How to Grow Carrots in Cinder Blocks
Growing carrots in cinder blocks is an ingenious way to grow these nutritious root vegetables in a small space. With just a few simple materials, you can create a vertical garden that takes advantage of limited yard real estate. Follow these steps and soon you’ll be harvesting homegrown carrots from your own DIY cinder block planter.
To get started, you’ll need:
Cinder blocks – These large concrete blocks with holes through the middle are commonly used in construction. For a single planter, you’ll need around 6-10 blocks.
Landscape fabric/weed barrier – This fabric lines the inside of the cinder blocks to keep soil from falling out.
Potting soil – Use a high-quality organic potting mix. Do not use garden soil, as it won’t provide the drainage carrots need.
Carrot seeds – Pick a shorter carrot variety suited for containers, like ‘Little Finger’ or ‘Parisian.’
Sand or perlite – This helps aerate the soil and prevent compacting. Mix in around 20-30% by volume.
Fertilizer – An organic vegetable fertilizer stimulates growth. Apply before planting and monthly during growth.
Gardening gloves & tools – Gloves protect your hands when handling blocks. Need trowel, scissors, etc.
Constructing the Cinder Block Planter
Follow these steps to assemble your vertical carrot planter:
Step 1: Layout Cinder Blocks
Arrange 6-10 cinder blocks in a tower with the holes aligned vertically. Stack 2-3 blocks high, leaving gaps between blocks for planting.
Step 2: Line Inside with Landscape Fabric
Cut landscape fabric to fit snugly inside each block. This keeps soil from trickling out of the drainage holes.
Step 3: Fill Blocks with Soil Mix
In a large container, mix together potting soil, sand/perlite, and organic fertilizer as directed on package. Spoon the soil blend into each cinder block chamber, pressing firmly as you fill.
Step 4: Plant Carrot Seeds
Following seed packet instructions, plant 3-5 seeds in each block chamber 1/4 inch deep. Gently water seeds after planting.
Caring for Your Cinder Block Carrots
With the right care, your cinder block carrots will thrive! Here are tips:
Water regularly – Carrots need consistent moisture. Water whenever the top inch of soil is dry.
Fertilize monthly – Apply diluted liquid fertilizer around plants every 4 weeks during growing season.
Watch for pests – Inspect regularly for slugs, snails, and carrot rust flies. Remove by hand or use organic remedies.
Weed diligently – Pull emerging weeds so they don’t crowd out carrots. Mulching surface helps suppress weeds.
Harvest carrots – Carrots take around 2-3 months to mature. Test size by gently pulling. Harvest any time roots feel plump.
Enjoy Your Vertical Vegetable Garden
Growing carrots in cinder blocks takes advantage of vertical space for a high yield in limited garden real estate. With a bit of effort constructing the planter and proper care as carrots grow, you’ll be rewarded with an abundant harvest of homegrown carrots. Get creative and paint or decorate your cinder block design!