How to Make Gabions

gabion image by rachid amrous-spleen from

Gabions are rectangular or cylindrical wire mesh containers filled with stones, soil or sand. These large baskets serve a variety of purposes; some gabions help conserve soil and water while others reduce erosion along slope and banks.

The easiest way to make gabions is to construct them on site, making them a natural extension of the landscape. Each gabion serves a different purpose, so feel free to modify yours to suit your needs.

Lay out a length of concrete reinforcement wire at the gabion site. If building on a bank, make sure the wire extends all the way up the edges of the bank.

Trim the concrete reinforcement wire as needed with wire cutters. The size and shape of this wire will determine the size and shape of your gabion. Make the layout of wire about twice the size of the gabion you intend to build, as you will eventually fold the wire over itself.

Line the entirety of the concentrate reinforcement wire with a layer of chicken wire.

Load a wheelbarrow full of large, medium-size and small rocks. Collect enough rocks to spread over the length of your gabion.

Fill the top part of the concrete reinforcement wire -- the part nearest the area you wish to protect from erosion -- with rocks by shovelling them from the barrow. Create an even layer of rocks about 6 inches to 1 foot high and 2-to-3 feet wide across the length of the wire.

Spread a layer of sand or soil over the rocks, allowing it to fill the crevices between them. Pat down the soil with a shovel.

Enclose the rocks by folding the remaining length of concrete reinforcement wire over them.

Fasten the concrete reinforcement wire that is covering the rocks to the wire under the rocks by tying the layers together with lengths of thick wire cut from wire coat hangers.