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Get the first course of landscape retaining wall blocks right
Use a torpedo level to level each of the landscape retaining wall blocks front to back and a 4- or 6-ft. level to keep each course level and even. Set the blocks with a heavy rubber or plastic mallet. Getting the first course flat and level is extremely important, so take your time. Try to lay the course as close to the center of the trench as possible.
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Sweep before stacking
Even a pebble on the surface of stackable retaining wall blocks will throw the one above it out of alignment. And that crooked block will affect the one above it, and so on. That little stone will eventually create an unattractive hump in the top course.
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Provide plenty of drainage between landscape retaining wall blocks
Once a few rows have been stacked, backfill the wall with rock so it matches the grade height in front of the wall, and then lay down perforated drain tile on top of the rock. Install drain tee fittings and a drain grate every 25 ft. to 50 ft., depending on how much rainwater is expected to run down to the wall. Cut one landscape retaining wall block down to accommodate the drain grate. Screw the drain tile parts together so they won’t come apart when they get covered with more rock. Also, drain the tile to daylight at the ends of the walls whenever possible.