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Landscaping & Design/Concrete retaining wall question


I need to build a small retaining wall on the lower side of my house.  It'll be about two feet high at the edge of the house, making a 90-degree turn (curved, not sharp) and going along my driveway.  The total length will be about 23 feet, and at the other end it's only going to be about a foot high.  I am going to put some topsoil behind it, and some sod on it does need to be fairly sturdy.  I would LIKE to build it out of poured concrete, then later on put some faux-stone on it so it'll look a little better.  
My biggest problem is figuring out how to build a mold to include that curved 90-degree turn.  I thought maybe I could use some quarter-inch plywood, and I wanted to know if you thought that would work.  Also, any suggestions or recommendations you might have (even on other forms of construction) would be very welcome.
Warm regards,
David Gardner


Materials you can use include plywood,masonite,bender board (redwood and plastic) and other forms of composite, bendable concrete form material (some claim to have superior bending properties).

If you use plywood,stay with 1/4 inch. This size will be much easier to bend. Wetting the plywood will aid in bending. Construct a frame to mount the plywood or other material to. This could be perhaps pieces made of thicker 1/2 inch strips of plywood or bender board. Bender board comes in 2 x 4 size strips and in lesser sizes. Use spacer sticks to keep the form a uniform width and tie the two sides together with heavy wire or threaded rod. Mount support braces to the sides and to the ends. A frame and bracing is necessary so that no bulges form in the sides of the wall.  Good luck. Let me know if I can be of further help.

Mark Harshman  

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Design of landscape structures and design of planting arrangements in the landscape. I usually do not answer questions of a horticultural nature or about growing plants or gardening unless they are related to design. I will answer these questions at my discretion. I will answer maintenance questions at my discretion,usually when they are related to design. I am a landscape designer. I am not a contractor or a gardener. Although I will describe how something is built I do not provide detailed installation or construction instructions. I do not recommend brand name products or services unless they are a clearly established practice. I do not recommend or give referrals to landscape related businesses. Here are example categories of problems I can help you with: Design of residential walks,low walls,low retaining walls,fences,drainage systems,arbors,plant selection,xeriscapes (low water use landscapes),rain garden design,rain water harvesting,permeable paving,sustainable drainage. No advise on an architectural or engineering level. I DO NOT PERFORM ACTUAL DESIGN WORK THROUGH THIS SITE. I only provide suggestions and advice. For more comprehensive help check out my website at:


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