How To Build A Retaining Wall For Garden

Building a garden retaining wall is something that will make your home look more attractive and make your garden easier to manage. Before you begin, think about the following factors:

Section: Use the right materials

Section: Make sure that you have the right tools

Section: Work on a stable foundation

Takeaway: There are many advantages to building a retaining wall for your garden. This guide will help you get started.

How To Build A Retaining Wall For Garden

  • Materials
  • You will need to have the following materials on hand before you begin construction:
  • Concrete blocks (quantity based on your wall size and design)
  • Cinder blocks (quantity based on your wall size and design)
  • Sand and cement for mortar mix (3 bags each)

Step #1. Design Your Wall

Before you begin building, you should first draw up your plans. In order to do this effectively, you need to consider a number of factors. Specifically, ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my retaining wall? (e.g. Is it for drainage? To level out a sloped area?)
  • What materials do I have available to build with and will they be adequate for the job at hand? (e.g., If I only have sand-based soil, then using concrete blocks might not be possible.)
  • How much space am I working with and where does it start/stop? (e.g., Are there any trees or other obstructions that will require an extra effort in getting the measurements right.)

Step #2. Dig The Trench

Next, you will need to dig a trench for the retaining wall. The depth of the trench should be 8-10 inches deep and about 2 feet wide. It is best if you can make your retaining wall straight but if this is not possible due to space constraints or other factors, then it’s okay that they don’t line up perfectly with each other. Make sure that both sides are level by using a spirit level and adjust by loosening some of the soil until you are satisfied with how it looks like on both sides.

Step #3. Lay Retaining Wall Foundation

  • Lay Retaining Wall Foundation

Now that you have the retaining wall’s general shape and size, it is time to prepare the foundation for it. In order to ensure that your garden retaining wall stays strong and secure, do not skip this step.

  • Level ground: Before you can start laying your footing, you will need to make sure that the ground is level where it needs to be laid. Using a spirit level or simply a line of string, check if there are any bumps or dips in your chosen area. If there are any irregularities such as holes or high spots then fill them with soil so they become flat with their surroundings before proceeding further with step 3 above.* Straighten up: Once your site has been leveled out properly and all uneven sections filled in with dirt/sand etc., now comes time for straightening up our newly leveled area using stakes & string lines.* Make solid footings: Once we have determined height location of each tier & measured out distance between them plus width required between center line & adjacent walls (if applicable), we can begin marking out our footings using small wooden stakes driven into ground at appropriate place locations according to these calculations made earlier on paper layout drawing sheet itself which includes both height placement plus spacing measurements along center line as well as side walls (if applicable).

Step #4. Install The Drainage Pipe

  • Install The Drainage Pipe

Once your foundation is complete and the retaining wall is built, you’ll need to install a drainage pipe. This will be the final step before you can start planting your garden.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Drill a hole into the drainage pipe where it meets with your retaining wall. Make sure that this hole is level with the ground so that water doesn’t seep out of it and cause erosion or flooding in unwanted areas of your garden. You’ll want this hole as deep as possible, but not deeper than 8 inches (20 cm).

Step #5. Install The Gravel Behind The Wall

The next step is to fill the space between the wall and your soil with gravel. Gravel has many functions in a retaining wall, but its main purpose is to prevent soil from washing down into your garden bed. If you’re building a large retaining wall, you may want to add extra support by adding another layer of cinder blocks on top of the first one (as shown in our photo). You can also use crushed or broken concrete instead of regular gravel if you prefer.

Once you’ve filled up this space with gravel and compacted it down with either a hammer or a tamp handle (a long metal bar), you’ll need to level out each section before moving onto the next one so that everything sits flush with one another—and looks nice.

Finally, slope all sides of your retaining wall at an angle so that water runs down them more easily instead of collecting at any given spot along its length. This will prevent erosion issues later on down the road when rain falls heavier than usual during rainy seasons; water won’t collect against walls made out of cinder blocks because they’re relatively porous compared to other types like concrete blocks which are better suited for vertical surfaces such as sidewalks where nothing needs draining away from underneath them anyway.”

Step #6. Build Layers To Reach Desired Height

  • Build Layer #2: Repeat Step #5, but instead of using the 4-foot boards, use 8-foot boards.
  • Build Layer #3: Repeat Step #5, but instead of using the 4-foot boards, use 12-foot boards.
  • Build Layer #4: Repeat Step #5, but instead of using the 6-foot boards, use 16-foot boards.

Step #7. Add Topsoil And Make Your Flowerbeds

  • Add Topsoil And Make Your Flowerbeds

Now that you have built the retaining wall, it’s time to add topsoil and make your flowerbeds. This process is pretty straightforward: just spread out your topsoil evenly on top of all four sides of the wall, making sure to fill in any gaps or areas that are bare soil with more topsoil. Next, add mulch to the area between your bed and retaining wall so that weeds can’t grow there. Finally, water down all of this newly-created dirt until it’s moist enough (but not too wet) for your plants’ roots to thrive in

  • Bonus Tip: Try using colorful flowers like petunias or impatiens for an extra splash of color

7 Easy Steps To Build A Retaining Wall For Garden.

Before starting, it’s important to plan and prepare. Your retaining wall will last longer if you lay a good foundation. Make sure that your retaining wall has proper drainage or else it will not last long. You should use the right materials for each part, such as building blocks for the base of the wall and mortared stone for the sides.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have all of your tools handy: shovels, rakes, etc., as well as hammers or other items necessary for finishing work on top of your retaining wall (for example).


Now you have one more resource to help you tackle your gardening projects and make the most of your outdoor space. Make sure to bookmark this page as a reference whenever you need it, too! In addition, don’t forget that we’re always here with expert advice on all things home and garden. If you have any questions about your next project—whether it involves retaining walls or not—feel free to reach out to us at any time. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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