Along with autumn comes cooler weather, and the perfect opportunity to build your own unique vegetable and herb garden.
Landscaper and Adbri Masonry ambassador Jason Hodges said choosing concrete blocks enables you to be creative, adding dimension and aesthetics.
"This is a great weekend project that the entire family can be involved in," Jason said. "If kids are involved in growing the good stuff, they will definitely eat it. It's also fantastic, uninterrupted family time in the great outdoors, and no distractions of televisions, phones and computers. Some of your fondest memories will be made in the new garden, the kids will love it and you will save a few dollars on the grocery bills."
Before you begin, Jason suggests considering the position for the veggie patch and making sure it receives enough sunlight, as this will impact the fruit, vegetables and herbs you grow. Also, consider layering your veggie patch by bringing in different heights which will add dimensions and interest to your yard.
Determine what size and shape your veggie patch will be, with consideration to what fruits, vegetables and herbs you wish to plant. Once you have a rough idea, mark out the shape of your veggie patch. For square shapes, set up a string line, for curved or circular areas you can use the garden hose.
Excavate a trench (the footing) that's at least 50mm wider than your chosen Adbri concrete block, and close to 200mm in depth. Top tip: Place turf in green bins but save the soil so you can reuse this in the first course of your soil mix in the raised veggie patch.
Spread road base in the footing to a depth of at least 50mm and compact it using a plate compactor. Using recycled road base is better for the environment and can be cheaper.
Prepare a sand and cement mix for the footing as per the manufacturer instructions. Use a spirit level and work in small sections through your trench constantly checking levels both ways - side to side and front to back. Your base needs to be level.
Start at one end and place blocks onto the sand and cement mix. Gently tap blocks into position with a rubber mallet. Use a spirit level to check from side to side and front to back. Blocks should be butted against one another, continue and complete the first course.
Sweep dirt and debris and continue laying blocks by simply stacking them on top of one another until the desired height, noting the maximum unreinforced heights allowable. For the top course, place four blobs of suitable landscape-grade adhesive and place capping blocks firmly on the adhesive. You will finish with a nice, clean, flush-looking garden wall and the blocks won't move from position.
"Autumn is an excellent time of the year to sow vegetables and herb seeds that love cooler conditions. These will be ready to harvest throughout winter and spring," Jason said.
Top tip: Layers look great and make harvesting easy. Start with fruit trees in the centre and work out towards veggies and herbs.
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