Holding the terrace banks in place

Terrace bank support

With the
digging done for the first round of terraces
, I roped Mark into the heavy
work of keeping the banks from slumping.  He tried two different
methods, both of which are very experimental (meaning — wait to hear
some results before following suit).

The first technique was
using half-rotten (but huge) timbers from the
deconstructed old
, held in place
with two fence posts.  Mark pounded the posts far into the ground
so the post tops were level with the tops of the logs, which should
provide maximum strength.

Digging out spots for boards

The second method was
only subtly different (due to us running out of big timbers).  Now
we moved on to the floor joists for the old house, which are two by
sixes from back when those measurements were accurate and lumber was
made out of hardwoods.  Above, I’m digging out a bit of extra bank
so the boards will fit in flush.

Pounding in fence posts

And here Mark’s pounding
in the fence posts to hold the boards in place.  Notice how he’s
got the posts slanted back toward the hillside to counteract pressure
from the earth, and how the boards are naturally spaced a bit apart
(due to us not pulling out nails).  The latter will allow
groundwater to seep out, which will lessen the pressure against the
boards during heavy rains.  (Yes, the gap was an accident, but
off-site engineer’s comment
makes it sound like a good idea.)

For year one, I won’t be
planting anything on the untouched ground above these terrace walls
since I think it’ll take that long to wipe out the Japanese honeysuckle
and blackberries with frequent weed-eating.  After that, though,
I’ll plant this space heavily with species yet to be determined in
order to hold the bank.  I have no illusions that these walls will
remain for more than a few years, but if they keep the bank solid until
I can get some perennials to spread their roots through that area (and
then break down into humus), I’ll be happy.  More on plants in a
later post!

Our chicken waterer keeps water clean and hens

Latest Comments

  1. Brian December 21, 2012
  2. anna December 24, 2012

Leave a Reply