How to Build an Outdoor Stone Wall Without Mortar

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Stone walls add something classic and beautiful to just about any garden. With so many varieties of stone it is possible to find something that fits with any variety of plants. However, as you know, building a large mortar wall requires a great deal of expertise. This article provides step-by-step instructions for building attractive stone walls without mortar. With a little hard work you can build a beautiful, stable wall for your garden or yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Large and medium stones (Square or Circular) Flat shovel Work gloves
  • Survey your yard and figure out where you would like the walls to go. The walls you will build are going to be purely decorative and not very tall. Look for areas of the garden that need to be separated or defined. Another good place for stone walls are along the edges of paths.

  • Mark the line you wish the wall to follow by digging a shallow trench. Use a flat shovel to dig a trough with the line directly in the center. The trough should be a couple inches deep at most and should be as wide as your largest stones. Make sure that the bottom of the trough is roughly level so that your wall has a flat surface on which to stand.

  • Lay the first layer of stone with the largest stones you have. As you go make sure that the stones sit flat and do not wobble. Take a step back every once in a while to see if the stones fit well together. Once you have completed the first layer move to the next smaller size of stone.

  • If you are laying round stones your wall will have many holes, which is fine if it is the aesthetic you want. For rectangular stones you don't need to keep the layers perfectly connected, but when you place a stone make sure that it doesn't wobble on top of the two beneath it. Stone walls are much stronger if you can lay stones so that they cover the joints of the previous layer. If the stones are simply stacked up from the ground on top of each other in columns they will fall over.

  • Finish the wall with a the smallest stones. At most your wall should be about one and a half or two feet high. Too much taller than this and a wall without mortar can easily fall. Placing dirt behind one side of the wall can help to stabilize it as well as creating different levels in your garden.

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