stone retaining wall

How to Build Natural Stone Retaining Wall for the Landscape

The retaining wall can be useful for those people who generally live in the hilly regions. In these areas, the soils are vulnerable and get washed away quickly because of the slope. Building up a retaining wall can trap the washed soil particles and prevent them from washing the land. Many people build these walls to enhance the beauty of their garden and to protect the land from being eroded. It can be a funny DIY project for the builders to build natural stone retaining wall, and the maximum height of these walls should not cross 3 feet. Even if you need to build taller than that, let the professionals handle this.

Here, we will help you know how you can quickly build a natural stone retaining wall for your landscape.

How to Build Natural Stone Retaining Wall for the Landscape

Required equipment

  • Wood stakes
  • Hammer or maul
  • Line level
  • Mason’s line
  • Shovel
  • Utility knife
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hand tamp
  • Short 2×4 board
  • 4 feet carpenter’s level

Materials build natural stone retaining wall

  • Cut stone or fieldstone
  • Compactible gravel
  • Landscape fabric
  • Coarse sand
  • Drainage gravel
  • Masonry adhesive


  1. The builder needs to organize natural stones by shape and size. The sizes are required to build several piles. To build the base of the wall, larger and flatter stones are needed because these shapes will provide good support to the finest stones. To enhance the beauty of the wall, the builder can reserve the best-looking gravels. To maintain the overall consistency, you can mix up the odd-looking and irregular shaped stones with the regular ones.
  2. After organizing the stones, it is time to set up a level line by using the wood stakes, along with the mason’s line. Use these to mark the spot of the trench. To set up this trench, you need to remember the design and the width. The width of the trench is considered to be at least half of the total height of the wall. If the builder wants to build a 60 cm tall wall, then the trench’s width will be at least 30 cm.
  3. After setting up the lines, it is time to excavate the area. Begin from the line and slowly move back to the slope. Try to level the ground by digging the soil because it will help to establish a flat trench. Continue digging the slope and adjust the width based on the planning.
  4. Now, cover the entire excavated region with the landscape fabric, and it should be perpendicular to the front side of the wall. Try to extend it for a meter or a few feet. Cut the lines with the knife after finishing.
  5. It is time to fill the trench and give a structure to the wall. First, use the flatter and wider gravel to fill the trench, and after that, rake all those gravels to ensure that they are leveled. Now use the hand tamp to tamp them thoroughly. Add the coarse sand over those gravels and smooth the sand by using a short 2×4 board.
  6. The base is completed. Now lay the first and second-course one-by-one and make sure that those stones are leveled. Don’t leave any gaps between the stones and try to fill them up because it will strengthen the structure.

This is the simplest six-step process to construct a natural stone retaining wall to improve the landscape and reduce land erosion.

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