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By: XTREME OUTDOOR SOLUTION | Created 10/31/2018

Retaining walls are usually thought of as utilitarian and for merely holding back soil. But you can use them to create beautiful outdoor living spaces and incorporate multi-use spaces.

 

Make a Creative Design

Retaining walls don't have to be perfectly straight. Add a curve to dress up a boring straight wall and to add a little more texture to your landscape. You can use a garden hose or large rope to set the layout of the curve, then use a shovel to cut through the soil to follow the curve.

 

Size Does Matter

Smaller retaining walls, such as those less than four feet, can be easily planned and created without worrying too much about structure. Larger walls above that height may need an engineer's touch. Also be sure to check with local codes before starting one more than four feet tall.

 

Think Terracing

From a lower grade, you'll need to gradually step up the retaining wall to reach a greater slope. Do this in increments and plan for a slight offset for each course change.

 

Manufactured Blocks and Stones Are Easier

Besides offering a consistent look, manufactured blocks and stones for retaining walls offer structural integrity and an even base with which to work. There is little guesswork in installing, plus you'll have less work to do making sure each course is level. Be sure to color match and space out uneven colored stones and blocks for a better look.

 

Create A Solid Base

Dig out your base several inches below grade and tamp/compact it to level. Add any filler, such as gravel, before adding your first stones or blocks. Remember, the base sets the tone for the entire wall, so spend a lot of time in preparing this key component.

 

Plan For Drainage

A retaining wall that has a slope dropping to it will need additional drainage at the base. Add gravel and a fabric-covered drainage pipe at the base. The fabric will help prevent clogging of the pipe; a key feature as you will not want to dig out the pipe later to unclog it.

 

Keep It Level

For each course of stones and blocks, be sure to check for level. This will help maintain a sturdy and balanced wall, plus you'll keep an even and consistent look.

 

Backfill Adds Support

Backfilling as you go adds support in success layers, so as you add a new course of blocks or stones, backfill to match this level. Be sure to tamp in/compact the soil as well, so you don't have as much settling later.

 

Add Finishing Touches to the Top

Add cap blocks to the top row of a block or stone retaining wall. You can add a layer of masonry adhesive to hold them in place, then back fill. Or you can backfill as you go, then add the cap. Either way, it provides a nice finished look, much like edging added to a paver patio.

 

Building a retaining wall can be a big investment of time and money. Before you get started, learn these key tips to make sure your project is a success.

 

A retaining wall doesn't need to be boring!!!! With the selection of styles, colors textures available, you can find the perfect wall to enhance your landscaping design, creating curve or straight walls, terraces, stairs, planters and pillars.

By: ANDERSON LANDSCAPING INC | Created 10/30/2018

As nice as it is to have a lawn with beautiful green grass, the job of maintaining such a landscape can be difficult and require a considerable amount of work.

It is important to take the proper steps to ensure the grass you’re dedicating so much of your time to is healthy and full of potential.

Watering

One of the most important parts of growing a green lawn is making sure your grass has adequate water. However, your grass doesn’t require as much water as some might think.

Obviously as spring turns into summer, the weather will get hotter and grass will need more water to thrive. But even then, the rate of watering your lawn shouldn’t be too dramatic.

Weeding

One thing everyone with a lawn has in common is a healthy disdain for native weeds. But if you haven’t initiated a pre-emergence weed plan yet, you may have to get comfortable with a few unwelcome weeds growing in your yard.

The key to preventing weeds is to stop them before they start growing. It may be too late to stop a lot of the weed growth this summer, but it’s never too late to look ahead to future seasons.

Don’t cut too short

Cutting your grass down so far as to expose soil will allow weeds and pests to flourish in your yard and make it very difficult for your grass to recover.

Try to mow when it’s dry

This isn’t always possible, especially if you hit a patch of bad weather where it rains every day for a week, but it is preferable to mow when it’s dry outside to help prevent your grass clippings from clumping, which can lead to uneven cuts and potentially killing your grass if large clumps are not picked up after you mow. Wet grass also increases your risk of slipping while mowing, which can be extremely dangerous with a push mower.

Mix up your pattern

If you always mow in the same pattern, you will begin to create noticeable ruts with your mower and compact the soil in a manner which will make it harder for your grass to grow. Additionally, you will develop a grain in the grass which only goes in one direction, causing the grass to lean rather than stand up straight.

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