Cinder block raised bed footer?


Old 05-09-13, 09:53 AM
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Cinder block raised bed footer?

Hello! I want to build a raised garden bed out of cinder blocks and am trying to figure out if I'll need a poured concrete footer for it or not... The bed will be 2 feet tall, so 3 rows of blocks and a 4th row buried underground. I'll drive rebar through the holes (one for every block) and drive it 1 or 2 feet down into the ground, and pour concrete (or sand?) in the holes with the rebar. The blocks will be mortared together. Now, given all these precautions (one row underground, rebar, and mortared joints), do I still need a concrete footer? If not, what else if anything do I need to use as a footer? Compacted sand/gravel maybe? How thick? Please let me know what you think. This will be a lot of work and very heavy, so I'm trying to figure out what I can get away with without compromising structural integrity... Thanks!
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Old 05-09-13, 05:07 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If it were anything but raised beds, I would advocate a footer. You may can get by with a fully tamped footer of gravel/sand at least 6 to 8", as it will be dispersing a good bit of weight. Others will have varying ideas, so hang in there.

Edit: I just saw your location. Wait for others from the nawth to answer your question as well. We don't have your frost heave here in the South.
Old 05-10-13, 08:43 AM
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Thanks chandler! Yeah I should've probably specified my location in the post as well... Oops! I'm in Boston MA. Advice from colder regions will be greatly appreciated! I've been browsing through gardening forums and blogs and different people do it differently... Some lay a footer, some don't, including in colder regions. Some don't even mortar the blocks together. So I'm quite confused. I think not mortaring the blocks together is a bit too optimistic at this height (2 feet), so I'll definitely do that, and give them rebar support. But an 8" footer for a 10'x6' bed may be a bit out of my capabilities :-(

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