Dry Stone Edging And Wall Tips

The perfectly designed landscape requires more than pretty plants. You need to add different textures and mediums, as well as providing varying heights of visual interest to keep the eye from becoming bored. Dry stone hardscaping allows just these things. There's no need for messy mortar or expensive construction. You can use the stones to create low edging, taller dividing walls, or even low terraces to elevate areas of the yard. The following tips will help you as you create a beautiful landscape with this material.

Tip #1: Start with a strong base 

Soil shifting is the main cause of a collapsing or bulging wall. You can minimize this issue by constructing a simple trench base before you begin erecting a wall. Find out the frost zone of your region. This information is usually available from county extension offices, but a nursery will also likely have the information. Then, dig a trench a couple of inches deeper than the frost zone and 1.5 times as wide as the base of your wall. You can rent a trencher from a hardware store to make this easier. Finally, fill the trench with packed patio base gravel, tamping it down firmly. Now you have a strong base that should not heave each time the ground freezes and thaws.

Tip #2: Go with a wide base

Dry stone walls aren't the same thickness from top to bottom. While this is possible with a mortared wall since the mortar is what holds everything together, dry stone needs a wider base to give the wall more stability. Generally, you should start with two rows, side by side, of your larger stones. Place them close together then fill in the chinks between the rows with small stones or gravel. Sand can even be added to exceptionally small spaces. The fewer unfilled spaces, particularly in this first row, the sturdier your wall. As you stack upward, you can gradually taper down to a single row of stones if desired. For walls taller than two feet or that have tight curves, three rows of base stones can be a stronger option.

Tip #3: Don't go too tall

You should choose dry stone for exceptionally tall walls, such as those meant to provide privacy. A height of three feet is usually the maximum for standard dry stone. This also ensures that you can easily reach both the sides and the top of the wall to fill in all chinks between stones with small rocks, gravel, or sand. If the wall seems wobbly, then you either need to reposition the stones, add more filler rocks, or make the wall a little bit shorter, so it regains its stability.

For more help, talk with a landscape supplier in your area.