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Past Articles Library | Building a Concrete Bag Garden Wall

A garden wall is a great addition to any garden design but it can be expensive, especially if one hires a contractor to build it.  Another choice in design is to use the prefabricated blocks that can be found in many garden centers.  While these products are useful and convenient, they really limit the creative process.  So, if you are looking for an inexpensive but unique wall design consider building your own with bags of concrete.


Measuring tape

Powdered milk or lawn paint


Bags of concrete


Perforated PVC pipe

Garden hose


  1. Map out the area where you would like to place your garden wall.  Once that is done, mark off with powdered milk or lawn paint.
  2. Measure off the width of the wall according to the width of your concrete bag you plan to use and add 4 inches to this measurement.  Mark this measurement also with powdered milk or lawn paint.  This will allow for the bags and the drainage pipe.
  3. Dig the ditch so that it is at least 1 ½ inches deep.
  4. Next, calculate the number of bags you will need plus five.  This measurement includes not only the length but also the height of the wall.  Avoid going above three concrete bags in height.
  5. Place a layer of gravel behind the wall and tap down.
  6. Lay down the PVC pipe on top of the gravel so that the holes are placed upward.
  7. Lay the next row of concrete bags so that the seams do not match or are offset.
  8. Add another layer of gravel and gently tap down.
  9. Repeat with the next layer of concrete bags.  Continue with this process until all the bags are used.
  10. Once the wall is completed, spray the concrete bags down until completely saturated and then continue to spray for an additional 10 minutes.
  11. Allow the wall to dry for at least 48 hours.
  12. Do not try to remove the paper from the bags.  Nature will take care of this for you in a short period of time.

Once your wall has dried, it is time to plant.  This design element supports many different types of plants such as climbers but prior to planting study your new area.  This wall itself will create its own microclimate where wind, water, and temperature can differ from the surrounding area.  To test this, place a flag on a stake below the wall level.  This will tell you what the wind is doing around the wall.  Next, lay a thermometer in an area around the wall that is not in direct sunlight.  Once this is done, read the temperature. 

After the new site analyzes is complete, you can now plant your garden wall’s space with the appropriate plant material.


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