What do you think about gardening with cinder blocks?

@dragon54u (31617)
United States
August 18, 2008 3:04pm CST
I'm planting vegetables next spring and was trying to think of ways to keep the dogs out of the garden. I don't want to spend a lot, that defeats the whole purpose of it. I thought if I put a plant in each hole of a cinder block, it would be high enough up so Gus wouldn't pee in it and Cookie couldn't dig in it. I could line them up against the fence so they'd get sun all day and the roots could go as deep as they wanted. Is this practical? Have any of you ever done this? If you don't know what a cinder block looks like, I've included a picture. If you think it's a bad idea, do you have any suggestions that wouldn't cost a lot of money?
1 person likes this
8 responses
@snowy22315 (47423)
• United States
18 Aug 08
hmm-mmm. I've seen people plant things in shoes before. I dont know if the plants would get proper drainage in cinder blocks. That would be the only thing I would be concerned about. Other than that, I think it's a fine idea. See what everybody else thinks.
2 people like this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
18 Aug 08
As long as they are set into the ground a little bit drainage should not be a problem actually. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
18 Aug 08
The cinder blocks would drain fine, the holes go all the way through. Shoes?! Never heard of that before, but that's one way to use the ones we wear out!
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
23 Aug 08
I haven't done it before but know it can be done. A freind of mine her neighbor has a cinderblock garden and it does really well. I thought of doing this but do not have a truck to haul those cinders home in so I am going with raised beds.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
23 Aug 08
Raised beds was my first thought but I had no idea what to put around them that wouldn't cost and arm and a leg. What are you going to put around yours to keep the dirt in?
• United States
23 Aug 08
Ok after seeing that cinder block garden site we have revised our plan and will be using cinder blocks instead! Thanks for the site and the tips everyone.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
20 Aug 08
I don't know about actually planting in the blocks, but have heard of one gentleman in Missouri who used cinder blocks to make raised beds: http://www.gardeningrevolution.com/
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
20 Aug 08
I got some new ideas from that site, thank you so much!!
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
20 Aug 08
You can probably fence an area inexpensively - purchase a few steel fence posts and some closely woven wire at a farm supply store to enclose your area. You can also purchase fence panels that are sturdier than wire, but they tend to be more expensive.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
20 Aug 08
I've never done this but I read that you were thinking of strawberries - I think that would work as long as the blocks didn't get too hot and cook the roots as there really isn't much space for roots in the wholes. You've got to let me know if you try it as it really sounds like a great idea if it would work.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
20 Aug 08
I'm thinking it's a bad idea, because of the heat. It doesn't get that hot here, low 90's occasionally in the summer, but that might cook the roots. Maybe I'll just find some way to fence off my growing area. I'll be planting in order to save money and spending a lot on deterring the dogs would defeat my purpose. I can still use blocks in semi-shady spots, though, if I can find something that will grow in partial sun.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
20 Aug 08
That's a shame because I was thinking the strawberry border would look really nice and make it easy to pick the fruit. I too would be concerned about the heat though. Personally I've had a battle with 'critters' all year. First of the year it was our own chickens - they kept pulling up the young plants. Got them under control and the moles moved in. Our two cats seemed to take care of those but then started using the garden for a bathroom :( Now they've gotten the idea 'Mom's not happy with us' and the deer are nibbling around the fence edge :(
@peavey (16640)
• United States
19 Aug 08
Cinder blocks usually aren't really very tall - 8x8x16 is standard size. If your dogs are bigger than toy dogs, you'll need to stack them two high to keep the plants safe. Also, cinder blocks are like rock in that they heat up in the sun. This may be good or bad, depending on your climate and what you grow in them. Some plants don't like their roots to be too warm. I have two raised beds made of cinder block so I'm speaking from experience. Other than that, it should work fine.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I didn't think about the heat, thanks! I'm going to have to rethink this plan, maybe change or discard it. Thanks so much for your help!
@Rosekitty (19441)
• San Marcos, Texas
19 Aug 08
Dragon..I've never planted in cinder blocks but you gave me an idea since the dogs do love to dig and pee on the plants..I'm going to try this and also do what Grandpa Bob said.. Huggs
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I'm going to use blocks to make a raised planter for my flowers but am no longer sure about the garden!
@anawar (2406)
• United States
18 Aug 08
dragon - I think you got your best advice for grandpa bob who knows his gardening. Strawberries and green beans planted in the cinder blocks is a very novel idea and I think you will have a very pretty garden. I used decorative paving blocks to cover a gap between the fenced in area and the ground outside of one of my apartments. It worked well. it looked good and it was inexpensive. Cinder blocks of course, cost less and take care of your problem. The hard part for me was carrying those twenty some large blocks from my car to my apartment. 'Whew, that was tiring, but worth the effort. I hope to have a garden one day soon, enjoy your garden for me, until I get my own, okay? Let me know how those strawberries taste. Catch 'ya later.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 Aug 08
I've been in similar situations and wished I had the money to hire someone to help! In the old days, we called that "calling the neighbors"! I'm rethinking the blocks, though. Oh well, I have all winter to figure it out!
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
18 Aug 08
You have to know what plants send out wider root balls though. Some plants need depth as well as width for their roots. get some cheap pots from garage sales etc. Large ones work great for most plants. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
18 Aug 08
Oh, I just thought of something! Put the strawberries and green beans in cinder blocks and place them around the corn stalks--good idea? It would be more attractive, too. Thanks so much for giving me that idea!