Ask a Question forum: Sloped vs level raised beds

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 14, 2017 12:03 AM CST
My yard has a lot of slopes.

Is it better to use either of these kinds of arrangements for raised beds or some other solution?

I'm open to any ideas. I'm used to raised beds but NOT used to putting them on slopes and hills.
Thumb of 2017-01-14/Jai_Ganesha/34239f


EDIT: The picture is too big to see the whole thing unless you click it. No worries, it's just a simple sketch in case my question didn't make sense.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Jan 14, 2017 12:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jan 14, 2017 7:54 AM CST
I believe model "a" would be easier to maintain.
Porkpal
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jan 14, 2017 9:35 AM CST
I agree I would go with a. I think with b you'd get rain or irrigation water running off, and maybe soil too.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 15, 2017 10:27 AM CST
I agree
Deffinatly A. + it will be astetica !
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 15, 2017 10:38 AM CST
Definitely go with A. B offends my eye, and would cause run off.
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 15, 2017 1:32 PM CST
I'm with A also since you can stand on the downhill side and not have to bend over as much to plant and weed etc. If the slope is enough, you could make terraces instead of boxes i.e. your boxes would only need 3 sides.

Although B has its merits, as the plants at the back would get less shading from the plants at the front. That's assuming the slope faces towards the sun, of course. If you make use of micro-irrigation where the water is distributed slowly, I don't think runoff would be such an issue unless there was very heavy rain.
Elaine

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 16, 2017 10:19 PM CST
Thank you all. The slopes do face toward the sun (for the most part), south. My yard is wonky. I visited a friend in Ohio this weekend and I was so sad and jealous that her yard is so very flat. lol
Keep going!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 16, 2017 10:22 PM CST
Yours has more character, Jack! If you work with the slopes you'll end up with something much nicer than her flat yard.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jan 17, 2017 6:35 PM CST
I think the soil surface of a bed needs to be level.

The walls can create a "terraced" effect.

On a steepish slope, using concrete pavers as walls, the side walls can be set like a staircase: each paver is LEVEL, but each paver is set slightly lower than the previous paver:

I set a cedar plank on edge in the middle of this bed, to hold the soil at two different levels. The upper half is a few inches higher than the lower half.

Thumb of 2017-01-18/RickCorey/9fd628

Thumb of 2017-01-18/RickCorey/6843a5

P.S. Pavers don't need to have a straggly, flip-flopping appearance. I just haven't tidied or straightened those out ... ever.



Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 17, 2017 6:38 PM CST
Yep, go with A. Thumbs up
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 18, 2017 12:26 AM CST
I found this picture (unattributed--if it belongs to you please let me know) and it represents what I'm hoping to accomplish, although with fewer beds and with more space between them (enough space for a lawn mower).


Thumb of 2017-01-18/Jai_Ganesha/03fe8c

Keep going!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jan 18, 2017 8:13 AM CST
Looks like a plan.
Porkpal
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 18, 2017 9:31 AM CST
Not sure what your yard is like or size. But. Im thinking trellising. Your giving me ideals about my yard ! Thats bare.
Instead of the boring rectangular boxes.
Continuing, curves. S-shapes. Circles. With retaining walls and ground levelled out between.
In Texas, you ever see the way they plow there cotton fields ? They plow there furrows with the contour of the land. So the furrows catch the rain water, instead of running down the slope of the hill.
You get the ideal ???
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jan 18, 2017 11:43 AM CST
Jai_Ganesha said:I found this picture (unattributed--if it belongs to you please let me know) and it represents what I'm hoping to accomplish, although with fewer beds and with more space between them (enough space for a lawn mower).


Thumb of 2017-01-18/Jai_Ganesha/03fe8c



I think the way they handle the slope is perfect.

But personally, I would rather have beds that are no more than 3-4 feet wide, but as long as you can conveniently walk around (or put a stepping-stone in the middle, every 20 feet).
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 18, 2017 10:10 PM CST
RickCorey said:

I think the way they handle the slope is perfect.

But personally, I would rather have beds that are no more than 3-4 feet wide, but as long as you can conveniently walk around (or put a stepping-stone in the middle, every 20 feet).


That's a good point. My bed(s) won't be more than 3 feet wide. In fact, I might go for 30" or so. One time I built a bed (on flat land, so I literally just put it down, not much else to it in those circumstances) that was 4 feet wide and it was SUCH a hassle.
Keep going!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jan 18, 2017 10:10 PM CST
Stepping stones set at 20' spacing? You must have quite a stride!
Porkpal
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
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RickCorey
Jan 19, 2017 7:32 PM CST
Well, maybe 2 stones PLURAL for a wide bed. Actually, my stride is so shaky that I walk around, slowly. I'm usually using some garden tool as a cane anyway.

These two beds don't need no steppin' stones!

Thumb of 2017-01-20/RickCorey/1e6584

Thumb of 2017-01-20/RickCorey/967188

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jan 19, 2017 10:25 PM CST
I agree about the width of the beds; 4' only works for me if I can get to it from both sides. Although if you can squat and work from that position (and get back up again, LOL), you could probably go wider and use stepping stones here and there. Smiling
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias Gardens in Buckets
Region: Pennsylvania Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 20, 2017 11:57 PM CST
I'm a tall guy but I just can't manage a 4' bed as well as I can a 2.5' foot bed.

I think that if you're too short you can't reach over/through them, and if you're too tall you can't reach over/to them, if that makes sense. You have to be a certain middle height for 4' beds to really "work." lol
Keep going!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 23, 2017 12:08 PM CST
Jai : WHAT ??? To tall , to short πŸ˜•#??? Nope ! It dont matter ###
Or make any horse since ###
What you need is an arm stretcher ! Rolling on the floor laughing
@weedwacker ###
My arms sre short. I think three foot wide would be good 😎.
To this day. I still remember the one liner my daddy use to say !!!
" Gettin old is a bitch ! " Thumbs up
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