Terracing a steep hill

mousekabobApril 17, 2007

One of the problems in my garden is that the hill out front (I the only area I have in the sun) is a very steep hill. Right now, it's covered with English Ivy, fox grape and poison ivy. (Luckily we're not allergic to the latter)

Does anyone have any good information on what materials to use to terrace? I was thinking of starting an area using cedar planks, and some type of post system to hold it in place. Then filling it in with compost and other yard waste, (lasagna gardening sort of) so it can be planted next year. Then terracing the layer below that too for next year, which is already planted with Sunflowers. Then moving up the hill over the years until its all usable space. This way too, if I make the terrace at least a foot to 10 inches deep, I donÂt have to dig into the heavy clay of the hill!!!

Where does one also get cedar planks? Someplace like Home Depot? I donÂt want to use Railroad ties because they are too heavy for me to handle by myself. Sorry to babble on semi-incoherently. ThatÂs what happens when I try to think and type at the same time.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

In my opinion a terrace area needs to be held back with something substantial, not flimsy planks. The planks would be used to build a concrete wall or line the inside of a rock/brick wall.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 2:13AM
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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi mousekakob...you would be wise to consult a person who is into designing/building hillside structures/terraces. I have built retaining walls for myself...thinking they were rugged and well built...and have had them lean out from the pressure of the soil behind pressing out. With clay under your strucures you might find them sliding down hill with the right amount of rain...as clay is very slippery. The higher/steeper your hillside/bank the more problems your going to have with keeping everything in place. Do it right the first time...and keep things simple...Franklin

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 5:07AM
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mousekabob

Yeah, thought about the weight of the soil thing after posting last night. Unfortunatly, I can't afford to consult a professional on this right now. If we do it, we're going to have to do it on our own. Brotherinlaw was down to visit a few weekends ago. he reccomended getting the landscaping timbers from a landscape supplieir instead of the local big hardware store. Will have to look into the cost difference.

I can still do the lasagna bedding thing though, inside the different levels.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 10:40AM
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sha_sha(3/4CA)

You still might want to be careful around that poison ivy, I understand you can develop an allergic reaction, even if you're currently not allergic.

-S

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 11:53AM
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