Keep Soil Contained By Building A Retaining Wall

by Grace Motley

Build a retaining wall to surround flowers and shrubs in your yard. The wall will provide an attractive border and will keep the plants and soil stabilized. Retaining walls are perfect to use in sloped areas and also look attractive on flat land. Follow the instructions below to complete this project. 

Purchase These Materials

  • shovel
  • wooden posts
  • sand 
  • gravel
  • tamping tool
  • mallet
  • concrete blocks
  • soil
  • concrete adhesive

​Measure And Dig

Measure the area that will be used for the retaining wall to determine how many concrete blocks you will need. Dig out this area, making sure that the depth of the trench will cover at least 1/2 of the height of first row so that it is stabilized. Use wooden stakes to assist with marking the corners of the area that you will be using so that you do not dig in an area that is not needed. Flatten the bottom of the trench by using a tamper. This tool has a wide piece that can be used to level the soil. Press down firmly with this tool, all along the length of the trench.

Create Base And Stack Blocks

Pour a mixture of sand and gravel into the base of the trench. These materials will help stabilize the concrete blocks. The level of sand and gravel does not have to be very high. Use a rake to assist with smoothing out these materials. Insert the first row of concrete blocks.Tap the top of each block with a mallet. 

Continue stacking blocks, making sure that the blocks are shifted over a little bit so that they overlap the previous row. Do this until you are satisfied with the height of the retaining wall. Apply a row of soil across the front and back of the bottom row. Press the soil against the blocks. The soil will strengthen the wall. Place a layer of gravel behind the base of the wall. This will allow drainage between the soil and the wall.

Seal The Top Row

Connect the top row of concrete blocks with concrete adhesive. Adhesive will bond to the concrete and prevent the retaining wall from tipping over. Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the bottom of the blocks with a paintbrush. Press each block firmly onto the one that is located beneath. Allow the adhesive to dry for several hours. The area behind the retaining wall can be used to showcase your favorite flowers and shrubs. 

For more information about stabilizing the soil on your land, contact an experienced soil company, like Geotech Solutions Inc.