General Question

xBRIANx's avatar

What is the best way to build a terraced garden on a hill in my yard?

Asked by xBRIANx (266points) April 1st, 2009

The slope is at about 35 degrees. I need a couple rows and columns. What materials should I use?

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8 Answers

xBRIANx's avatar

Oh comon people.. I know womeone’s an expert. I’m thinking of using 6×6 wood posts with boards to hold the dirt back. Should I use cedar or treated lumber? How far down should I bury the posts in the ground? Should I use concrete?

FGS's avatar

I use treated 2×10s . My gardens are 4×10….fuck it…google it

FGS's avatar

That was a really shitty answer I gave you and I apologize (I was in a terrible mood when I wrote it). Like I said I use treated 2×10s and I shoveled out a terrace prior, making sure the boxes remain level in both axises. In addition I added 20 inch 2×2’s at the inside corners, sharpened on one end, hammered in the ground and then affixed to the box. Don’t mess with concrete. You may have to make your boxes deeper depending on how steep your slope. A big thing to remember is that dirt becomes very heavy when its wet, make sure that you support your boxes in the middle to keep them from bowing. If you have any other questions give me a yell. :)

xBRIANx's avatar

@FGS, thx for the reply. I did google it but not much help. I’m with you on the treated 2×10s for the walls. You use 2×2s (inches?) hammered into the ground for the corners? I’m assuming you nailed/screwed the boards into the posts? How far did you hammer them into the ground? You said your gardens were 10 feet long. Did you put another 2×2 in the middle for support? I’m assuming you stacked two boards on top of each other sisnce you used 20” posts. What degree slope is your garden? I am hoping I don’t have to mess with quickcrete but I feel that’s the best way to support the slope. Oh also, which is better – cedar vs. treated? Is treated safe for a vegetable garden? Sorry for all the questions.

FGS's avatar

@xBRIANx No, questions are good, that’s how you learn. First, the slope of the hill I built my boxes on is about 20 degrees (I’m taking an educated guess at that number). If your slope is more severe, you may have to stack an additional 2×10 on top to ensure that you don’t go below ground level on the top slope side of the box.

My 2×2s I used for the corner supports are pounded in to a depth of 10 inches and flush with the top of the box. Also, I supported the middle of my boxes with a 2×4 affixed in the center/top of the boxes (also flush with the top of the box) to keep them from bowing under strain. Use 3 inch coarse deck screws to keep everything together. Make sure that you screw the outside of the box together in addition to affixing it from the inside corners with the 2×2s.

I used this same design on my garden last year and I no problems at all using treated lumber. Cedar is prohibitively expensive and you will be hard pressed to find the dimensions you need to build a stable box to hold all the soil.

Once you get them built, the next step is making sure you have good rich soil to plant in. If you’d like, I can give you my soil “recipe” that will give you incredible results (I damn near guarantee it!!). Hope this helps.

DREW_R's avatar

Railroad ties work best. ;)

xBRIANx's avatar

@FGS. You wouldn’t happen to have any pictures of your complete project. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend. Did I hear a guarantee? Well, I can’t pass that up.

FGS's avatar

@xBRIANx I will take photos this week and post them in a PM to you. I will also send you my soil mixture via PM. This should work out really well for you.

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