Here's How To Build A Block Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a protecting structure first and foremost. It should be strongly built for steady support.


But it can also serve as a decorative architectural element. It is this mix of beauty and functionality which any homeowner should strive for.

While, of course, it is possible to hire a contractor to build something like this, there is no reason you can't do this home project yourself; it won't take as long as you think and also it will save you quite a few dollars. 

First, if you'd like to get your hands on excellent DIY landscape designs for your yard, I'd highly recommend checking this out.

If you want to know how to build a block retaining wall, read the following: 

1. Preparation For Building the Wall

The first step is to use a concrete block to lay out your excavation with stakes and string. Mark 1" both behind and in front of the block for the length of a wall.

Next, dig down within those marks to a depth of 6". Make the base of the cavity as flat as you reasonably can -- use a level to check.

Spread a few bags of paver base over the bottom and compact with a hand tamper. Again, use the level to ensure a flat surface.

Pour 1" of stone dust over the flat paver base, and tamp down with a spade. Again, check for a level surface.

2. First Level of Your Retaining Wall


At one end of the trench, center the first block and tap it with a rubber mallet to embed it in the stone dust. Check the top of the block in all directions for a level surface

Butt up the next concrete block to the first and drop it in place. Tap the second block the same way as the first, looking for it to be level with the first.

Place concrete blocks one after another in this way until all of the first layer is done. Use stone dust and dirt to fill all the gaps.

3. Upper Levels of Your Retaining Wall

Start the second layer with a half-size stone. Score a center line along a flat side with a mason's chisel, then tap the chisel with a hammer right in the middle of the line once or twice to split the block.

Use a caulk gun to lay down two long beads of masonry adhesive along the entire length of the first layer. Put the half-size block in place at the end walls to start the second layer. Tap and ensure the level in all directions.

Continue the second layer with the full-size concrete blocks until you get to the far end, where you'll use the other half-size block.

4. Conclusion

For the final layer of capstone blocks, put them aside and set them up using concrete adhesive and a caulking firearm. Solidly press on each piece. Enable the concrete adhesive to dry as indicated by the manufacturer's directions.

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A Closer Look At How To Grow Mushrooms Indoors

Growing mushrooms requires a bit of experience and can pose a challenge for a beginner gardener.

Now, if you're here, you may be interested in some awesome cheap ideas for your backyard.

But this article here will provide you with some basics on how you can easily grow mushrooms indoors.

There are many different types of mushrooms that you can grow yourself for your own uses. They include:

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Button mushrooms


It is worth noting that you can easily grow mushrooms indoors, and the project is therefore quite convenient if you don't want to deal with the elements outdoors.

Beginning From Seeds

If you don't already know, mushrooms are fungus and therefore don't grow the same way as plants. They require different techniques.

Mushrooms don't have seeds - they actually have spores. The spores are microscopic to the naked eye and resemble dust.

You have to purchase spawn instead of seedlings. Spawn is actually quite easy to work with and doesn't pose any major problems in terms of handling it.

Materials Used in Growing

Mushrooms require a compatible growing surface for them to grow properly. No soil is required and different mushrooms require particular materials for them to grow well.

Button mushrooms require manure, oyster mushrooms need straw and shiitake mushrooms grow well on sawdust.

You also need a high-quality organic material that will hold moisture. The following procedure clearly shows you how to grow mushrooms indoors with ease.

Location and Containers

Mushrooms are grown using containers; this is to prevent various species of poisonous mushrooms from growing along with the desired mushrooms.

All you need to do is find a dark place in your home where you can easily adjust the temperature.

If you don't have containers, you can use bins or boxes to grow them. The containers should always have holes for drainage purposes.


Your containers should first be filled with the substrate and carefully packed down. Spacing mainly depends on the particular mushrooms you're growing.

The growing material should be heated to approximately 70F. After heating, you can put the spawn plugs into the surface. The temperature should then be adjusted to approximately 55F. Potting soil should then be carefully added around the plugs.

In about a month, you should begin to see some young mushrooms growing.


If you follow this guide and these tips, you should be able to easily grow mushrooms in your home.

Growing mushrooms indoors means that you don't have to worry about diseases or pests; all you need to worry about is moisture. If they're exposed to a lot of moisture, they may begin to rot.

