I would like to use all the rocks that seem to grow here to good use. Instead of buying wood to make raised beds in the garden I would like to try building it with the stones. The previous owner left three bags of quick-crete, so I was hoping to use that. Will I have to wash all the rocks first? Do I have to put down a layer of sand before I even start? How long will it have to 'set' before I put in the dirt?
Whenever you make anything outside using concrete, you should dig into the soil and lay a foundation. Check your area to see what your frost line is, that will tell you how deep to dig.
Since this isn't the foundation for a building, merely a raised garden bed, it won't need to be as deep as the frostline--but that will give you something to go by. If you fail to do this, cold freezes can crack and raise part of the raised wall.
Personally, depending on the types of rocks, I'd either dry stack them, or if they're smaller, build a form out of scrap wood and make the retaining wall in sections, then just lay them together on top of the ground. This way if one lifts, you can dig to lower it; if it sinks, you can add soil to raise it; if you want to move the bed or make it bigger/smaller, that would be an option too.
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Can someone tell me how to build a raised flower bed (around a tree) with rocks? How do I keep the rocks secure?