How to Build a Cheap Wind Barrier

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When you need to protect an area from the ravages of wind, you require the services of a wind barrier. There are a number of effective barrier types and designs, but for a cheap and effective barrier you can erect in a matter of hours, nothing beats a soil berm. These creations, looking much like elongated mini-hills, break up wind across plains, cutting the speed of the wind passage to lower the chances of wind damage occurring to whatever you’re trying to protect. Because the barrier is made primarily of soil and turf, the cost is negligible, with much of the price being in the labor involved in creating the berm, as well as in the transportation of the berm materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Clay soil
  • Topsoil
  • Tamper
  • Turf or shrubs

Use a spade to remove about 2 inches of soil from the area where you’re building your berm.

Build the fill layer for the berm using clay soil that will easily hold its shape under the worst weather conditions. The height and width of the berm will differ according to your wind barrier needs. What you do want, though, is a berm that’s at least as tall as the highest items that you’re protecting and wide enough to break up direct wind movement against the protected area.

Shape the clay soil in your final berm shape, with an elongated slope on the windward side, followed by a rounded top and a sharply falling slope on the opposing side of the berm.

Cover the clay soil with 2 inches of topsoil. Tamp the topsoil down onto the clay to compress the material.

Complete the berm construction by planting it with turf or shrubs to aid in breaking up wind directed against the berm and to keep the soil together during periods of heavy wind or rainfall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute all but the top inch of the clay soil layer with a stone fill material to create a sturdy berm with increased drainage.

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