If your yard is on the side of a hill or a gentle slope, that useless space can be turned into an attractive outdoor focal point with a retaining wall.
Built to hold back earth, retaining walls stabilize and level slopes that can become garden terraces for your landscaping, and add outdoor living - and playing - space, as well.
A retaining wall provides erosion control using varied materials like wood, retaining block, poured concrete, brick and boulders. But know what you’re doing before you tackle such a complicated, labor-intensive project. We’ve all seen retaining walls that started out straight and ended up leaning outward.
That’s because, at a weight of more than 100 pounds per square foot, soil pushes outward. Only a well-built retaining wall will stand the test of time.
The bottom of the wall must be buried in the soil - one tenth the height of the wall - to anchor it. Set each row (course) of blocks a little farther back from the previous row so that your wall is pushing back against the soil. Blocks made especially for retaining walls will have an extension on one side to help set each course back farther.
One thing to remember is that water is a retaining wall’s enemy. Use a drain pipe and filter fabric and really compacted material directly behind the wall so that water won’t soak in.
Another important point is how high you want your retaining wall to be. If you have a very steep slope use several smaller retaining walls, creating succeeding terraces.
The experts at That Perennial Place landscapers and garden center, in Morris, can help you plan and build a beautiful retaining wall that will last for years.
That Perennial Place | 1565 W. US Route 6, Morris, IL | (815) 942 2235 |thatperennialplace.com