Retaining wall in a day, Really!


When we purchased our home 11 years ago, the back yard was a barren wasteland.  There was no plant life, only a pit of red clay.  Many people have the luxury of planting their yards immediately after moving in.   The mechanic and I did not have that luxury.  We had major erosion problems.  We live in a neighborhood where each neighbor’s yard sits progressively higher than the next.  The yard to the right has rain runoff into our yard, and our yard erodes onto the property to the left of us.  You get the picture.  We kept putting topsoil dressing on our yard to only have it wash off into our “lower neighbor’s” yard.  This is the solution that I came up with, which caused much moaning and groaning from the mechanic.  I had just undergone some minor surgery and could not help lift the 50lbs bags for this project; however, I did dig the ditch.


It was a long, deep ditch too.  I needed the bottom of the ditch to be level with my neighbor’s yard. Clay-type soil is often baked into a hard crust, and is difficult to break apart with a shovel.


I was extremely nervous.  I was not positive that my “concrete retaining wall” idea would work, and the mechanic had just started putting the bags in. I did not let the anxiety show on my face.



We decided to place the first layer of concrete bags on their sides to help hold the loose soil. The mechanic loved it when I decided we needed two more rows of concrete bags placed on top of that bottom row.



Once all the bags were in place, I watered the wall daily for four days.  I could hardly wait to rip the paper off of the concrete.  I even got a bit impatient waiting on the top row to harden.  I poked a hole large enough to fit the water hose nozzle in and filled each bag with water.  Looking back, I should have been more patient.  You can see the holes that were made in the concrete.   If I do this again, I will continue to water all the bags daily, until they are all hard.  The wall didn’t need to be pretty because it does not show.  My planting beds are in front and the fence is behind it.  RESULTS?  We had torrential downpours since this wall went in, and we no longer lose topsoil in our neighbors yard.  The retaining wall works!  This makes me breathe a sigh of relief because I don’t have an issue with the mechanic.

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