Slip Sliding No Nos

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Is it difficult to garden on a slope?

Slip Sliding No Nos

Tackle terraced garden designs on the weekend? No problem! Then you'll rewire your house...time to cut back on your caffeine. Rewiring the house takes longer than a weekend. Similarly, building elevated gardens is an attractive option if you have poor soil and a hilltop house, but don't understimate the difficulty level.

Before you run out and buy a book on how to build a terraced garden, take a cue from our weekend warrior hints:

  1. Whatever material you use--railroad ties, stones, timbers--be sure it's sturdy and anchored well.
  2. Just because you can't see the moisture in the soil, you shouldn't think that your elevated garden is free of water hazards. If you plop a stone wall down without testing the soil first, your elevated garden could resemble a scene out of a disaster movie.
  3. If you're building elevated gardens, you should probably limit yourself to a manageable size--King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had thousands of workers, but unless you employ a professional engineering team, you may want to build your walls only one to two feet high.
  4. Don't start at the top! A reliable trench dug at the bottom will anchor the project.
  5. Don't use timbers or stone or a pre-fab kit without reading the supplier's or manufacturer's instructions--they may recommend a maximum height.
  6. Don't start digging without calling your utility company or your city's public works department to determine if there are underground pipes, electric wires or gas lines on your property.

Your terraced garden designs will take longer than a weekend, but they'll be worth it--and it wouldn't hurt to call an electrician for the house.

   

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