garden stone retaining wall

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snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) writes:

you know, i was with you until here... and i emphatically maintain that there is nothing wrong with a troll who has a lifestyle choice of being a dancer... ;)
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be safe.
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Verso l'esterno! Verso l'esterno! Deamons di ignoranza.
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years ago, in the '30's one of my aunts had a lot down from a gravel road that went VERY STEEPLY down to a creek. this was in Missouri near ST Louis and the property sprouted rocks like the garden sprouts radishes. each rain brought more up. she patiently gathered them each day as weather and time permited and built a rock, morterless wall about 2 feet wide at the top across the front of the property to protect it from water from the road, then down the north side going down the very step hill. i loved it.. have loved it in my memories for years but when i visited the place in about 1984 new owners, had torn it all down saying that it had become rat infested.. i think i would have done something about the rats.. not the wall! it had been there about 40 years with no breaks. lee h
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On 11 Nov 2003 15:58:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@1starnet.com (Lee) wrote:

For the rats, you need a couple of Patterdale Terriers! tiny dogs, as hard as a baseball, and devoted to rooting out and murdering vermin. POISON FREE rat control..However, i have a feeling the disposessed rats will find somewhere else, having lived in Boston, a city famous for waterfront rats larger than a medium sized cat. I LOVE the story about your AUNT!
my husband is from MO.
hermine
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(Lee) wrote:

curious..wondering if the wall could have been sort of "caulked" with cement? perhaps holes/spaces daubed in with mud then cement...??? it would be cruel to the vermin in the wall, but they couldn't spread out in the neighborhood. :<
or introduce a few king snakes??? oh welllllll...too late now!!! lee h
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Are you using existing rocks from your yard or are you purchasing stone? A dry laid stone wall is much much harder to do than you think, especially if it is your first one. Whatever stone you have, you need to lay them out on the ground and "sort" them. Think of it as a giant 3-D jigsaw puzzle. The yard will look like a disaster zone before you lay your first rock. Depending on the type of stone you use, you will need more than is actually in the wall because some of the stones just don't fit anywhere. This is assuming you are trying to get a tighter fit with somewhat flat faces, as opposed to a farmer's rubble wall.
Using some of your old large plastic garden pots, throw the useless or smaller rocks into them. At certain points when building your wall, you'll need filler in the middle. Just grab a bucket full of these rocks and pour it in and work them into any larger voids.
The wall should be at least as wide (at the base) as it is tall. As far as tools, a rock hammer, handheld sledge and a cold chisel (don't forget the safety glasses) and lots of gloves (you'll wear them out real fast). You'll eventually figure out where the seams in a granite rock are.
Here's one safety tip I learned the hard way... you see the perfect rock but it's toward the bottom of the pile or wedged in with some other rocks. DON'T try to just pull it out and save time. Spend the extra minute to take the other rocks away from it. One small slip and you'll have a smashed finger or hand and you won't be working on your wall for a while.
-al sung Rapid Realm Technology, Inc. Hopkinton, MA (Zone 6a)
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sams wrote [in part]:

If you are planning a RETAINING wall (as you said), think very carefully. This is a wall to keep the slope from failing, from sliding down. You will need deep footings, and it will have to be anchored into the slope. This is the kind of wall that often uses hollow blocks treaded on steal bars imbedded into the foundation. After the blocks are stacked, the hollows are filled with concrete.
If you are planning a slough wall, however, the advice in other replies is quite good. A slough wall prevents slough (of course), which is the trickling down of loose soil and surface erosion.
If you want to build a wall adjacent to a slope and then fill in behind the wall to create a terrace, you will need something between a retaining wall and a slough wall. Wet soil on a slope can create significant pressure against whatever is holding it in place. Such a wall needs to be reinforced. However, if the fill behind it does not extend higher than the top of the wall, you might not need to anchor the wall into the slope. Such a wall should slant towards the slope and not be vertical.
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David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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David, i am the poster who told of the aunt who build the rock wall and it is a fact. and you are right about building retaining walls like you say; it has a lot to do with the terrain and the reason for building it. the wall aunt ethyl built, for all its stability would not have held up with the mudslides like in California. even deeply founded walls could not have stood up to that. here in texas a large wall really needs a good footing if it's being build to hold a slough and a good rock base to keep the black clay from tearing it apart from expansion and contraction and needs to be build with a very wide base and leaning toward the bank it is holding. but a low wall in a small garden not in the middle of a slough will usually do fairly well here.
best regards, lee h
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