The Art of Dry Stacking Rocks

Being I have probably dry stacked more rocks on my garden railroad then
most folks, I figured I might share some of my techniques of Dry
stacking. First off let me say I live in the Desert of Nevada and have
only dry sand as a soil, to work with, and I have come up with this method
of dry stacking rocks to help me hold the sand in place on my Railroad. I
have strong winds blowing through the area all during the year, and it
will remove alot of sand in a short time if not held in place with rocks
or some other method of retaining wall. If you live in a place that is not
windy, you don't need the roadbase when stacking rocks. This can be used
to do flower beds, Garden Railroads, or to level out part of the yard.

The baserock I will be refering to, is a base-rock, that is about 3/4 inch
in size and rough crushed gravel, the county uses for making roads.
You Can Not use a round pea-gravel for dry stacking.

So here is MY way of dry stacking.

I determine where I want a rock wall, and make a shallow trench about an
inch deep,

I then put in a layer of road-base rock,

I have bought from a local Quarry. I then make a
line of rocks in this trench, fitting the rocks tightly together as good
as can be done.
Now comes more base-rock gravel, I put enough base-rock behind the first
course of rock, to fill
some of the gaps between rocks,

So when the winds blow, the sand will not be blown out
in these areas. Some times I'll back-fill some rocks a bit with sand, to
fill in where the next rock may create a void. Now you can put down the
next course of rock, I try to make sure the second course, either sits on
2 lower rocks to hold them in place or fits very good. I also let the
second layer sit on some of the base-rock and sand. Doing this adds bite
between the courses of rock. You may have to turn, roll the rock over, to
find where it will sit the best. Now back fill with soil to the top of
the second course, leaving room for some more base-rock, and keep building
the wall to desired height.

You now have the beginnings of a dry stacked, rock wall.

The larger the rocks you use, the more stable the wall will be, Just don't
hurt your back while lifting the rocks & twisting to place them. I have
dry stacked small rocks to over 4 feet high, But it is not for much of a
load barring on top.

Have fun

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