Ask a Question forum: Interlocking bricks for raised garden beds

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Roberto56
Feb 2, 2017 11:23 PM CST
Does anyone have information on interlocking bricks for raised garden beds?

- I'm tired of 2x12 fir boards warping after one year (not for veggies, but inedible plants)

- I found a web site, and subsequently lost it, that showed interlocking bricks - not sure if what they were made of, but not just grey colored cement.... they had holes in them to put rebar in, fit together for strength and stability, had separate corner pieces, and had bricks specially made for the ends through which irrigation tubing could pass. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

- We want to make about 20 raised beds, measuring 4' x 16', and are now leaning toward paver bricks that are commonly available, but would love to check out one more time, the interlocking brick model if anyone knows that web site...

- Is it me, or does there appear to be a market for interlocking bricks that can stack to any level, need little or no mortar, and are heavy enough to make raised garden beds up to 2 or 3 feet tall?

Thanks

Roberto
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 3, 2017 1:05 AM CST
Welcome!

The only interlocking bricks I know of have a lip at the back edge of the brick to catch the one below it. Used properly, you can build a retaining wall to any height. Look up 'Allen Block' for the professional brick. My husband and I built a series of Allen Block walls (the tallest about 8 feet) that help up our house in CA.

The Big Box stores sell smaller versions. I built a raised garden in my current home for my vegetable garden using 'concrete retaining wall blocks' from Home Depot. To keep them in place, you have to put one brick beneath ground level. I used the small bricks and built 3 bricks up. The larger bricks will hold a taller wall better.

Hope this helps!
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 3, 2017 4:10 PM CST
Welcome! I agree
With the interlocking bricks i've seen. I dont think you would need any morter. If you do, you might want to consider construction adhesive. Which ever is cheeper, or you prefer.
4 feet is a little wide, to be reaching in, to pick.
3 ft. I think is better. Think about it. Especially !!!! For your back Grumbling !!!
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Shadegardener
Feb 3, 2017 4:41 PM CST
I believe the retaining wall cement blocks with the lip are designed to go 2 ft tall without any structural help. If you want to go much taller, you may need to investigate using additional methods to construct the beds. They don't use any mortar but sometimes adhesive can be used to hold the top block in place. Traditionally, a 4 ft wide bed would only necessitate reaching in 2 feet from either side unless the raised beds have a barrier (like a fence) on one side. Then, for sure, go narrower. Roberto - could the bricks you've seen with the special corner pieces, etc have been molded from a composite material? Sometimes you can find solid composite material - much like landscape timbers or railroad ties - to use for making beds. These timbers can be heavy and might require some securing with rebar after you drill holes in them.
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Weedwhacker
Feb 3, 2017 4:42 PM CST
Roberto56 said:Does anyone have information on interlocking bricks for raised garden beds?

- I'm tired of 2x12 fir boards warping after one year (not for veggies, but inedible plants)

- I found a web site, and subsequently lost it, that showed interlocking bricks - not sure if what they were made of, but not just grey colored cement.... they had holes in them to put rebar in, fit together for strength and stability, had separate corner pieces, and had bricks specially made for the ends through which irrigation tubing could pass. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

- We want to make about 20 raised beds, measuring 4' x 16', and are now leaning toward paver bricks that are commonly available, but would love to check out one more time, the interlocking brick model if anyone knows that web site...

- Is it me, or does there appear to be a market for interlocking bricks that can stack to any level, need little or no mortar, and are heavy enough to make raised garden beds up to 2 or 3 feet tall?

Thanks

Roberto


@Roberto56

I thought this sounded like something I had seen not too long ago, but took me a while to find it...

see this thread: The thread "New raised bed method I ran across..." in All Things Gardening forum

Hope this helps! Smiling

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 3, 2017 6:55 PM CST
Allen Block is used to hold up the sides of reservoirs and parking lots. Ours were holding up the back of our house.

Depending upon height, and the brick you choose, you have to use a geofabric back into the hill and build a foundation under the wall (also made of the brick).

A retaining wall for a raised bed wouldn't have the geofabric so that would be the limiting factor for height. You need at least one brick partially under ground level (depending upon your soil) to hold the wall in place. No glue or mortor or re-bar required.

If you use brick that has holes through it, you might want to add a capstone. I filled mine with dirt and planted pansies.
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Name: greene
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greene
Feb 3, 2017 7:06 PM CST
The cost of the concrete corners at Home Depot is about $179...for only 24 pieces. Yikes.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Old...

I found some concrete blocks designed to create raised beds with no wood...but everywhere I see the photo I don't see where to buy the actual blocks.
http://www.ehow.com/how_819892...

This system goes together like Lego blocks. How cool is that?!!
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Roberto56
Feb 6, 2017 4:35 PM CST
Thank you Daisyl, Philipwonel, Shadegardener, Weedwhacker, and greene! I'm going to go with one of your suggestions for sure! I'm beginning to think I dreamed about that web site that showed the interlocking bricks (composite?). Much appreciated.

Roberto
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Nhra_20
Feb 6, 2017 6:16 PM CST
There are numerous interlocking pavers,in numerous colors and shapes. I'd call up your local garden supply or landscape place. They can tell you what they might recommend, along with info on how to install if needed. One note on them though. A lot of places for using them as a raised bed, dig down deeper than needed and put a couple inches is a gravel followed by an inch or so of sand if you love in a climate that has frost. The gravel helps drainage so the frost can't push up and heave the blocks, while the sand gives you a good level base to work with. Make sure you compact both good!

The link is for a local place where I live, but it has a few vendors to look up to see what suits your needs along with other info
http://www.dvoraklandscape.com...

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