Retaining Walls: Tips For Preventing Garden Erosion

Posted on: 27 October 2017

If you are planning to plant your garden, avoid leaving the soil exposed. The soil can be easily eroded.  To prevent your plants, seeds, and soil from being blown away by wind or washed away by rain, retaining walls can help.

Not sure if you need a retaining wall?  Then, check for signs of erosion in your garden.  These may include:

  • exposed roots

  • soil splashing on your plants

  • mud and dirt on stepping stones, in the walkway and on the pavement

If any of these signs are visible, a retaining wall and other hardscaping work will be beneficial. Before constructing your wall, there are certain factors that will guide how it is built. Check out these tips:

Is Your Garden on Flat Land?

If you live in an area with high rainfall, your soil eventually becomes saturated and your topsoil will wash away.  Much needed nutrients can be leached and beneficial microorganisms are lost.  Wind erosion can also occur, especially if your soil is bare.  The remaining soil will no longer sustain plant growth.  To avoid this, multi-function retaining walls can be constructed.  

Great tip: Construct decorative walls and use them to plant ornamentals or food crops or design benches to relax on.

Is Your Garden on Hilly Land?

If your garden is situated on a slight slope or steep hillside, a retaining wall twinned with wooden steps can give your garden a fashionable look.  The wall does not only add a creative touch and beautifies the area, but it can provide privacy and tranquility.  More importantly, the wall holds the soil in place, stabilizing it and preventing a build-up of mud of rivulets.  These tend to ruin your landscape.

Great tip: For a personalized touch, create the wall with your own design and include columns, stairs, and corners.

Is Your Garden Close to a Riverbank?

Do you have a heavy flow of water threatening your garden because of its location? Then retaining walls are definitely for you!  These walls can be constructed using rocks placed in wire mesh baskets.  One such method, called Gabion Basket, stabilizes the soil and prevents water from eroding the soil.  Traditionally, these baskets used as retaining walls were developed to prevent erosion of riverbanks.  

You can use variations of these baskets for your backyard garden.  They do not only beautify your garden and form a path or wall, but the rocks help to dissipate the water energy and reduce erosion.

Great tip: If you expect a very heavy flow of water, use a very strong wire for the basket.  

Once you are seeing any sign in or around your garden, don't wait until it's too late to build your retaining wall.