Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cinder-Block Garden How-To

Hello. Over the weekend, I (OK, Ben) planted a garden. As Ben laid the bricks, tilled the soil and planted the seeds, I read him instructions from the e-book Cinder Block Gardens. The details of our experience can be read here, Feed The Soil, Not The Plants, but I've outlined the method below if you're looking for a quick read:

Step 1. Marry someone strong who will do all the heavy lifting in the project.

Step 2. Download Lynn Gillespie’s e-book Cinder Block Gardens for $19.95. Read the book.

Step 3. Make a list and head to Home Depot, Lowe’s or your local garden shop. A pickup truck is handy for this trip. The supplies weigh in total almost 1500 pounds.

Basic supplies include:
• 24 cinder blocks ($0.79 each)
• 2 bales 3.8 c.f. peat moss ($12.00 each)
• 10 50-lb. bags all-purpose sand ($2.80 each)
• 3 bags 2 c.f. compost ($6.00 each)
• 1 roll commercial-grade weed barrier ($11.00)

If you are a novice gardener, consider these additional items:
• garden hose
• spray nozzle
• sink adapter if you don’t have an outside water source
• shovel and rake
• rebar stakes and sledgehammer if building on a slope

Costs to consider down the road:
• mulch
• cages for plants such as tomatoes
• trellis for plants such as pole beans

Related Post: Garden Update

Step 4. Find a flat space and follow instructions in the e-book for garden construction.

Step 5. Consult the “Vegetable Reference Guide” chapter to decide what and how much to plant. Buy seeds or starter plants from a local garden shop. Be sure to buy the tomato plants that come with the lady with the red foot. Plant accordingly.

Step 6: Watch your garden grow.

Step 7. Consider starting a compost pile. Purchase a compost container on-line or from your home-garden center, or construct one following Ms. Gillespie’s instructions. This is the one I have my eye on. It only costs $500.

Pictured above is garlic. I planted each of these cloves in its own cinder-block hole. Each one will grow into a full bulb.

I also planted two bunches of basil, two bunches of cilantro and one bunch of oregano. Each of these grows in its own cinder-block hole as well.