A steep slope can be easily tamed with short steps.

How to Lay Landscaping Blocks on a Slope

by Keith Dooley

You may want to lay landscape blocks along the slope of a hill or incline to roughly maintain the angle of the slope, instead of simply building a retaining wall and filling in behind. The result is a step-like appearance that gradually goes upward, holding back the soil and creating areas for decorative objects, potted plants or just an easier way to climb the hill.

Dig a trench at the base of the slope, or at the point along the slope where you want to install the landscape blocks. Create a trench 6 inches deep plus the height of a block, and make it as wide as the block.

Fill the trench with 6 inches of gravel. Tamp the gravel down with a compactor if possible, or use a hand tamping tool to pack and smooth the gravel.

Place the first row of blocks on top of the trench. Use a carpenters level to ensure they are in line with each other. Adjust the level of a block by adding or removing gravel from underneath it.

Dig a trench behind the first row of blocks to create a second row further up the slope. Dig down until you are even with the bottom of the first row. Fill the trench with gravel until it is even with the top of the first row of blocks.

Tamp down the second trench of gravel with a compactor.

Place blocks along the second trench, overlapping the back edge of the first row. If you have interlocking blocks, place the second row so that the locking ridges meet up in the proper spot.

Dig a third trench behind the second row, further up the slope and in the same manner as the previous row. Repeat the process of filling in with gravel and tamping down with a compactor. Add more rows of block to the slope as far up as you require.

Items you will need

  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Compactor
  • Tamping tool
  • Carpenter's level

About the Author

Keith Dooley has done work in the field of landscaping and design for more than 10 years. He has implemented his own designs, as well as pulled from techniques learned through studies, creating many landscapes for others to enjoy.He has also maintained lawns, athletic fields, town parks, large gardens and game fields.

Photo Credits

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