Posted: 03/05/2014 at 13:30
Firstly this looks like a great place to learn about gardening and gets lots of help and advice I have to say that I am not much of a gardener, a few pots are about my limit. I like the idea of it but the reality tends to be all together something different - lol!
Anyways, I need some advice please about what to do to rectify a problem. I have a piece of ground that backs onto the driveway. There was a flat bit that sloped away from the drive. It was turfed. However, the builders dumped a load of soil and rubble on it from making a new patio and in my madness I decided to try and turn it into a sort of raised bed. I laid more soil - 4 tons of it in fact - on top of the builders mess and then shaped it so that there was a bank of earth in the middle and a flatish bit around the outside. I had planned to put in wooden borders where it sloped away ( to stop the gravel slipping down ) and then after planting up with wildlife friendly plants I was going to cover it all with gravel and rocks and driftwood, etc. The problem I have now is that the wooden borders cannot be knocked into the soil as its just loose, so nothing to actually hold them in place. The 4 extra tons I added has made it too deep to reach the solid earth underneath and when you do get to the solid earth its actually hard packed gravel and rock.. And because the soil is just loose it is starting to slip down the slope when it rains. Its difficult to describe it all, pictures would be far better, but I don't know how to add them here.
So if anyone can understand my slightly incoherent ramblings and offer some advice I would be most grateful Ijust need a way to secure the wooden borders at the top of the slope.
Well, it sounds like a s***-heap ... but the pictures don't look so bad. I thought you had a big round heap in the middle of a square lawn.
There's a steep earth bank by the canal near here that's been slowly creeping downhill for years. The towpath's getting slightly narrower every year, but it's a very slow process. You should be alright with ground cover stabilising it, but if it flows down against that wall on the right side you'll get damp issues there. You could just shovel it all back to the top in five years' time, I suppose.
Looking at the nice view, I can believe you when you say digging beyond a certain depth is hard. I've tried digging in the Dales and been tampted to put the spade away and make some dynamite. If you don't want to go to the trouble (and rubble) of making holes in bedrock, there is still a way to concrete in a post. You need to build forms for the concrete first, out of cheap MDF board and 2"x2" pine. Put all the pine and screws on the outside so the inside's nice and smooth, sit the thing on bare bedrock, shave bits off the underside until it sits level, stand the post in the middle of it, pour in the wet concrete mix, make sure the post's upright and leave it to set. Once it's done you can dismantle the form and use it for the next one or you can do them all at once, toss the MDF in the bin and use the pine for kindling.
A fence built this way won't have the stability to stop horses or stay upright in a wind with those lap panels on it (I swear they're modelled on windmill sails) but if you're only putting in 2' posts and the bottom 9" of each are in the concrete you'll have some pretty stable things.
Then you put rails across the posts on the uphill side so the weight of the soil is pushing wood against