When you install landscape timbers in a home landscaping project, it is imperative that the timbers stay where you put them. Anchor landscape timbers with galvanized spikes, driving the spikes through the ends of the timbers and into the soil underneath. The spikes will hold the landscape timbers in place and prevent them from shifting over time. This foundation work will ensure a solid perimeter to your flower or vegetable garden.
Remove any grass or other ground cover from the ground along the area where you will be installing the landscape timbers. Remove this growth by skimming the shovel along the surface of the soil and discarding the plants.
Drill holes approximately 6 inches from both ends of the landscape timbers. Make the holes large enough to serve as pilot holes for the spikes and angle the holes at 20-degree angles (toward the center of the landscape timbers).
Place the landscape timbers in place along the perimeter you prepared. Check the landscape timbers with the level to ensure they are level. If areas are not level, remove the timbers and add a small amount of topsoil to level them. Continue checking the timbers with the level until every timber is perfectly level.
Drive the galvanized spikes through the pilot holes you created with the drill. Pound the spikes through the timbers until they are even and flush with the tops of the landscape timbers. Install every landscape timber in this same fashion.
Slip a crowbar between the cracks located in between the first and second row of landscaping timbers in your project and pry upward. This will loosen the spikes that are holding the timbers in place.
Slip the forked end of a nail puller around the head of the spike and let the nail puller’s head rest against the spike. Tilt the nail puller away from the spike and toward the top surface of the landscaping timber to pry up the landscaping spike.
Repeat the process with the spike at the other end of the landscaping timber.
Lift the timber away from the raised bed. Continue to lift and move landscaping timbers until all timbers have been removed from your landscape.
Level the area that will serve as the foundation by spreading gravel out. Lay timbers across the gravel and level them. Cut pieces to the correct size to act as posts. Nail them to the foundation timbers. Lay additional timbers along the sides of this construction, perpendicular to the foundation timbers. Nail them into the foundation timbers to create a frame.
Lay planks of wood across the timber frame to create a floor. Fit the planks tightly together and nail them to the timbers. Cut upright posts to frame the walls of the shed. Make the area of the frame somewhat smaller than the foundation. Create two triangular frame pieces that will serve as the ends of the A-shaped roof. Attach them to the wall frame.
Fill in the walls by stacking and nailing timbers to the frame. For sake of ease, no windows will be included. A door can optionally be added, though the shed can function without one. Lay timbers between the two roof frames to create a basic roof. Nail them down at the ends. Lay tarp over those timbers and add another level of timbers on top of the tarp. Nail them down. A more elaborate roof is possible, but this is an easy, cheap, effective option.
Dig a 6-inch-deep trench equal to the width of the first terrace step. You will need to bury the first timber halfway to anchor it into the ground.
Dig trenches into the hillside perpendicular to the face of the slope. These trenches are for the side timbers of the terrace and should only be one inch longer than the width of the timbers.
Cut two timbers to length to fit into the side trenches using a chain saw.
Arrange the timbers into the trenches and drill holes every 18 inches using the power drill.
Secure the timbers in place by pounding reinforcing bars through the holes with a sledgehammer. These anchors should penetrate at least 12 inches below the timbers into the soil.
Place another timber over the back edge of the current terrace to create the front face of the next step up the hill. Overlap the anchor holes in the corner of the new timber with the back corners on the side timbers from the lower level. This will lock the tiers in place and add stability to the terrace.
Repeat steps 1 through 6 until your terrace is at the desired height.
Fill the terrace levels with topsoil to create level tiers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Composite landscape timbers are made of recycled polyethylene and wood fibers, or recycled plastic. The timbers are lightweight and durable. Some styles have interlocking channels for stability and preformed holes for reinforcement bars.