A Berm is a mound of earth frequently supported by a drywall, or a wall built without mortar. A Berm can be built over hard soil, backfilled, and landscaped with plants requiring good soil.
* Heavyweight Hammer
* Protective Glasses
* 2” x 12” x 18” piece of wood
* Piece of old carpet
* Sections of rectangular cut sandstone (# will depend on the distance of edging required. Be sure to measure before purchasing stone).
* Several bags of builder’s sand.
* Drought tolerant plants (Sedums, Hens and Chicks, etc.)
* Good top soil (for backfill)
Dig a trench several inches deep for the for the first (bottom) row of stones. Use the thickest stones for your first row. Fill the bottom of the trench with builder’s sand. Lay the first stone in, being sure it is level both ways. Move the stone back and forth in the sand to help level the stone.
Lay in the second stone. If the end of the stones do not fit together, you may have to cut the stone.
Instructions for cutting Sandstone
1. Use a level to mark a line on the second stone, which is parallel to the end of the first stone.
2. Place the stone to be cut on a 2” x 12” x 18” board, covered with an old piece of carpet. This will provide a surface for the weight of the rock, to be evenly distributed.
3. Next, place the chisel on the mark. Using the weight of the hammer, tap the complete length of the mark several times. This will create a fault line for the rock to break. Do not hammer the stone with force- this will cause an uneven cut.
4. Repeat step 2 until your first row of stones is complete.
5. Next simply build up the wall, using your first row as your foundation. Every row should be made with stones of the same thickness. Every row should also recede slightly. (That is, the vertical face of each stone is set back 1/2” or more from the one beneath it; so that the wall will not be vertical, but stair-stepped back into the slope.)
6. Plant the drought resistant plants between stones as you build your wall. This will ad a look of longevity to your new wall.
7. When your wall is complete, backfill it with good soil and plant your landscape.