Terrace A Hillside
If there’s a slope or incline on your property, you can turn it into a lovely garden oasis. Instead of an area rampant with weeds, flowers could grow in abundance. Or perhaps you’d rather have a vegetable garden. The slope can become a lovely planted area despite the rugged terrain, turning a liability into an asset.
A terraced slope can be positively breathtaking. Having terraces also provides more options on what can be grown in that area by providing a level area for planting. It also makes it a lot easier to walk and work in the garden area when the area is level. There’s no doubt, however, that making terraces is a lot of work, and can also be rather expensive depending on the materials used for the walls.
Railroad ties were once considered a good source of material for making retaining walls for terraces. They’ve fallen out of favor these days, and especially aren’t recommended for organic gardens. Tthe creosote used to preserve the wood makes problems. Considering creosote is a toxic substance,contact with it can irritate the skin. Breathing the fumes from creosote can irritate the respiratory tract.
Bottom line, it’s toxic stuff. Besides direct contact, it can leach into the water and soil. When creosote leaches into the soil, it becomes available for the plants to absorb. If you’re growing vegetable plants, you’re going to eat whatever chemicals are in the plants. Creosote treated lumber for your terracing ijust sn’t a good idea.
Use Safe Wall Placement And Materials
For small projects where you’re just leveling out a little slope, the new landscaping boards such as those found at Gardens Alive! that are made out of recycled plastics are an option. Use concrete blocks, bricks, modular retaining wall blocks or stone for steeper slopes. The different masonry options require varying levels of expertise, so be sure you know how to build walls with the materials you opt to use.
Making terraces is about making level planting beds, so the the steepness of the slope will dictate the height of the walls. The higher walls, the better they should be anchored. They obviously should also be much sturdier. Large terraces also should have proper drainage, and be anchored well into the sides of the slope at each end.
There will be a lot of weight pushing on the walls from the soil behind them, and even more pressure after a rain. If wall are not built correctly, they will bow outwards or even collapse.
There are landscaping contractors that can do the work for you if building terraces seems like to big a task to do on your own. Of course that’s a more expensive option since you’ll not only have to pay for the materials, but their labor costs as well.
Put Plants In Those Terraces.
Enriching the soil before planting is always a good idea, especially considering slopes often have poor soil due to erosion. Some compost, rich loam, well-rotted cow manure, peat or other soil amendments can be worked into the soil to enrich it so plants will grow better. If you want to grow plants like do well in poor soil, you won’t want to enrich the soil too much then.
When the soil is ready, choose your plants, whether vegetables or flowers (DirectGardening.com – Offers quality plants at great prices). A good place for vining plants is along the top edge of the walls, which allows the vines to trail down over the sides.
Long Lasting Terraces.
Making terraces on a slope is a lot of work, and in some cases a lot of expense, but it’s a great way to eradicate an eyesore, improve your land, and provide another place for an organic garden full of flowers or vegetables.
Having more space for plants is always a good thing.
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