Before we were given the opportunity to have our large garden across the street, for several years we used these raised bed gardens that we created around the perimeter of our back yard. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on raised beds, so we got creative and found an inexpensive alternative. We used cement blocks!
It was extremely affordable, because although cement blocks are around a dollar or so each at the hardware store, we discovered it was fairly easy to get them for around fifty cents each from local concrete companies, or even free from sites like Craigslist.
We just placed them side by side where we wanted them, and then hauled in soil from a local nursery. In previous years we have planted onions, lettuce, and garlic in the tiny centers of the blocks. The blocks also do a great job of holding in moisture, so you don’t always have to water your plants as much. We still use them in our back yard every year, and this year I filled an entire garden bed with wildflower seeds! You can follow me on Instagram to see the results in a couple of months!
It really is a great alternative to a traditional raised bed garden for someone who doesn’t want to spend the money on a pre-made garden bed, or for someone who does not have the access to tools or the skills to build wooden ones from scratch.
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It’s that time of year again, and we’ve found a fantastic tutorial so that you can build your own DIY seed starting rack!
Normally we purchase plants for our garden that have already been started from our local nursery, but this year, we decided to start our own! It’s been a great experience, and also educational for the kids to peek and see how much each seedling has grown every morning.
We did some research and decided to build our own seed starting rack from this tutorial at Old World Garden Farms. The tutorial is extremely easy to follow, and you end up with a great seed starting rack that is sturdy enough to use as shelving for cans or other items when it is not growing season. The rack is inexpensive to build, and even a beginner can figure it out. A couple of things we did learn through this process were: Don’t plant your seeds way too early (yeah, we did that), and check around for the most inexpensive shop lights you can find! We noticed that prices for lights vary quite a bit between stores, and when you need a lot of them the cost starts to add up.
We are loving the process of starting our plants from seeds, and plan to do it every year from now on. We love knowing where our plants are coming from, and growing them in a way we are comfortable with.
And yes, we are “keeping it classy” with those Red Solo Cups our tomatoes are growing in…. I have a post coming soon about ways to get pots for your seedlings at a more affordable price than the expensive home improvement stores. We used the cups as a last resort, but then found a great alternative that I can’t wait to share with you.