Using landscape blocks is a simple way to beautify your yard or lawn project. The blocks are easy to use in either plain or interlocking form and they come in earth-tone colors that will complement the outdoors look of whatever project you are undertaking. A few simple tools will help you create a stunning landscape block project in a day or weekend, depending on the size and scope of your structure.
Plan your project sidewalk, retaining wall, garden pathway or flowerbed. Measure the ground length to ensure you purchase sufficient supplies, as blocks, sand and filler quantities are determined by length.
Dig a dirt trench out of the area you wish to use for your landscape blocks. Dig to a depth several inches thicker than you want the blocks to sit plug a few inches wider. For example, if you’re laying a sidewalk and want 2-inch blocks to sit level with the surrounding ground, clear dirt down 4-6 inches to allow for leveling materials.
Prepare a level foundation for the blocks. After digging, smooth out the dirt base of your trench and tamp it down, breaking up hard balls of dirt and filling in holes from uneven digging. A flat soil level is the first step to successfully laying your landscape blocks.
Cover the trench with landscape fabric or a waterproof layer to minimize water seeping under your work and eroding the dirt. Press it into the trench and smooth it out to lay as flat as possible.
Add an approximately 1-inch, even layer of sand over the landscape fabric. Tamp it down and check it with the level. Fill in a second, 2-inch layer of paver gravel over the sand. Also, tamp this layer down and check it for level positioning.
Lay one block at a time, pressing it down into the paver gravel. Set the second block tightly against the first and continue pressing the blocks into the gravel level. Every few blocks check to see if the blocks are level. Remove or add gravel to even out the position of any blocks that are sitting unevenly.
Step back from the project several times, or at each level of wall or flowerbed to eyeball the work and make sure it looks right according to the eye, as well as the level. Also look to ensure it fits the plan you had in mind for your finished block structure. Make adjustments to block placement or tamp down filler levels if the blocks aren’t fitting correctly.
Tips & Warnings
It’s far easier to level and make small corrections along the way as you build than come to the end and find out you have a crooked block in the middle of your structure.
You may be able to rent a tamper from a local home improvement store if you don’t have other access to one.
Double-check the soil level after you dig the trench to make sure there are no clumps or air pockets hiding holes in the dirt layer which could cave down later underneath your structure.
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