A garden wall without a foundation - can that work?

A garden wall without a foundation - can that work?

Why is a foundation useful?

The foundation forms the permanent basis of the garden wall. Without this, the structure would freeze in winter, which means that frost rises into the masonry and there is a risk of serious damage.

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  • Erect a garden wall without mortar
  • The foundation - stable basis for the garden wall
  • Building a garden wall: Concrete the foundation properly

Its cause is the water in the earth, which freezes and expands at minus temperatures. It pushes up in the wall and the connection between the stones can be literally blown open.

To prevent this, it is necessary to lay a foundation that is at least sixty, better than eighty centimeters deep. This not only prevents frost damage, the garden wall cannot sink into the ground and become unstable as a result.

Dry stone wall without a foundation

Dry stone walls hold due to the weight of the stones, which are cleverly stacked on top of each other. However, these are not as stable as walls built with mortar and should therefore not exceed a certain height.

For this variant of the garden wall, it may be sufficient to level the soil and compact it strongly. This sounds easier than it is, because with laypeople, filling up and removing the soil rarely creates a really straight surface.

You should therefore take the trouble of creating a substructure even if the walls are not too high. This is the only way to ensure that the structure does not become unstable during the first downpour and collapse.

Stable foundation made of gravel

However, it is better to lay a foundation of gravel even when building a dry stone wall that is not too high.

  • First, a pit is dug. This should be about four inches deep. The width is a third of the planned height of the wall.
  • Fill the trench with crushed stone, which you thoroughly compact.
  • Then put the first layer of large stones on the wall.

In the case of mortared walls, the foundation must be at least sixty centimeters deep. First two thirds of gravel is filled in, which is well compacted. Fill the rest with concrete.


Gabion walls do not require a foundation and are enjoying increasing popularity for this reason. With this variant of the garden wall, it is sufficient if you set up the wire baskets filled with stones on the flat surface. Existing, stable pavement slabs are also very suitable.