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levelling a slightly sloping bed and improving the soil for immediate planting

Sorry both probably questions I should know the answers to, but...
I'd like to level a bed I've just had cleared. It's only slightly sloping. I think a 6 inch retaining wall (sleeper/plank) wood do it. How do I got about it?  Can I just dig a narrow 6 inch trench put a 12 inch plank in that? (And obviously firm the soil in around it.) I'd rather not mess about with concrete.
Also I'd like to plant the area up nowish. I don't have any home made compost left. Any suggestions as to what I might use?


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,672
    I've just done the same @REMF33 but my slope ended in a paved path. I used an 8ft long treated gravel board and supported it with small stakes screwed into the gravel board. If you sink a board into soil, it will eventually rot but will do the job in the meantime. Treated wooden decking boards are also a possibility.

    The best alternative soil would be either bagged top soil or J.I. No.3.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 717
    Thanks very much. I don't mind it rotting (eventually).
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,626
    You'd need some vertical stakes to support the board, otherwise the weight of soil behind it might push it over. you can put them on the inside so they don't show. It will last longer if you use pressure-treated wood for both the board and the stakes.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 717
    Thanks. I am not worried about appearances, really. Scruffy garden. I am wondering whether to take this rosemary out too... (and possibly replace). This was and will be a herb patch.
    The top photo really distorts the size. I just measured it and it's 2m long to the black pot on the left and 1.5m deep. It tempting to move that pot and gain another .5 m. But the whole thing is a bit root bound down there. Honeysuckle and jasmine which also tend to overshadow it. Hmm...!

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