How to Garden Vegetables on a Hill


Choose plants suitable for growing on terraced hills. Avoid large, spreading plants, such as pumpkins and watermelons. Compact plants with upright growth, such as peppers, spinach and small tomatoes, grow well in terraced gardens.

Step 1

Begin leveling terraces in your slope by starting at the bottom of the hill. Cut into the slope with a garden shovel, removing enough soil to provide a level shelf for your plants. Determine the required size of the shelf by considering the mature growth of your selected plants. Make the surface area the same size, or larger, than the expected width of your mature plants. Most plants require level areas between 2 and 3 feet.

Step 2

Continue cutting level terraces in the hill, moving in an upward direction. Allow a rise of 1 to 2 feet between each level area. Shore up the rises with landscape timbers to hold the soil in place. Lay the timbers against the vertical section at the rear of each terrace, and secure in place with strong garden stakes pounded into the soil in front of the timbers.

Step 3

Prepare the leveled areas of your terrace by adding sand and compost to poor soil. Keep in mind that removing large amounts of soil may deplete the area of rich topsoil, necessary for plant growth. Use a garden shovel to incorporate the soil additives into the existing soil. Mix well to ensure adequate nutrition for your vegetable plants.

Step 4

Plant your vegetables in your prepared soil. Allow adequate space between each plant to accommodate future growth and allow room to weed and harvest. Keep the soil in your terraced garden slightly moist. Provide support for tall, leggy vegetables and vines, such as peas and pole beans.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Landscape timbers
  • Stakes
  • Sand
  • Compost


  • North Carolina State University: Home Vegetable Gardening
  • Washington State University: Gardening on Steep Slopes
Keywords: vegetable garden, terrace garden, vegetables

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.