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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im beginning to plan my future garden railroad!

(a new webpage about the planning process will be uploaded soon!)

meanwhile Im looking at ideas for building a retaining wall..
the regular store-bought bricks are EXPENSIVE!
$2 each at a local garden center and Home Depot/Lowes..
For the wall I would need, thats like $600! just for the bricks alone!
(im looking at about a 100-foot curved wall, some places only "one brick" high..other places two or even three bricks high..
and with the necessary "foundation" course buried in the ground, its at least 300 bricks! probably more..)

Here is a photo I found on the internet..
this is the kind of wall I would like, in an ideal world, and if cost was no option:

I just came across some interesting reading on making your own blocks!
"hypertufa" - a kind of concrete-ish process..


There is a hypertufa forum on gardenweb:

Here is a photo showing the home-made blocks discussed in that thread:

and another thread by "Debzone8" with more photos of the wall:


this looks interesting!
I havent found any data on the cost yet, as compared to the store-bought bricks..
but I wouldnt mind doing the work, and taking the time, to make my own if its significantly cheaper!
I have lots of time..

Anyone ever try their hand at hypertufa before?
its used a lot to make garden decorations too..statues, planters, that kind of thing..

further reading (the last link above) says the cost of materials ends up being about 50 cents for a 7"X7" block..
so about 85 cents a foot..less than half the price of the store-bought bricks..

lets see (more math)
if a 7x7x3" block is estimated at 50 cents..
thats 1$ for 300 square inches..
I would probably make 12" long by 8" wide by 6" tall blocks..that would be almost $2 a block..

hmm..not sure if its worth the effort! ;)
I need to do more exact measuring to get real numbers to work with..more specific length and height of my walls..
but its definately something to consider..


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Posted By altterrain on 03/20/2009 11:42 AM
How about adobe? - http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hi_outdoor_structures/article/0,,DIY_13927_4562120,00.html


but I dont see that being as "user friendly" as making hypertufa..
(at least not for my climate)
because you need a very specific soil mix..from a quarry or someplace..
and it says you need a prolonged dry/hot spell to dry the bricks properly..We almost never have a prolonged hot/dry spell around here..
its rains at least once a week in the summer..

I will do more reading on it though!


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Scot, it's yard debris time once again (aka 'Spring')...you could look for concrete chunks being thrown away...usually they end up in big piles down by the road...You could skim-coat them and texture them like real rock. They'd be free, and it would be a recycling project, too!

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