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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by LMT on June 23, 2005 07:10 PM
Terracing is the only option I have to develop an extensive vegetable garden.

I've got about 3/4 of an acre. The house and garage are on the S/W section of the property. The S/E section is nice and flat but the ground is not suited for most plants. It's about 4 inches of soil on top of 3 feet of sand. I could amend but the space is better suited for trees and they would provide a nice cooling shade. The north half of the property has soil that is deep and rich, an excellent and dark sandy loam. The problem is that it is sloped.

I've already committed spaces to certain things. I don't have much room in the N/W section so I went with raspberries. In part due to necessity, in part due to stupidity; the rows have an east-west orientation. (? They all lean south, toward higher ground. I'll fix it eventually.) The S/E section, of course, features trees. In addition, I believe it makes an excellent place to plant cold crops in the spring. (Rising temps are bad but partially offset by increasing shade, extending the season.) In front of the trees but behind the salt line (about 20 feet from the road) will go the asparagus. It does grow in poor soil and will make a nice little fern hedge in summer and fall to boot. The N/E section is where the real vegetable action can take place but, because of the slope, I can only operate in narrow strips or terraces.

The terraced (vegetable) garden and the water feature.

I'm not there yet but I can see clearly I have no choice to but to embrace it.

I think a series of 20x3 or 15x4 (or whatever) terraced planting areas is the only option I have. Initially, I only need to establish the beds. (started) Eventually, I will need to build a U shape of bricks around the bed. (maybe next spring) Finally, I will have raised, terraced beds (brick encircling/enclosing). Once I near the "eventually" part I can put in my water feature. What I want is a fountain at the top with a small pool, the water then flows down into another small pool that spills into the pond. A water feature that conforms to my terraced vegetable garden. Don't forget, this is a part of the plan, though it will only be background and not the feature.


Anyone with a terraced garden want to post some pics?

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by tkhooper on June 23, 2005 07:57 PM
I'm sure you will have your terraces done before I have mine done. It seems like we have very different types of problems going on our slopes. You have good soil in that location and I have root infested clay. That makes me think you are going to need something much more able to stabilize the soil than I do. I am depending on the clay staying in place and just needing to keep the topsoil/mulch in place so I don't need something quite as well grounded as you do. I'm working with old branches to make an edging between the tiers and I love it but I don't think it would help you at all. So far I only have ground zero and one tier planted so there isn't much to see. And I am a lousy shutterbug.

My terracing is 20' x 18". Two tiers then a pathway tier and then two more planted tiers. that will make it easy for me to weed the entire garden even though I am afraid of heights.

There are some pictures of it under edging with a new twist. Good luck with your garden.

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by LMT on June 24, 2005 03:56 AM
I like what you have working.

One of my concerns is erosion. If you line up the edges, the water can come running down hard and cause damage (even to clay).

My solution is here . If the North (bottom) is widest, then the water will rest at each step in the terrace (with some flowing into the garden) and that will reduce erosion. The problem with that is obvious, I'd have one zucchini plant at the top of the triangle.

That's where the water feature comes into play. Taking the erosion control offered by the triangle and combining it with this will give me beds of nearly equal size from top to bottom. (Dude, you're leaning. Na, I'm just doing my parallelogram imitation.)

Now, on the right or east side of the feature I will face some erosion damage (near the edge of my property). I plant to use the area to grow trees, from cuttings and seeds. It will be sort of the background for the play but a source of enjoyment and profit as well. I'll be adding and subtracting every fall and spring so it will be dealt with constantly.

The entire design of the landscape needed to conform to possible future problems. The worst, realisticly, is replacing my septic tank. I have an excellent space in the center of the north zone but that space must be left open for a backhoe/dump truck or backhoe/flatbed. That's where this site really rocks!

A PVC pipe structured portable greenhouse!

You guys (generic, you're mostly girls) rock!

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by tkhooper on June 24, 2005 05:07 AM
Taking in to account that I'm not much of an artist this is what is happening with mine.


I was hoping the writting would be big enough to see but I don't think it is. Darn. Well in general think of a switchback road and that's pretty much how it goes with the opposite sides always being taller and wider.

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by LMT on June 24, 2005 05:59 AM
I get it. It's like the mouse trap game. You create a maze for the water (marble) to follow.

I'm going with something where the water isn't a factor.

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by tkhooper on June 24, 2005 07:03 AM
My post went pooh!!!!

Well in a nut shell I had written that you are right it is like the old mouse trap game. I hadn't thought of that game in ages.

I have to carry water out to the garden so every drop is very precious lol. I have lost 5 notches on my belt and am going to have to get a smaller belt next trip to the store. That's great but when the garden is completely planted I'll be taking about 8 buckets of water out there every day and twice a day when it is super hot. So I don't want any running over the retaining wall and on to the parking lot lol.

Good luck with your project.

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