Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Brick Wall

I'm pretty much fed up with weeding the edges of my vegetable garden.  You shouldn't mulch or put down chemicals on plants that you plan on eating, which makes vegetable gardens a particular challenge. So when I saw my friend Jeana selling her old EP Henry locking bricks on the internet for only a buck each, I thought this would be a great opportunity to create a wall border for my vegetable garden to reduce the weeds.  I was so lucky that her bricks matched what I had at home.

I convinced my sister that she needed half these bricks for her yard also. So I convinced her to split the workload with me (ha ha ha sucker.) This was a great deal for me since these blocks are usually $1.85 each at a garden center, and it was a great deal for Jeana because my sister and I moved over 300 bricks out of her yard and into our cars. It took about 3 trips filling our 2 trunks with so many bricks, that we drove all the way home on 2 wheels (shhhhhh, don't tell our husbands).

What is really nice about these bricks, is that they have a lip on the bottom so that you can lock the bricks in place so you really don't need to use adhesive if you are doing a wall only 3 bricks high. They also have a nice little place to put your hands to reduce the chance of slamming your finger (true for most people but probably not myself since I am always injuring myself.)

Carrying the bricks is the most difficult part, the rest of the process is pretty easy:

1)Dig out a trench for your bricks about 3 inches deep.

2)Dump sand in the trench. I used sandy soil since my yard is full of it and it is free.

3) Rake the sand to what seems to be level

4)Place the brick in the sand and smack the brick with a rubber mallet. 

5) Check it with a level to make sure it is actually level. I found this free bubble level app for my smart phone, boy is it neat. I'll never loose my level again because this one has a GPS tracker. If brick is not level wiggle it around until it is. Once it is in the right place, put another brick next to it and you can feel with your hand if it is the same height as the last brick you put in. This step is very important so you don't have a crooked wall.

6) For places that will be under the dirt you can use cinder blocks instead of  the pretty bricks.

7) Once you are finished the bottom layer, start piling the rest of bricks on top and push them so they are flat, with the lip hanging over the edge in the back (this is the locking feature that makes it so easy to work with). I would not recommend going past 3 bricks high without some sort of brick adhesive.

Keep in mind I am not a landscaper, I'm a mom who want's an inexpensive brick wall that I can put together quickly. It works, it keeps the weeds out, it looks good and its still standing, that's basically all I need from a brick wall.

Best thing about this project is that it looks great!! The worst thing is that I injured myself (see picture below). I really have to remember to use gloves!!!

Grade: A 

Skill Level: Low

Difficulty Level: Easy

Frustration Level: Low

Injury Level: High

Price: $$ 

I made a brick "sammich" with my thumb. oooouchie. I hope the nail doesn't fall off.

Next time, I'm going to remember to wear my gloves!