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Cinder/concrete block boxes

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Cinder/concrete block boxes

Post  pattipan on 4/8/2013, 12:34 pm

Since I have to redo most of my boxes (after a sewage line repair), I was thinking of using cinder or concrete blocks. Of course, the sizes are like lumber...meaning an 8" x 4" x 16" block is actually 7 5/8" x 3 5/8" x 15 5/8". Sigh.

Those of you that have used cinder blocks, how do you get you square feet grid? It's not coming out right.

Appreciate any input!
pattipan
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cinder-concrete-block-boxes

Post  grandpashorts on 4/8/2013, 1:06 pm

I have several beds made out of 4 inch blocks. They are 16" long so work out for 4x4 boxes or longer. I put the end blocks inside the sides of the beds. I use two blocks deep along fences giving 32" instead of only 24"which is still very workable. I also put my strings where the blocks meet which gives 16" squares. I then adjust the number of plants to match the larger squares. It works out great and I think that the larger squares work very well for tomatoes and larger plants which I think need a little extra room. I used two 5/8"rebar 18" long in every other block to hold them in place. You can then put PVC pipe over the rebar and it holds them very well if you want to cover your beds.

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Re: Cinder/concrete block boxes

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/8/2013, 1:28 pm

The cinderblocks I bought (at the Big Orange Store) were close enough to 16" that it worked for me. I made a 4x8 bed with 4 cinder blocks along the short side and 6 along the long side. The long sides go inside the short sides, if that makes sense... I'll try to make a little picture:

_____________
|____________|
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
_____________
|____________|

Hopefully that makes sense!

I made my grid out of dowel rods (76 cents each) held together with small zip-ties at the corners.
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Re: Cinder/concrete block boxes

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/8/2013, 1:29 pm

Whoops, my little image didn't go through, it didn't like the spaces. Hopefully you can figure it out.
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Re: Cinder/concrete block boxes

Post  Unmutual on 4/8/2013, 2:54 pm

pattipan wrote:Since I have to redo most of my boxes (after a sewage line repair), I was thinking of using cinder or concrete blocks. Of course, the sizes are like lumber...meaning an 8" x 4" x 16" block is actually 7 5/8" x 3 5/8" x 15 5/8". Sigh.

Those of you that have used cinder blocks, how do you get you square feet grid? It's not coming out right.

Appreciate any input!
pattipan

An inch one way or another isn't going to hurt much. My beds are slightly less than 48" wide, so one row of squares is slightly less than 12"(something like 12", 12", 12", 10 1/2"). Long-ways, my beds are actually 2" extra in length(18' 2" long), so that extra 2" is just lagniappe for the last column of squares. The longer of a run you go, the less of a problem it is. So if you're making 4' x 4' beds, yes, you're going to have more pronounced measuring differences.

Also, if you put plants that take up a whole square on the less-than-12" x 12"-squares, then you'll have less math issues than if you keep putting smaller plants like carrots in those squares where that loss of 2" actually means less plants.

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