Stair stringers as edging for a sloped bed?

alison(6b/OH)May 10, 2010

I'm cross posting this on the Frugal Gardening forum because, if it works, it could save me time, if not money. Warning: there is a long explanation before I get to the question.

I was looking at one of the little vegetable gardens we have at work this morning and groaning inside at the prospect of having to re-do the brick edges.

Last summer we had some generous people come over and plant some veggies for us. Unfortunately, they picked a steep slope along the fence to the generator cage, and simply plopped some plants in the patchy grass and gravel.

After the first rain, when runoff washed out the dirt they'd dug up (and half the plants) and the first sunny week (which baked the remaining soil to earthenware) I tried to fix things after the fact. I amended the soil around the plants and laid a brick edge, then dug in brick terraces, to slow the water runoff.

It worked pretty well, altho' I was narrower than I would have liked, and the brick edges weren't sunk into the soil. (I just didn't have the energy!)

What I'd like to do with the edging is have regular, stepped levels. And it occurred to me that pre-cut stair stringers are pretty cheap at the hardware store....

I know the wood would warp and rot eventually, but I think the would last at least one season, if not two.

What do you think? Is it worth the $20, or should I just resign my self to digging?

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I'm confused.. Do you mean to create a tiered gardening plot? It would work... but it may be easier to just use the wood as a guide for brick and mortar work.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

I agree. Make something more permanent. Take yourself over to the hypertufa forum here, and learn how to make some step edges. It's a lightweight mix of concrete, perlite, and peat moss, looks fabulous, and I'd get a shallow box about the size of my step edge, line it with plastic, and make as many step edges as I want. I'd put the bottom step edge in place, add some nice potting soil mix, level out the step (or terrace), and put another step edge, and so on till I reached the top! That would be permanent and very lovely!

There are You Tube videos on it also.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 8:41AM
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The hyper tufa is a great idea! I think I'll still go with the plastic edging along the side (too complicated to figure out compensating for the slope, and keeping it easy to install) -- but I think it would be perfect for the terraces.

'Course, it's going to take longer, but it would be ssomething that would last for several seasons with minimal maintenance.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 1:03PM
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