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!