To spare my back from lifting several sacks or from doing double shoveling I have raw dirt loaded and dumped into my plastic lined bed that also has 50 gallon (plastic barrel) containers cut down to about 30 gallon volume/size. The barrel containers catch the lion’s share of the soil and I slide them off onto a wheelchair (between the armrests) and can transport the dirt more easily than using a wheel barrow. The remaining dirt in the trucks plastic liner pours into one of the plastic barrels easily enough. The heighth of the barrels in the wheelchair could make it easier to add soil to taller beds from the sides also. For me this was much easier than manhandling bagged soil and easier than a wheelbarrow and shovel. My wife had open heart surgery and the heavy duty wheelchair we purchased was too heavy and bulky to use (my back) so we bought a very lightweight transport wheelchair that was easier for me to unload from her car. The old wheelchair I use exclusively for transporting soil now. I hope this helps somebody (s.)

  19. Susan Shufelt on December 7, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Love the rabbit.🐰

  20. Douglas Stanton on December 7, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Love the rabbit in the background at 10:20.

  21. FRED MERTZ on December 7, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Worried about lime leaching into your bed ???
    Go buy a used kiddie pool… put your blocks in the pool top with water and half a gallon of white vinegar. Let sit over night.. neutralized.

  22. Howard Hoover on December 7, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Wow! Double Wow! Thanks so much!

  23. join the conversation on December 7, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    The cinder / concrete block deal is a fantastic idea. Don’t know WHICH wood is the toughest but the wood will EVENTUALLY rot or certainly warp. Be sure that You put something in the bottom of the raised bed that will endure for a long time to prevent moles or other digging pests getting in from the bottom.

  24. Beth on December 7, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    We built 1 early this spring and then another 1 last month. I wish I had put as much patience into laying this first as I did the second, but oh well. If it ever needs re-done, I’ll be more careful then.

  25. Linda Murphy on December 7, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    I plant my strawberries 🍓in the holes.

  26. YamiKisara on December 7, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Watched this vid before and never noticed the bunny until now!

  27. Britt My on December 7, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Coming back to this video because I need to remodel my garden and I will definitely be trying this with a liner because I do have quite alkaline Clays soil. The best part was watching that little rabbit though scurry in the background

  28. Dustin Chambers on December 7, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    I’m in Georgia would I have to worry about the lime leaching in to the soil?

  29. claville12345 on December 7, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    On the bottom of the bed I noticed some chicken wire do u recommend putting wire on the bottom of the bed.

  30. Chris Yarborough on December 7, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    @10:18 Mr. Cotton tail stealing all your root veggies 😋

  31. Robert Hicks on December 7, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    A good way to bring in the dirt for higher levels would be to build a dirt ramp at the end. This way you can run the wheel barrel up the ramp and dump inside the area.

  32. Andres Valdevit on December 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    Yes, you sir read my mind: the cinderblock structure, higher walls to garden while standing, even the rebar into the holes to pin the walls. I was wondering why nobody has thought of this. I see many projects on YouTube to do these raised beds in wood, they look good but all that work is going to rot away sooner or later not considering the cost of lumber. It has got really expensive in my country. Good job.

  33. donraoul07 on December 7, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    is this suitable to use on a roof garden?

  34. The Elders Homestead on December 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    New subscriber here. Thank you

  35. Wambutu on December 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    An excellent idea. Thank you.

  36. Adam Golden on December 7, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    It would be worth noting to be aware of your soils. You could put in all that work to create your level bed including the mallet and still get settlement after a little bit of time or some heavy rain.

  37. TheVuduYuDu on December 7, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Absolutely love this video especially the random rabbit running through the background.

  38. S j K on December 7, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    10:18 Peter Rabbit appears on left side, thumbing his nose at Gardener Scott who is too busy filming to notice him. Nya nya nya nyaa nya!

  39. Sheena Lee on December 7, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    I noticed you had chicken wire layed out before you put in the soil. Why did you do that?

