How to Build a Rock Wall Out of Field Rock

Make a rock wall to enhance the landscape around your home using field rock.
Stagger the joints between layers of rocks to create a sturdy wall.
Field rock is a traditional building material for rock walls. It is ideal for country-style and cottage-style homes. Build rock walls around gardens, along pathways and to define areas of your yard space. Ground preparation and laying a sturdy foundation are the keys to building a lasting rock wall. Rock walls are traditionally dry-laid, and can last generations if they are constructed with care. .

Step 1

Spray paint the outside edges of the ground along the desired path for the rock wall with landscaping spray paint.

Step 2

Dig out the space between the painted lines to a depth of 8 inches with a shovel. Fill the first 6 inches of the dug-out space with gravel.

Step 3

Strike the surface of the gravel in an up-and-down motion with a hand tamper to compact the gravel. This is the foundation for the wall.

Step 4

Sort the field rocks by size into small, medium and large. This will allow you to work more efficiently as you build the wall up from largest to smallest rocks.

Step 5

Lay the largest rocks flat on top of the gravel foundation end-to-end along the length of the wall. Stack a second layer of larger rocks on top of the first. Stagger the joints of the bottom layer with the joints of the second layer for a more secure wall construction. Continue adding layers to the wall until you are satisfied with the overall height. Work your way up from largest to smallest rocks for the layers.

Things You Will Need

  • Landscaping spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Hand tamper
  • Field rocks


  • Build a rock wall along a raised flower bed to act as a decorative border. Backfill the wall with soil to create the raised bed.


  • Wear work gloves to protect your hands from abrasions on rough field rocks.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.