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Swales or raised beds on sloped land

 
Posts: 38
Location: Portneuf, Quebec
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Hi,

We have a plot of land that has a pretty steep pitch (about 12%) over about 100 feet or so before it drops down at an even greater pitch (maybe 45 or 50 degrees) toward the river. Most of the east-west length of this steeper slope has trees (albeit dying aspens, for the most part) and is stable. On the eastern part of the land, the slope is eroded at an unstable pitch. The erosion there was analysed for us by a geotechnical engineer, who said that given the layers he saw there, he could see that our land is composed of many rocks of all sizes in silty sand (not clay). We confirmed this during the excavation we did for our foundation. Here is a link to the google map satellite image of the land: http://goo.gl/maps/O4fZV - note that the rectangle in the middle of the land is the location of our house.

Here is a picture with some notes for clarity:
or go to www.permaneuf.blogspot.ca


Our question is the following:

We would like to create terraces on the stable side of the land. Given the instability we have seen on the east end of the property, should we avoid using techniques that will hold back the water, such as swales or raised beds?

Thanks!







 
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