I am planning to build a brick herb box after my garden patio. The box
will be 900mm high (from patio floor), 5 meters long with 300mm planting
width between the brick walls. This will also act as a wall for the
garden patio. The brick wall will be half brick (102mm) on each side.
I would like to know what I need to consider during the build. Is the
brick wall structure (thickness) ok, water proofing, drainage, mortar
mix etc? Your advice would be much appreciated. Any good websites?
What is the base of the box that the bricks will stand on? When building
brick walls they need to be given a sound and stable foundation otherwise it
doesn't matter how good your bricklaying is it will fall over.
Make sure you leave plenty of weep holes (say every 300mm) at the bottom for
drainage. If it doesn't drain freely your plants will die and in the
extreme case the hydrostatic pressure will push your wall over, although at
900mm high this isn't likely.
Your mortar should be Portland cement and clean fine sand with a dash of
fine clay. There is a tendency for amateurs to make the mix very strong but
that isn't required. The clay will make the mortar "fatter", that is more
adhesive and easier to flow. Look up the best ratio, I forget.
Do you have a level and string line and do you know what to do with them?
We have a brick layer. So we have a level and string line. We will be
using engineering bricks.
I believe I need to water proof the inner layer. Which dpm should is
best to use? bitumen?
The foundation has already been built and is adequate. The foundation
width is 600mm wide. Both walls will sit on the same foundation so the
passage to the earth is blocked. Water will not be able to weep right
down to the earth. Am I correct in assuming the weep holes (300mm
apart) is sufficient if the passage is blocked by the foundation?
He/she ought to know about foundations and weep holes too.
The water must be able to run out and you obviously don't want it to pool on
your patio. Aside from the inconvenience it will have the potential to
stain. So where will the water run to? As the box is narrow you will
probably get away with only having weep holes on the outside but the water
still has to drain somewhere - ask the bricklayer.
Have you considered using flower pots? My herbs are in 12 inch (30 cm)
pots arranged together at the intersection of two paths in my garden.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_back.html#herb .
I find several advantages to this. Some herbs can be quite invasive
(e.g., mint, oregano) and will crowd out other herbs. Some require more
water (e.g., mint) or less fertilizer (e.g., sage) than others.
Eventually, some will require dividing (e.g., tarragon). Flower pots
allow you to confine each herb and to give each its distinct care.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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