This DYI project will be a 4' block wall.
If you live in the high desert area cementation materials are great for that desert harsh weather, any other material will just be devoured by the suns heat. It also has a low maintenance requirement and higher durability then say wood or vinyl.
I have uploaded a video from David Odell's Company which explains step-by-step in this video how to install a 6x8x16CMU block wall properly to Los Angeles County building minimum code requirements.
Weather you may have a 4' or 6' CMU wall these are the minimum requirements you will want to follow in order to keep the walls integrity, see Los Angeles City requirements below;
Do It Right and Your Never Sorry-
As simple as a block wall may seem it requieres some real engineering from geotechnical for a soils baring capacity report this information the structural engineer needs to have in order to know how big the footing should be to hold the load of the wall and lateral wind loads.
6' CMU Block Wall Requirements by LADBS
If you are interested in any of the three choices you have to layout your concrete masonry unit wall footings check the LADBS footing detail sheet here or the California Standard footing detail sheet here or download them both below.