Thinking about installing a retaining wall or garden bed in your yard? Save money and time by doing it yourself!

Why spend loads of money on equipment hire and labour, when you can build your own retaining wall or garden bed in a few simple steps?

Planning

Before you start building, it’s important to plan exactly where the retaining wall or garden bed will go, how big it will be and what materials you will use.

First make a sketch of what you’d like the end product to look like. Then, measure out your yard and decide on the size and shape you want the bed or retaining wall to be.

Get creative with it; it doesn’t have to be a boring rectangle or straight line, try a circle or even a wall with a slight wave in it.

Before you start building you will also need to check with your local council whether you will need a permit, as walls over 1m require council approval.

Materials

Next, decide on the materials you would like to use, there are plenty of options but the most popular ones are timber and concrete.

If you’re after a natural look, timber sleepers are the perfect option for you. Not only do they look great, they’re affordable and if it’s treated timber they’ll last for up to two decades. They can also be painted to suit any colour scheme. However, there are a few down sides to using timber in the yard.

If the timber is untreated it will have moisture, termite, rotting and warping issues which could lead to expensive rectification costs. Timber design options are also really limited, as they only come in straight sleepers or circular logs.

If you’re after a retaining wall or garden bed that will stand the test of time, it’s best to go with concrete.

According to Aussie Concrete, concrete sleepers last at least three times longer than timber and because they’re impervious to termites they won’t rot or warp. They’re also extremely durable and resistant and will stand up against the ever-changing Queensland weather.

Unlike timber, concrete sleepers are available in a range of colours and designs to suit most landscapes. You can even get timber look concrete sleepers if you want.

Once you’ve determined the size and materials you need, you’ll need to buy all your bits and pieces.

To make it easy for you, Aussie Concrete have created the Ridgi DIY reinforced concrete retaining system, which has been specially designed for low-load retaining and garden beds with heights below 900mm. That means you don’t need council approval!

The Ridgi has everything you need to DIY your own retaining wall or garden bed and it’s so easy to install. The only hard part is deciding which colour or style concrete sleeper you’d like.

The great thing about Ridgi is that they also provide you with a step by step planning guide and how to videos on their website, just in case you need extra help.

Prep your site

Once you have everything planned out and all your bits and pieces sorted, you will need to prepare your site.

First clear away any rubbish, rocks or debris and level out the soil. Then, measure out the size and shape of your wall or bed and insert a stake at each end of the proposed build. Lay a string line along the front edge of the posts, attaching each end to the posts. Mark out the barriers with white marking paint – by following the string.

You will also need to mark out where your posts will go. Ridgi sleepers are 1500mm long so the space between the post should be 1600mm from centre to centre.

If the wall is being built on the boundary of your yard make sure you don’t spill out over onto your neighbour’s yard or on to council land.

Dig your holes

Now it’s time to get down and dirty!

Dig your holes for the posts using a mattock or post hole shovel, which you can get from any hardware store. The Ridgi system is engineer designed. The system requires that whatever the height of the wall, the hole must the same in depth. The system comes with a 15 year warranty if built to the engineer specifications.

Set the posts

Once you’ve dug all the holes you need for your wall or garden bed, pour in the concrete and insert your posts. Allow the concrete to set for two days. Then, you can insert your sleepers.

Agpipe and back fill

Before you fill your retaining wall or garden bed with soil, you’ll need to insert 65mm agpipe for drainage.

Agpipe has a number of benefits as it allows for drainage around gardens, retaining walls and other places where moisture can be a problem.

Place the pipe along the bottom of your wall or bed, making sure it’s on the inside of the structure (the part that will be covered with dirt).

Then, you will need to cover the pipe and backfill the wall with 20mm drainage gravel to 200mm from the top of the structure. Then, simply fill the rest of the wall or bed with soil and you’re done!

If you’re going to put plants in the structure, it’s a good idea to add good quality fertilisers and compost to the soil.

Landscaping

Now comes the fun part, choosing the plants! It’s a good idea to check with your local nursery what plants are in season and what will be best suited to the climate.

Add colour throughout the garden by grouping different varieties of flowers together.
Cordylines are also great for adding colour to the garden, as they come in a range of beautiful purples and bright pinks. And, because they’re a real hardy plant they are perfect for sunny dry areas.

The Ridgi DIY reinforced concrete retaining system is available at Bunnings Warehouse. For more information visit www.ridgi.com.au

Just so you know, this is a sponsored post. Regardless, we only recommend services, products and events we believe our readers will appreciate.