Terrace needed for gentle slope?

ptwonlineSeptember 5, 2012

My available backyard is about 25 feet deep with a gentle slope that drops about 2 feet to the back fence. I am planning to build some low, raised garden beds along the sides of the yard (one side 25 feet long, the other side about 12 feet long because of the patio). These are not for vegetables: just shrubs and some groundcover.

For a gentle slope like this do I really need a terrace or not? The beds will be using some concrete blocks (faux fitted stone from big box stores, each 4 inches high) about 4 inches into the ground and 8 inches above ground, but of course that may vary because of the slope.

If you do recommend terracing, how long do you think I should make each bed before the slope causes the end of the wall to get too high and become unstable? Since this is at the edge of my backyard and thus along a wooden fence, how do I protect the fence from earth being pushed up against it in order to make a level bed since the fence itself slopes a bit with the land? Do I simply need to put stones deeper underground on the fence side?

Thanks!

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ptwonline

Oh, and one follow-up question: if I also build a raised bed along my back fence essentially encasing my back yard along 3 sides with an 8 inch retaining wall, will that cause flooding problems? Will I have to install some kind of drainage system or will the beds be low enough that ground seepage will be enough?

I have moderately clay soil that seems to drain well enough, though in heavy rains the water will stand for a short while. The reason I want a short wall is to keep water/wind from blowing material from my mulched path onto the garden bed, and vice versa. Currently heavy rain storms make a huge mess, and a lot of my compost mulch on the beds gets mixed with the shredded cedar mulch on my paths both on the path and in the beds.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:53PM
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yardvaark

The raised beds are for mulch control? No one can answer your question about drainage issues without first understanding the lay of the land and the DETAILS of what you propose to do with it. For me, it's unclear. I suggest that you submit a couple of photos that clearly show what's there now and why there is an issue.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:44PM
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