How to Terrace a Hill With Raised Beds

Overview

Raised beds are increasingly popular as low-maintenance solutions in the garden. By keeping the soil surface out of reach of weeds (and certain pests), gardeners have more control over soil conditions while spending less time and money on the beds. They may offer aesthetic advantages as well. Raised beds that create terraces on slopes can provide relief in an area of the yard that otherwise might be difficult to mow.

Step 1

Mark the area you will be turning into raised beds with garden lime, spray paint or chalk.

Step 2

Start at the highest point first. Dig out your first raised section in the shape you desire.

Step 3

Position the borders of this first raised bed securely. If the depth is going to be greater than two feet, you may want to fill the bottom with gravel and then add soil on top. Gravel will improve overall drainage, keeping plants healthy, and putting less water pressure on the sides of your bed.

Step 4

Continue down a level, repeating the same raised bed-making process after digging out a level platform. Repeat the same steps for each level down the slope.

Step 5

Fill all of your raised beds with soil and any amendments, then commence planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Inspect the stability of your raised bed border material from time to time to get the jump on any problems. Instability can lead to erosion problems and pose a hazard to children or pets, so be sure to act promptly if you notice a developing problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Raised bed materials (wood, rocks, landscaping stones, etc.)
  • Gravel (optional)
  • Top soil

References

  • The Landscape Design Site: "Sloped, Terraced, Hillside Landscaping"
  • Las Pilitas Nursery: "Simple Erosion Control for Hillside or Garden Slope"
Keywords: raised bed gardening, terraced landscaping, landscape hill design

About this Author

Josh Roberts has three years of experience as a writer in a variety of genres including fiction, creative nonfiction, nature, and technical writing. Graduating from Belmont University with a Bachelor's of Arts in English, he received the Carl Chaney Award for Excellence during that time. His work has appeared in Belmont's Literary Journal, and received honorable mention in the Nashville Scene's 2004 Writing Contest.

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