Using Chimney Blocks For Planting and Landscaping

Easy, Saves Money, And Works Good On Poor Soil

This is a little "hack" we applied in the garden this spring. Our terrain is fairly sloped here and there so we wondered where and how to start some basic landscaping. All neighbors suggest to pour concrete in various places and make terraces. They love pouring concrete in our neighborhood. We don't.

So Here's What We Came Up With:

Our chimney blocks with flowers

We sow some flowers, salvia, basil and geranium in these chimney blocks. At the other side of the house where the sloped terrain often causes mud to go all over the pathway we sow some tomatoes and peppers:

Tomatoes planted in cinder blocks

Peppers between tomatoes weren't particularly great idea because they couldn't grow much. But other than this we are super-happy with he chimney block gardening. You see I just invented this term. I'm going to publish a book about it and make a million.

But I'll keep things short and free for now. Let me tell you why cinder blocks gardening is cool.

Advantages of Chimney Block Gardening

  • Cinder blocks are cheap. We buy them for €1 each here, but I know they are cheaper in the big city nearby - just €0.60 each. Without a car we can't go to the city but we bought 50 for just €50 and got a lot of stuff done with them.
  • Good for watering. We saw unseen drought this summer. (It stopped being unseen once we saw it.) We are watering the garden almost every day and it still stays dry. The tomatoes in the chimney blocks however were growing great and their soil was almost always slightly wet. You waste much less water when watering in the block while at the same time it has great drainage because there is no bottom.
  • It's easier to keep weeds out. Of course weeds always germinate but at least you have to deal only with the ones inside the pot.
  • They are like a mini raised beds with all the advantages that raised garden beds offer.
  • You can use them for grading but unlike pouring concrete, they are movable.

What Plants Can You Grow Inside

You can grow anything that doesn't require much horizontal spaces. We tried with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, strawberries, salvia, sunflower, and flowers. Peppers and cucumbers didn't grow too well because they were shaded out by the tomato plants. All flowers an herbs grew very well, and tomatoes were fantastic. Salvia is also growing really strong. It's early to say yet about the strawberries because we planted this September.

Cinder blocks gardening is very similar to container gardening but unlike with containers, the roots of your plants can grow under the bottom of the chimney. And being more connected to the soil chimney blocks let useful worms and bacteria life to come up inside the "pot".

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