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Building a block garden wall

More in Outdoors

Highlights:

Watch an Overview Video

Tools & Materials

Surface bonding cement
Concrete block
Chalk line
Level
Carpenter’s square
Square finishing trowel
Wheelbarrow and mixing hoe or machine mortar mixer
Rubber mallet
5-gallon bucket
Garden hose with spray attachment
Liquid cement color

Getting Started

TIP: Building a block garden wall is easier if you use surface bonding cement instead of mortar.

You'll need a solid level footer.

TIP: Call 811 to check for buried utility lines BEFORE you dig.

Dry fit first row inside chalk lines to make sure edges are straight and corners square. If the first row is straight and square, the remaining rows will be also.

Creating the Block Garden Wall

Add liquid cement color to surface bonding cement and mix so that it hangs on trowel held at 90-degree angle.

Remove blocks and reset on 1l8-inch bed of bonding cement.

TIP: Check for level every 3 or 4 blocks.

Stack remaining blocks dry without mortar; use running bond pattern to stagger ends; corners should be interlocked.

Thoroughly wet blocks so they won’t draw water from cement and cause inconsistent color and cracking.

Using square finishing trowel, apply 1/8- to ¼-inch coat of cement to outside of blocks.

TIP: Work from bottom to top and hold trowel at 45-degree angle.

Wrapping Up

Mist wall while it dries to make the cement stronger.

TIP: Add a cushion and pillows and your wall can double as a bench.

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