  40. Jon Thor Austen on December 7, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    in the staggared config, instead of rebar, use 16 inch 4c4’s? or pour concrete in the corners?

  41. Steven Utepass on December 7, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    I put three pallets on top of cinder blocks here then mattress which make a fine "bed". Doubt it will ever rot inside cabin, ha!

  42. Nancy Miller on December 7, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    I love cinder blocks. LOL took me awhile to have my husband come on board with the idea. He was driving me nuts thinking I don’t want cinder blocks all over my yard. But it’s best thing we ever did. Plus at our age in which I’m pushing 70 years old it’s a whole lot easier than getting on my hands and knees to dig in the ground. Just one layer helps so much with all the bending we have to do. Anyway I enjoyed the video and I just shared it with my husband. LOL

  43. amiganutt on December 7, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Cinder blocks have not been made for YEARS. Try using concrete blocks.

  44. Intercat on December 7, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    This is excellent. I did enjoy, Mr MacGregor, the bunny scooting around behind you at about 10:20. As to mortar, a whole series of other Youtubers have built block walls using Gorilla Glue and other adhesives that can be applied with a caulk gun. This is important for those of us who wind up covered with mortar. Or barbeque sauce, or any other dangerous compound. Thanks for this first video I’ve found of you; I subscribed.

  45. Kalinysta Zvoruna on December 7, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Did this about 18 years ago. Have four raised beds that are about 4 feet wide (total: growing space is 3 feet wide so i can reach from both sides into the middle without straining) and about 35 feet long. That’s about 128 square feet of growing space for each bed.
    *Tip*: to avoid getting weeds in the spaces in the cinder blocks, just put a 4 x 8 x 16 concrete paver on top. Adds about four inches to the height, you can sit on it if you need to, or put buckets, tools, etc. on it, and no weeds get in!

  46. Jeffrey Heuser on December 7, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Smooth and methodical in your presentation Sir! I will do this! This summer had a ""Friend"" charge me $450 to make a wooden frame with corrugated sides 4×12. It bulges, so now will reinforce the sides…I have read ALL of the comments here before asking only a couple questions: 1) Reebar should go in the center, or touching one of the sides of the inside of the block? Guess it actually depends on where I feel the block may slide… 2) What are "caps", or "cap blocks", or what is everyone referring to? 3) Awaiting your concrete block staining video! Im only concerned about the outside! Thank You from Colorado Springs: Home of the most Schizophrenic weather I have been in!!!

  47. Cher on December 7, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Scott! I’ve thought about cinder block but wondered about the ph influence. Not an issue? —— you answered in th video. Thanks!

  48. Kenny Poe on December 7, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    I built a raised (4 x 16) concrete block garden for my mom four years ago. I built this two levels high, staggering the blocks on top as I went. Well worth the money. I did use Liquid Nails concrete adhesive on the corners of the blocks to help keep them together. The yard has a slight slope and I knew that over time gravity and hard winters would make this garden shift. I also love the pockets for gardening as well. Living in Nebraska, I learned quickly what to plant in each pocket to help keep bad insects away and get the bees to help polinate the garden as well. I do plan on building a much bigger raised block garden, but I will be using a bobcat to level out the slope and remove the grass time. It can be labor intensive, but when you are harvesting massive amounts of yummy vegetables, you will soon realize that it was worth the sweat.

  49. Kevenski latonyiu's on December 7, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    I have trouble keeping it wet with my concrete block bed

  50. Dodie Odie on December 7, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    There are variations on concrete blocks if you don’t want these. Some that have smaller cored area and are narrower. Some that are a little cheaper and lighter because they use less concrete.
    I would probably put posts in each of the four corner openings, and maybe at opposite points midway down the bed. I like to put mesh netting over my plants, and the posts would let me do that. Might be interesting to try this when using a hoop cover too. There are probably quite a few variations that could be done.

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