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How do I stop my steep soil bank from eroding/collapsing? I have moved into a new house with a 3ft high soil bank (about 100ft long) along one boundary. It is choked with weeds but as I pull out the weeds, the bank falls away and is eroding after heavy rain. Am having to work to very tight budget - any ideas?



welcome to GoY
Can you put chicken wire down and then plant groundcover so their roots consolidate the soil. Thing is I dont know how expensive that would be.

9 Jan, 2011


If you haven't any particular plant choice, then how about periwinkle, to clothe the bank and root into it. Geranium macrorrhizum, geranium renardii (sun)alchemilla mollis (I know, it's a bit invasive with its babies, but it roots well into almost anything). A gravel board along the front edge, fixed with wooden pegs (2ft setting out pegs from builders merchant), might aid the support, and lessen the slope slightly. Sunny or shady bank? Worthy

9 Jan, 2011


Added to GoYpedia Sloping Garden Ideas
[click on S at the base of the page]
... you might also find more ideas there ...
Good luck :o)

9 Jan, 2011


The weed roots are holding the bank together. Anything you can get to grow there will perform the same function. When I had a garden with a very steep, high bank (about 30' high x 20'wide and steeper than 45 degrees) I made little planting holes for the plants that I wanted, only removing the nearest weeds til the wanted plants were established. Then I gradually removed the weeds as the groundcover plants grew outwards. I can endorse Vinca (periwinkle) species as suitable. I also used Lamium species, ivies and pinks, and found that Libertia grew well there, short lived but gently self-seeding.

Very steep slopes tend to be dry - any rainwater rolls off the surface if the soil is dry, and it drains fast. When planting new plants I would mix some of the mixture of slow release fertilizer and water retaining gel that they sell for hanging baskets into the soil in the bottom of the planting hole, and try to plant so that there is a flat "watering platform" behind each plant to help water / rain be absorbed.

Slopes have the advantage that you need to consider the height of the plants you're putting in less than in flat beds. They're like the banked seats in a theatre where everyone can see over the shoulders of the person in front.

9 Jan, 2011


Great suggestions Beattie!

9 Jan, 2011


Fantastic answer Beattie ! :o)))

9 Jan, 2011


Wow! Thank you all so much - really good ideas I can research and hopefully put into action. This is the first time I have ever posted a question or comment on a website - great to know there are people out there who want to help.

9 Jan, 2011


I hope you have success, Wavinglady, with your sloping garden. Maybe, after some time, you can put some photos or a blog on GoY, telling us of the progress you've made.. :o)

9 Jan, 2011


I too am grateful for all suggestions to wavinglady. We have a small section of slope and this has got me thinking ☺

9 Jan, 2011


We've had to create slopes in our garden as it was a flat as a pancake! I'd love a natural slope.

9 Jan, 2011


Thank you all for your compliments. Talking of slopes, Moongrower, our last garden was about 3 and a half acres of mostly woodland on a desperately steep slope with little terraces, paths and steps. There was a difference of about 100 feet in height above sea level from the bottom of the site to our house. Boy! Did it keep us fit!

9 Jan, 2011


How about 'terracing' it with old railway sleepers? You could grow plants that would drape over the edges, like Aubretia, or species of Sempervivum. :o)

10 Jan, 2011


Thank you, everyone. Nariz, I like the idea of doing that, do you think it would be possible with such a steep bank? The height is between 3 & 4ft, and the "depth" about 18 -24 inches at the bottom. How would I secure the sleepers? It would certainly make it easier to plant and use the good suggestions from yourself and other members.
p.s. Picos? How lovely ... there's hope for me yet!

11 Jan, 2011


The sleepers are probably heavy enough not to need securing in any way, apart from being partly 'dug in' to the bank rather than simply being placed on top, so that their upper surface is horizontal, then the planting and subsequent rooting will 'tie' it all together.

The Picos certainly are lovely!

12 Jan, 2011


I'm not sure if you will have now sorted your garden erosion problem as time has indeed gone by between your posting and my answer, however for the benefit of others reading this with similar problems this is my approach.Giving this some thought,mmm as your confronted/ or were confronted with the same problem as myself, the way I think to secure sleepers is by using 4''x4'' fence posts cut off at a suitable height and driven into the soil a good way down.You then use timberlock screws and fix the sleepers first to them, then to each other,do not think for one moment that sleepers will hold themselves because they will not, in fact the weight against a sloping eroding bank will indeed cause them to move much quicker. A good way around not going to the expense of buying sleepers is to get structural tanalized timber then block form it in your garden so the area looks like a lot of rectangles and go from there. You will need to remove loads of soil first to form the terracing then 9''x3'' or thicker timber and 2''x2''or thicker posts driven into the ground to hold the timber in place.. Job done, plant up, cut weed membrane.. suppressor to suit and gravel it for better drainage,remember to tuck the membrane in between the soil and timber then stand back and have a good look at what you have achieved with all your hard work .

22 Jun, 2012


Thanks Alladinsane ..
useful input ..

This question is on GoYpedia Sloping Garden Ideas. :o)

22 Jun, 2012

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