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How to Install Landscape Blocks

By Tanya Khan ; Updated September 21, 2017

Landscape blocks provide a homeowner an opportunity to create a stylish paths, edging, raised flower beds or retaining walls on the property that increase curb appeal. These blocks are available in a wide range of colors, textures, shapes and sizes to meet specific needs. Although costly, they last over longer periods of time as compared with their plastic or wooden counterparts. Whether making a retaining wall or raised garden bed, the procedure of installing landscape blocks is the same.

Measure the length and width of the area where you want to install landscape blocks and multiply the figures to determine square footage. Also, decide how high you want the feature so you prevent block wastage and purchase the correct amount.

Insert a wooden stake at each corner of the selected spot and extend garden wire through each. Dig a 6- to 8-inch-deep trench along the line with a shovel. Keep it as wide as the blocks. Collect the dirt in a wheelbarrow and dispose of it. Level the bottom of the trench with a length of 2-by-4.

Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of sand or gravel over the base of the trench to provide the feature with a solid foundation and prevent it from sinking in soils that soften over time.

Lower the first block into the trench, pressing it lightly over the sand for a solid footing, and place the remaining blocks in turn to form the first course. Place blocks flush against one another if making a pathway over the turf, or space them 3/8 inches apart for a flower bed or retaining wall. Fill the gaps with gravel or dirt for additional stability.

Stagger subsequent courses by a 1/2 block width to enhance aesthetics. Place a chisel over the middle of the block and pound it hard with a hammer so it breaks in two.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Wooden stakes
  • Garden wire
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Gravel
  • Landscape blocks
  • Chisel
  • Hammer

Tips

  • Landscape blocks are costly, so purchase only a few extra to allow for any damage instead of many.
  • Bury half the first course of blocks for a garden wall that is made up of two to three courses, and the entire course for higher walls.
  • Mortar walls higher than three courses of blocks for security. Although landscape blocks are heavy, high walls need additional support to prevent them from collapsing.
  • Landscape blocks are quite heavy. Use a wheelbarrow to transport them from one area to another instead of straining your back.
  • Place parallel rows of landscape blocks flush against one another for a walkway, or individual blocks spaced equally apart. Pour gravel or dirt around the blocks to surround it, and grow grass over it for a striking contrast.

About the Author

 

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.