I'm building a retaining wall from concrete blocks. The foundation will be 8 inches of 3/4 inch gravel compacted with a plate compactor. The trench is dug, but it has rained a good bit the last two weeks, and while not soggy things are wet. (There are no puddles in the trench, all the rain has been absorbed into the ground. I can walk in the trench and hardly leave footprints.) How much should I allow the ground to dry out before adding my gravel and compacting? Is it bad to compact onto ground that is wet but not soggy?

1 Answer 1


The rain helped compact the soil for you. In the current state your ground is good to go for gravel and compaction.

  • And if it wasn't then you should go get a hose and wet it. Ideally as you're back filling. With a tamper you probably don't want any puddles splashing you, but with a compactor? Go nuts.
    – Mazura
    Jan 15, 2023 at 5:17

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