How to Build a Rock Wall Out of Field Rock

Make a rock wall to enhance the landscape around your home using field rock. 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.

Stagger the joints between layers of rocks to create a sturdy wall.

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.


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