If your property is located on a hillside, it may prove to be quite challenging to prepare the land for planting. Erosion and water run off is a major problem whenever the land is inclined, regardless of the degree of incline. Some properties have such a steep incline that it may even seem impossible to put up any type of garden. There are some solutions available, but you will need a professional landscaper to execute the project for you.
Here’s how to terrace a hillside for planting.
- Assess your land. Determine which part you would like to place your terrace or steps. Do you want to do that on just one section of the hillside, or will it be the entire slope? You will also need to consider what type of soil is under your grass. If the grade of the slope is big, it is likely that the top soil has been eroded and you may need to bring in fresh top soil.
- Before you dig, make sure you draw out a plan. Measure the length of the slope so you know how many steps you will need to make. It is best to have wide steps rather than several small steps. It will be easier to go down the steps.
- Decide if you want to put up retaining walls to break up the grade of the slope. This is to prevent erosion and to stabilize the soil.
- Consider what types of plants you want to place on the hillside. Clusters of perennials are a good option, but you may also consider having a vegetable garden. Choose also what bracing materials you want to add, such as small logs or ornamental rocks and stones. The sturdier the materials used for the retaining wall, the better.
- Start at the bottom whenever you carve out the hillside. Find a flat and stable area and work your way up. You will need to build your retaining wall before you can work your way up. Get as much soil from the top and bring it down on the retaining wall. Make sure you layer the soil and compact it properly.
- When packing the soil, the bottom part should be packed tightly and as it reaches the surface, the topsoil should be placed more loosely. This will allow the soil to settle in but at the same time have stability. You may also add mulch.
- Make the next retaining wall once you see that the soil when the soil starts to pile up. Keep repeating the process until you reach the top.
- When building your retaining walls, place a drainage system so that the water will have a place to go to, rather than build up pressure behind the retaining walls.
- When planting, place water loving plants at the bottom since the soil will tend to be wetter at the bottom than at the top. Also, choose plants that spread out on both the top and below ground to help bind down the soil.
If you want to terrace your hillside, be prepared to set aside a budget to get this project done. A professional landscaper is your best bet but make sure you discuss your options and the budget considerations carefully before signing up.