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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 house, 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 our 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 happy.


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Did you ask Santa for a fence post driver? I waited awhile to buy one and after I got one I wish I had gotten it sooner. It allows you to use your body weight to drive the post in the ground so it goes much quicker. It seems you would benefit with the number of fence posts you have around your property.
Comment by Brian Friday evening, December 21st, 2012
He does deserve one, but we never seem to get around to buying one. By the time we do, we may have all of our fence posts in place. :-)
Comment by anna at lunch time on Monday, December 24th, 2012






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