After harvesting your mushrooms, the best way to store them is in your refrigerator and in a paper bag that is slightly loose.

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Why Is Transpiration Important to Plants? - Explained

Ever wondered where a plant takes the water it absorbs over time?

Plants release excess water from small pores called stomata on the leaves in a process called transpiration.


Save for woody plants, transpiration mostly occurs during the day when the leaf stomata are open, as opposed to at night when the stomata are closed.

The plants that you integrated into your DIY backyard landscaping design? They transpire.

Now let's talk about the functions of transpiration.

Why is Transpiration Important to Plants?

1. Release of excess water into the atmosphere.

One benefit of transpiration is excretion. Excess water is released into the atmosphere through transpiration, maintaining a balanced osmotic concentration ensuring favorable conditions for enzymes and cell functioning.

The other importance of transpiration is enabling support. A maintained level of water in the plant tissue ensures the cells do not absorb excess water from the plant tissues. The cells remain rigid and firm and are able to support the plant.

Cells that have lost too much water become soft and swollen, and they will offer no support to the plant.

2. Helps in water and nutrient absorption and distribution.

As plants lose water, a negative pressure gradient is created resulting in a suction force along the xylem water stream into mesophyl cells.

This provides an upward push of water to replace the water lost through transpiration. The ascending water carries with it nutrients and mineral salts absorbed by the roots.

Thanks to this suction force, plants cells and tissues in all the other parts of the plant like leaves and the stem get supplied with water for photosynthesis and nutrients and mineral salts necessary for healthy growth.

3. Cooling.

Temperature regulation is another advantage of transpiration.

Plants absorb radiant heat energy when exposed to direct sunlight. However, the evaporating water in transpiration absorbs the excess heat from the plant leaving the plant cooled. This is called evaporative cooling, similar to sweating in human beings.

Transpiration is necessary to plants as sweating is to us humans. When your body gets too hot, it sweats to release the excess heat; this maintains a favorable body temperature for enzymes and cells. Evaporating water has a high latent heat of vaporization of 2260kJ per liter, perfect for cooling.

Too much transpiration, however, is dangerous to a plant. It is important to regulate exposure of plants to factors that may increase transpiration like sunlight, humidity and wind.

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Remodeling Your Backyard

Our backyards exist for a reason. They are not just there to provide us with space where we can stay or hold events.

There are a lot of things that you can do with your backyard if only you have the right ideas. If the situation of your backyard right now is plain, then you might need to spice it up a bit so that it will look more aesthetically pleasing.

Having a pleasant backyard will make you feel more relaxed and at ease. There are different designs that you can utilize depending on your preferences.



Bamboo Garden

A lot of people turn their backyard into bamboo gardens.

This will make the entire area look green. It will look very healthy and pleasing to the eyes of people. This will surely catch the attention of your neighbours. Unlike other designs, this type is not difficult to maintain because bamboo can stay alive for the entire year.

Of course, you still need to take care of them but it will not require too much of your time. As such, this is perfect for those who have a busy schedule and could not regularly check the condition of the backyard.

Foliage Design

It is not always necessary to have flowers in your garden. The foliage design actually has no flowers in it. It only consist of ferns that also look beautiful. If you are not fond of flowers, this is the one that is right for you.

How will you consider something to beautiful even if it does not have flowers? Well, some people are very creative that even with only leaves and ferns, they can make the backyard very stunning. It is up to you to come up with the best backyard design ideas that do not involve flowers.

Functional Features 

If you do not want to waste the space in your background, you may also install additional features that you can utilize.


For example, you might want to put a fire pit that you can use during the cold and for other purposes as well. You can make use of different materials such as marbles, bricks, concrete, and the like to make it look more modern.

There are a lot of structures that you can construct which will make the backyard more useful for you and your family. You may watch instructional videos which will show you how to make do-it-yourself fire pits.


Backyard design ideas would never be complete without decorations.

If you are a minimalist, you can simply put some decorations which will light up your background. You need not put extravagant pieces. You just need to know what you want and then you can execute your plans.

There are many decorative items that you can buy in your local home stores. You have all the freedom to choose and you can be very creative in terms of the design.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to transform your backyard into a home experience that you will love.

Thanks for reading. Any questions or feedback? Leave a comment below!