How To Build A Wooden Retaining Wall For A Garden

If you want to create a garden area on your property, but are not sure how you will keep the soil in place and safe from erosion, then building a retaining wall is one of the easiest ways. A retaining wall is simply an artificial structure that has been built from materials such as wood, stone, concrete or other masonry materials. These walls can be designed for both aesthetic and utilitarian purposes. In some instances, these walls are made entirely out of wood slats which allows for ease when it comes to installation and construction.

Check the land

Before you start building the retaining wall, you must check the ground to make sure it’s level. You should also make sure that there are no rocks or roots in the way of where your wall will be located. If there are plants or trees on either side of the area where your wall will be located, then those will have to be removed so that they don’t interfere with either side of your retaining wall.

You should also check for any other obstructions such as concrete or bricks and pipes or cables that may get in between where you want to build your retaining wall and where it needs to go.

Decide on a location for your retaining wall

  • Decide on a location for your retaining wall
  • Use stakes and string to mark out the edges of your wall, including any steps or benches you want to include as part of the structure.
  • Excavate the soil according to your depth requirements (we’re going two feet deep). If you are building a straight wall, dig down evenly from both sides so that they meet at the middle point (this will save you time later). If you are adding steps or benches, then dig up all around them so that there’s enough room for your structure and also make sure it extends past any existing plants/trees that may grow too close in future years (you don’t want them growing into each other!).

Mark out the area where you will be building

Mark out the area where you will be building your retaining wall. You can use a tape measure, a level and string to mark out the area or spray paint, flags and pick & shovels.

Marking out a retaining wall is not hard but it needs to be done correctly for your project to turn out well.

Create a retaining wall plan

  • Use a level to check if your garden is level.
  • Use a spirit level to check if the wooden sleepers are level.
  • Measure the length and width of each wooden sleeper using a tape measure.
  • Mark out where you will be building your retaining wall using a pencil and ruler, noting how many sleepers you need for each side of your plan (i.e., 4×8 feet).
  • Dig up any existing sod and plant life within the area marked out for your retaining wall, at least 8 inches deep so that there is plenty of soil available for backfilling later on in the build process

Purchase the supplies for your retaining wall

Before you can start building your retaining wall, you need to purchase the materials. The materials required will depend on the size of your project and what type of material makes up your garden wall. For example, if a stone wall is being built, then rocks are going to be needed as well as mortar and cement mixers.

If you’re not sure where to get these supplies from, then why not visit your local hardware store? They should have everything that’s needed for construction work like this. It’s also worth checking out whether there are any restrictions on building a garden retaining wall in your area before starting any works so that nothing gets delayed later on down the line due to legal reasons

Once all these preparations have been made, it’s time for us now too look at some examples of how one could go about creating their own DIY wooden retaining walls at home

Dig up any existing sod and plant life.

  • Dig up any existing sod and plant life.
  • Check the land for any underground pipes, cables, or other buried objects. If you find something that is not supposed to be there, move it out of the way before continuing with your project.
  • Use a shovel to dig up the soil (you may have to remove rocks or roots first). Make sure that you dig deep enough so that the wall will sit on solid ground when you’re done building it.

Use a shovel to dig into the ground at least 8 inches to create a level base of soil.

  • Use a shovel to dig into the ground at least 8 inches to create a level base of soil.
  • Use a measuring tape to measure the depth of the hole, and then use a leveler to check that it is even (it should be perfectly straight).
  • Fill in any uneven areas with soil until you have created an even surface that is 8 inches deep all around your planned retaining wall site.

Prepare your wooden sleepers to build your garden wall.

  • Measure and cut your wooden sleepers to size.
  • Use a spirit level to make sure all the sleepers are the same height, and a spirit level to make sure they are all at the same angle. If you have access to a laser level that can penetrate your soil, this will be even more helpful for ensuring consistency in your wall’s construction.
  • Use nails to join two or more sleepers together at their corners so that they form an enclosed box structure; these boxes should be spaced apart by equal distances on each side (you can use stakes driven into the ground as reference points).
  • Once all your boxes have been constructed, check them again with some extra levels and see how well they line up with each other; if any of your boxes seem too tall or short compared with others, adjust accordingly until everything looks right before continuing down this path towards building a retaining wall

Building A Retaining Wall Is Quite A Simple Process, If You Follow The Instructions

Building a retaining wall is quite a simple process, if you follow the instructions. The first thing to do is to make sure you have the right tools for the job. You will need a good foundation for your wall and some way of leveling it so that it is straight, sturdy and safe.


You may want to create a retaining wall for a couple of reasons. It could be because you need additional space in your garden or perhaps you just want to add something unique and interesting to an existing area. Whatever the reason, building A Retaining Wall Is Quite A Simple Process, If You Follow The Instructions.

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