3 Tips For Building A Garden Retaining Wall

Posted on: 27 June 2022


Do you want to add a retaining wall to your garden, but are not sure where to start? It will help to follow these tips to ensure that you do it properly. 

Plan Your Retaining Wall

There are a couple of ways that you can plan out the shape of your retaining wall. If you are going for a curved look, you can use a long rope to create the curves that you want in the wall. Once you are happy with the outlines, you can mark them with your shovel by digging a line across the rope.

If you want to make a retaining wall with straight lines and gradual curves, it is best to get out some stakes, string, and marking paint. Create your straight line by tying the string between two stakes. Once you are happy with it, mark the line on the ground with the marking paint. 

In order to mark an even curve, start by placing a stake in the ground and tying a string to it. Then attach the string to another stake, pull it tight, and drag the attached stake against the ground to create a curve. If you are working over grass, you can use the marking paint as you are moving the string.

Know How Many Blocks To Buy

Now you can head out and buy your retaining wall blocks. For a curved wall, measure the length of the rope that you used to determine how many blocks you need. Straight lines can be measured with a tape measure. Then simply divide your length by the length of the blocks to determine how many are needed for each row, and then multiply by the number of rows you want. 

Prep The Ground

The ground will need some additional prep work before you can lay down the blocks for the retaining wall. You'll want to dig out a small trench, with the depth being half the height of one block. The base of the trench can then be covered with a paver base material, which can be tampered down so that it is compacted. 

Know How To Lay The First Row

The base of your first row is going to be key to the rest of the wall being level. You can use a chisel to break off the lip on the back of the paver blocks so that they lay flat. You can then set the paver block on the ground and check that it is level by using a bubble level. Keep laying down more blocks and constantly check that each one is level by laying the bubble level across multiple blocks. Adjust the ground underneath as necessary until the entire first row is in place by adding or removing paver base material. The following rows should fall in place quite easily. 

For more information about retaining wall construction, contact a local contractor.