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Tackling a sloping plot

 
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sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 05 6:05 pm    Post subject: Tackling a sloping plot  Reply with quote    

I've largely ignored the garden here over the last six years, it rises from the top of a flight of very slippery stone steps behind the house and is very steeply sloping. I have occasionally had binges on the brambles, and I have kept enough clear for my compost heap and a very small herb patch, but the rest has succumbed to brambles and a spreading patch of white raspberries. Its also very very stone heavy, where at some point a stone wall between us and next door has been toppled into the garden and has slowly become part of it

Its not a bad size, maybe 18ft by 60ft, and the soil is ok where its not stony, and I really wish I could get it into a shape where it could be quietly productive for me, but I need some inspiration and advice given that a) I have no money to have terraces put in professionally and b) time is also in very short supply, I usually have only a couple of hours a week that I could devote to the garden.

Has anyone here managed to tame a similar patch without going insane? I have toyed with the idea of using the stones to create random raised beds, which would give me level planting pockets that I could add to one at a time and make everything in between them into path- but starting is another matter.

jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26621
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 05 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This is what i did with a slope for about 1700:

http://www.downsizer.net/Projects/Landscaping/Deck_on_a_Hill/

Probably not quite what you want though.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 05 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'll try and prod TD in to posting as he and his lovely broad shoulders did most if not all the hard work, but here's a brief summary...

Our garden's a long thin suburban thing, at best a foot of soil on top of chalk cliff. If you stand at the top of it, you are above the top of the house, I think. So it's quite a slope, but over a longer distance than yours (I think) therefore probably not so steep.

The first year we removed turf and brambles and buckets and buckets of flint and stones, making 3 then 4 narrow beds in a row. I think we then added to that the next year, and claimed another patch of land. Then put in a greenhouse which involved stealing a levelish patch and a lot of levelling by TD. To make up for the lost space we dug out the paths between the remaining beds to make one veg patch. Then we cleared a very overgrown, brambly patch, similarly full of stones...and planted it with potatoes the first year, peas and squashes and beans the next...not sure what's going on it this year, but it now also contains apple trees, and will have grapes and strawberries this year, as well as rhubarb down one side, so it's slowly edging to being a fruit patch with the idea that when we sell up eventually that will (a) be attractive to purchasers as it will be productive but nothing to mow and only a bit of maintenance (b) discourage them from doing what the neighbours both sides have done, which is finding the ugliest possible way to turn their gardens in to a desert.

I doubt that lots any help but the conclusion is meant to be, it's well worth doing what you suggest and trying to do it bit by bit, especially if you intend to be there for some time. All very well sitting down with your watercolours like Mr Titchmarsh but if you get fed up and run out of time before getting a quarter of the way through you probably won't get any further, whereas if you put in a couple of fruit bushes this year and some herbs in a corner, and next year manage a potato patch and a rhubarb bed, and so on and so forth, it'll come in a fair bit cheaper and easier...

Even if you only get one thing in this year it'll be better than nothing. And I bet you get more than one thing in

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 05 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How much does the garden slope? Ours, I think, is about 1 in 4. We've not decided to terrace as it would cost a fair bit and we seem to be able to cope as it is. Much more of a slope and we would start to have problems, but anyhing can be overcome.

sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

1in4 is probably about the same as mine, I think it may need one solid retaining wall at the top behind which I can then put the small stones as I work with a view to eventually making a hardstanding for a shed, but small random beds/terraces may do the trick. Its finding a pattern of land clearance and use that I can maintain, I really don't have a lot of free time a week as I leave for work early and get home late, but I want to try to get at least a coupel of hours a week into the garden if I possibly can

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14967
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs, do you start from the top of the slope or the bottom? I am terracing my veggie patch with old scaffold boards, but its only a small slope. I'm only doing it, cos it drove me mad that every time I dug or planted something, all the soil ended up on the path!

I'm also starting to feel positively lucky about the (natural) state of my garden! Although I have a horrible suspicion the nest one is on solid chalk! I'll know where to come, anyway!

Deedee



Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 250
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 05 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    



Womble here is our 'work in progress' we live on a newbuild estate so managed to cadge a lot of scaffold boards for free
We dug a channel (well David did ) put in the boards at the back first then worked our way forward to level it.We are almost ready to turf now just need another skip first!

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14967
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 05 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They look great. I'll have to get the hammer out! Just need to nick himslelfs car to go up to the woodyard - its bigger than mine!

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