How to Build a Cobblestone Retaining Wall

If you find yourself wondering how you can keep your yard put together during harsh winter weather, a retaining wall is a great way to help! A retaining wall is a structure designed to hold soil together and prevent erosion, providing stability to sloped landscapes. Retaining walls are used in areas with sloped or uneven ground to help with erosion and runoff from rain or snow so your yard stays put together. The construction of retaining walls involves various materials to build. These walls not only provide structural support to the soil but also make the yard look better. One of the types of material used for retaining walls is landscaping cobbles. These rocks give a very appealing look to your yard and can make a big difference in how the soil sits, potentially saving your yard this winter. 

Before building the retaining wall

In an article written by Oregon State University, they explain in 11 steps how to build a cobblestone retaining wall. In step one, he says it's important to organize your cobblestones how you would like them so they look how you would want them. You want to start with the biggest stones at the base of the wall to provide structural support to the wall and the soil that will be behind it. Then with step two, you want to create a level line to make sure the wall you build is even across. With these choices, you can make sure that the retaining wall will be built how you like and the landscaping cobbles will be placed how you want them. 

Choosing an area for the wall

Selecting the right location for a retaining wall in your yard involves considering a few different things about your yard. Identify areas with steep slopes or uneven ground where soil erosion or shifting is a concern or has happened. These could be spots where water runoff is causing damage or areas with a noticeable change in ground level. A well-chosen location, considering the ground shift and soil aspects will not only address functional needs but also enhance the overall appeal of your yard. Beaulieu tells us that step three is to choose the place you want to build the wall. After evaluating your yard, picking the right place will be able to benefit your yard so much. Once the ground has been excavated or dug out in step four you’ll place a landscaping fabric to hold the soil behind the wall together while you build. This creates a sturdy surface to help prep before placing the landscaping cobbles on your wall.

Building the Retaining Wall

Once you have laid everything out, chosen the area, and then excavated the wall, it’s time to place the stones. In step five you will begin to build the base of the wall. This will create a sturdy foundation for the rest of the wall to lay on to stay up during weather erosion and soil shifts. In step six you’ll begin to lay the first row of flat cobblestones so the other stones have a place to rest on. This will help the wall to stay even and be structurally strong. In step seven you’ll place the next row of stones creating a staggering effect. This will provide a more structurally sound wall providing more strength to the wall. In step eight you’ll backfill the wall by placing little cobblestones to help with drainage and flow of the soil keeping the wall strong as well as the ground. In step nine you will create more rows by staggering the cobblestones until you have reached the desired height. In step ten to finish the wall you will backfill the wall to the top and cover it with ground that will be placed behind the wall. The landscaping cobbles will lay nicely providing a way for your yard to stay in place all through the weather and gradual erosion. 

Benefits and Sustainability of Landscaping Cobbles

If you're looking for a cost-efficient and sustainable way to keep your yard nice, landscaping your yard with cobblestones can contribute to sustainability in several different ways. Cobblestones are often made from natural materials such as granite, basalt, or other durable stones. Making them long-lasting and resistant to the wear and tear of weather, reducing the need for frequent replacements. The durability of cobblestone lessens the environmental impact because you aren’t creating new materials or extracting new ones either. Cobblestone pavements help with water flow, allowing rainwater to go back into the ground and replenish the water that has been lost, reducing runoff and the risk of soil erosion. The linking of landscaping cobbles creates a stable surface, reducing the need for extensive excavation and providing a natural drainage system with the weather runoff. As a result of all these factors, landscaping with cobblestones works with sustainability by prioritizing how long it lasts, getting the materials from local sources, water flow with runoff, and low maintenance requirements.

Why should I put a retaining wall in my yard?

Installing a retaining wall in your yard is great for the aesthetics of your yard but also a practical necessity that can help with different issues and the overall functionality of your yard. Building a retaining wall is a great way to prevent soil erosion, especially on sloped ground, by holding back and stabilizing the soil behind the wall. In an article written by The National Center for Biotechnology Information they share that,  “The retaining wall is a passive engineering measure to prevent and control unsafe factors caused by rock collapse in the valleys'.” One of the ways to help with the possibility of unsafe ground is using Landscaping cobbles to control water flow and help with the possibility of flooding, and soil erosion. The Cobblestones are a great way to help direct the water keeping the ground firm and preventing soil erosion. We at Kilgore Landscape know how important your yard is to you and want to help prevent future damage that could happen. Whether you're dealing with a sloping yard or seeking to add visual interest to your outdoor space, a well-designed and properly installed retaining wall we would love to be a part of helping your yard become the yard of your dreams.