How to Build a Split Fieldstone Wall

What You'll Need
Split fieldstones
Landscape barrier material
Steel-toe boots
Ready mix cement
Wooden stakes
Crushed Stone

Fieldstone walls are beautiful and add a charming look to any yard. Split fieldstone is simply fieldstone that has been split and is left with a flat front. These stones work great for landscape walls and can be constructed rather easily. Though the process is not difficult, it can still present a challenge because the stones are heavy and sometimes awkward to lift. You will want to use large split fieldstones for this project. Try to get them uniform in size as well.

Step 1—Plan Your Wall

Take a long look at your property and get an idea of how you’d like to design your split fieldstone wall. Using a sheet of grid paper can help you plan the design and it also allows you to draw your yard to scale. Once you are satisfied with the drawing, head outside.

Place a wooden stake in each corner and at the beginning and end points of the wall design. Attach a string to the stake and connect all of them together. This will help you see the design in 3D. You may want to make some changes at this point. If you do make some changes, place the stakes in the new position and rethread the string. Check the design before proceeding.

Step 2—Build the Foundation

Now that the design is mapped out, you can dig your trench for the foundation. Using the shovel, dig down 8-12 inches. This trench needs to be level. Check it before proceeding. Cover the entire trench with landscape barrier fabric. This will help to draw the water down and keep plants from growing up through the wall. 

Fill the trench about halfway with crushed stones. This crushed stone can be purchased along with the stones and will help the stones settle in place. Check to make sure that the stones has created a level surface throughout the entire trench. 

Step 3—Place the Stones

You will mix your cement in a five gallon bucket and lay a thick layer on top of the crushed stone. You will place the split fieldstone into the cement flat side facing front. Place the stones next to each other in the cement and create the first layer.

Add additional mortar to the top of the first layer and place the next row of stones. You will want to cover the seams below with a stone. For example, there should be two stones in the first level and that seam should be covered by one stone in the layer above that. Continue in this manner until you have built the wall up to the desired height.

Step 4—Finish the Wall

Top the wall with a either a decorative stone or larger field stones. These capstones should be set flat to compliment the neat look of the wall. Before the cement is set, you should clean the face of the stones with a soft, scrub brush. Use a large stick to remove globs of cement.