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Tips for Creating a Retaining Wall for Your Garden

A retaining wall can add beauty as well as purpose to your yard. They are useful for making a larger area for walking, as well as for setting up a designated garden area with controlled and economical use of space. Installing a retaining wall can seem like an easy weekend project but there are some tricks that can help it to last longer. Here are some of the tips that you can utilize to get you started on this garden project.

Tips for Creating a Retaining Wall for Your Garden (1)

Select Your Location

Take the time to plan out exactly where you want your retaining wall placed. The most common uses for adding in a retaining wall are to control draining or set up a garden with a level field even though your yard is sloped. A retaining wall is also commonly used as a breakpoint from one area of your yard to another. For a garden situation, backfilling your retaining wall will give it more structural support than just having it be freestanding. Think about setting it up against the back or side of your yard, and look at the current landscaping to get a feel for how you can use the wall to set up a terraced garden.

Lay the Groundwork

Digging down six inches from where you want your first row of blocks for your retaining wall will help with the leveling process. If you fail to do this step, over time your retaining wall will start to sag and shift. You don’t want to have to redo it after a couple of years because you didn’t do the groundwork. Adding in gravel as a base is the first place to start, as it provides structural support. In areas that have a lot of clay, you may want to put sand down to help with the leveling process.

Reinforce for Longevity

There are lots of different types of blocks that you can use to build your retaining wall. Check out a steel supply company so that you can find the right structures to reinforce your block of choice. Think about the steel in the blocks as the backbone. They will provide more structural support to the rest of your wall and keep everything in place. Using this type of construction ensures that your wall will last for a long time.

Invest in Drainage

Nothing defeats your wall faster than not investing in proper drainage. Water erodes great hillsides down to nothing. Installing drainage tubes that have holes drilled in the piping will give the water an outlet. Make sure to add hosing to your drain pipe so that dirt doesn’t clog it up. Dig out your drain tube at least three inches away from the base of your wall to prevent the water from undermining your groundwork. This will ensure that your pipes and wall last for a long time.

A retaining wall is a good way to designate a barrier in your yard, improve your garden’s draining, and give you more space for planting and play by taking advantage of vertical space. Use these tips to create a retaining wall that will last through the ages and improve the look and economy of your back yard.


Author Bio:  Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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