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Retaining wall to level garden

 
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Hi there, new here, and trying to get a grip on my yard plans we just bought a house, and the backyard slopes away to the north, not by too much, but by enough that i want to build a retaining wall to make my gardening area closer to level. what would be some good materials to use? probably 3 feet tall at the most. i also want to incorporate a greenhouse with a basement. the internet has plenty on greenhouses in basements, but not greenhouse basements. i am leaning towards cinder block because it seems like the easiest thing to use and have be cohesive across the whole structure.

i plan to enclose the main vegetable garden to restrict the wild cottontails. my plan is a nicer looking fence lined on the inside with wire fencing, either chicken wire or the smaller cage type wire mesh, burying it as well. i am a little worried that i am overzealous, but i am very excited to actually get elbow deep in my own garden. thanks for any advise, please be kind!
 
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Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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My wife made a very nice retaining wall with river rock, 4" to 8" mostly. It was at a 1 in 1 slope, i.e. 45 degrees. I those are available they look nice, but are a lot of work.
 
pollinator
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Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Have you searched "retaining walls"? It'll take some time to sift the chaff but there's good info out there. IIRC 3 feet s/b doable but I think that's about the point where you need to make the base wider than the top and I'm sure you need to dig down and plant the wall a foot or so below the lower grade if there's much of the wall holding back 3' of dirt.

Also IIRC one of the main stresses on a retaining wall is not the earth per se but water backed up behind the wall. So you need to make a water path either through or down to a drain and around the wall to ensure you're not actually trying to build a dam! Gravel back fill and weep holes are some of the ways to do this.

Cinder block can be decent structure (though in this case you might have to stick some rebar down it and fill some cores with concrete) but people don't like the way it looks. It can be topped and tiled with pretty stuff, though.

Rufus
 
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