If you want to build raised beds in your yard or want to create steps to help you navigate a steep hill, but you can’t afford more expensive materials, you may want to consider landscaping with cinder block.
If you have been avoiding landscaping with cinder block because you don’t like sterile light gray colors like this material, you may want to take a look at cement stains. With one of these stains, you can easily tint those cold gray blocks a soft green or brown color.
Making raised flowerbeds is one of the most popular projects for landscaping with cinder block. After all, most raised beds are square or rectangular in shape, which makes it easy to work with cinder blocks to build them. To build a raised bed with cinder blocks, you will need enough blocks to build the wall around your raised bed, rebar, cement, and a good soil mix. You should also find gravel to use for drainage inside the raised bed.
The first thing you should do when you are landscaping with cinder block raised beds is to create a solid, level foundation. If you are in an area where the ground heaves in the winter, you will need to dig down six inches and backfill the area with a crushed stone foundation.
Once you have a strong foundation, it is time to build your raised bed. Begin by setting your first row of blocks into place. When you begin your second row, don’t forget to start the first block one half a block in from the seam between the bottom blocks so that none of the seams on the first row line up with the seams on the second row. Staggering the blocks in this manner results in a stronger wall.
Few raised bed walls are higher than two rows of blocks, since it would be difficult to lean over a higher wall. Now, it is time to hammer in the rebar pieces. This provides additional support. If your walls will be permanent, you should fill in the holes in the blocks with cement. If not, you may want to provide an attractive finish by covering the tops of the blocks with capstone material.
Finally, it is time to fill in the space inside the bed. First, pour a one inch layer of gravel behind the walls. Then, fill the rest of the bed with your soil mix. All you have to do now is plant the raised bed you made by landscaping with cinder block.