Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cinder Block Strawberry Planter

We decided to try a new location for our strawberries this year. Many people make strawberry planters out of plastic products but I would prefer not to have my fruit bearing plants growing in possibly chemical laden containers. I had seen examples of herb gardens growing in cinder blocks and I thought why not strawberries! It's only April right now but I will keep you posted how to strawberry fare over the summer.


I shared a teaser picture a few weeks ago on Instagram, it's about time that I finally share this post about what we did. You can follow me on Instagram @clearwatercottage 

Our journey began like all good DIYers at the local home improvement store. There were lots of different cinder blocks to choose from so we ended up going with these. 

It's always great idea to dress your child in their brand new, cute blue jeans that their grandmother gave them so that they can get them nice and dusty!

We were not sure how many cinder blocks we would need so we tried making several different layouts on the cart. We had previously bought our strawberry plants at a local nursery and knew that we would need 24 individual holes to plant them in.

We ended up buying 15 double blocks and 8 single blocks.

Cinder blocks get heavy when you're carrying so many we were very glad to have this old hand me down wheelbarrow from my dad! 

It's also a good idea to make sure you have a second set of hands to help you with them!

I totally forgot to snap a picture of this till it was too late and we had already laid down the first layer of blocks but make sure to use a flat head shovel to level the site where you will put your cinder blocks. You want to make sure to get rid of all the weeds/grass that might be growing there too. 

Our cinder block planter box is built in 3 levels. Here is the bottom level Level 1.

Middle level - Level 2.

Top level - Level 3.


Because it might be hard for you to see I drew these up as a blueprint. 

And here it is all assembled. Our goal was to make 24 plant spaces and this layout gave us a bonus 25th! We put plants in the holes that are only halfway exposed and so far they are doing well. 

We intentionally staggered the blocks so that there would be support underneath the holes to help keep the soil in. 

We filled up the empty holes that would be on the bottom layers and not getting plants in them with large rocks and gravel from around the yard.

In the spaces where we ran out of rocks and gravel we filled in with extra potting soil. 

Then in the wheelbarrow we prepared the soil that we would actually put the strawberry plants into. I did some researching and found out that strawberries prefer acidic soil. They also like their soil to be moist but drain well. I found this website to give helpful information for raising strawberries and this one for making your own strawberries potting soil mix. 

I wanted to know the specific PH level of the potting mix but could not find it on the bag or the Internet. I felt content after reading that in general most potting mixes tend to be slightly on acidic side. 

We decided to use this Kellogg potting mix, with some basic fruit and veg plant food and some play sand mixed in. It was starting to grow dark and we wanted to hurry up and be done so we did not actually measure our ingredients but just kind of winged it. 

Then it was time to plant the strawberries into their spaces. We reused our rocks that were painted as strawberries from before to help detour the birds from eating them. The theory is that the birds will peck at the red rocks and find them in edible and then when your strawberries ripen they leave them alone. When you have not had a problem with the birds eating her strawberries, now if we could just get the caterpillars to leave all of our fruit and vegetables alone I would be happy! 

So far the plants are faring well and the strawberries they have grown have been delicious!


Unfortunately it took us too long to get around to this project and some of our plants suffered while waiting in their tiny trays. I'm happy to report that they are making a good recovery!

Have you tried gardening in cinder blocks? I've seen them used as garden borders for raise planting beds too!


  

12 comments:

  1. Ooh these do look heavy but what a good project! I hope you get lots of yummy strawberries from this. Thanks for sharing with #bloggersbest x

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    1. Yes there nice and sturdy! Also handy because if we ever want to re purpose them we can. Thanks for the blog love! :)

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  2. What a great idea and the cinder blocks were a good price. They sell for about $4.00 each here. A nice project and you will have some delicious strawberries. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yikes I don't think I would have done this if they cost that much!

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  3. Fresh strawberries ~ how wonderful! Love your cute little helper. Happy Spring!

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  4. Oh my, your little one is so cute! I think the cinder blocks are going to work great. Not only will you have yummy strawberries, but the trailing plants will look so pretty as well. Thanks for sharing with the Garden Party.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thank you so much she loves to help in the garden! Ooo I hadn't thought about the plants trailing over the edges, that will look lovely!

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  5. What a clever idea! I love seeing young couples doing DIYs with little ones running around. We did the same thing....it was fun and it teaches your kids so much. Thank you for joining us for the garden party. Hope you'll come again May 25th. :)

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    1. Thank you! Life with the little one has certainly change things, our projects take longer to complete but she has definitely made life more fun! I look forward to your next garden party, I had a great time checking out everyone else is gardens!

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  6. That's a great tip about the rocks. I've never tried cinder block gardening. I hope you have a bounteous strawberry harvest!

    Linking from Poofing the Pillows,
    Ricki Jill

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  7. What a cute idea and I especially like that your daughter is enjoying being a helper! I wonder if the painted rocks will work! I had a cocker spaniel years ago that would nip off the strawberries as she wandered around! I thought it was something else eating them until I saw her do it! LOL.... Thank you for joining the Garden Party!

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