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Beginner Gardening: Stairs into a small hill

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 244
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May 12, 2007
4:00 PM

Post #3489936

Hello all, I'm really not very good at landscaping and gardening though I've been trying my best since moving into this house 2 years ago.

My problem is in our backyard, we have a small hill going up to the parking pad and garbage area. We spent some time fixing the crude steps that were there last year and over the winter they broke down and became hazardous. I even fell down the steps on a broken piece of a paver! Thankfully the snow was particularly high at the time and it cushioned the fall. So I really should fix this so that I donít get hurt next time!

I would REALLY like to do this right this summer and have something that is stable and easy to walk up and down. If anyone has any suggestions on the process to do this I would really appreciate it. I really need step by step instructions to create the steps (tee hee) and a list of the materials I'll need to purchase.

My thoughts are to rip out what is there and fill with soil and really tamp it down and then basically measure how much room I have and how many steps are required for an 8 inch rise. Iíll then purchase some kind of bricks that I can layer under each larger cement paver (the 18x18 perhaps?) and just stagger them up the hill just basically pushing them down into the soil. This is where I kind of lose it because Iím not sure how accurate and level this would be.

ANY thoughts or links to sites would be so very helpful! Thanks!

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May 12, 2007
4:23 PM

Post #3489997

Here is a close up pic

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Eagle, ID

May 13, 2007
5:11 PM

Post #3493165

I am in a similar situation and have been trying to figure out how to tier several sloping hills. I want to plant there and possibly have some steps leading up through. I am thinking railroad ties because mine is so large but for yours...

I think your right about ripping out what there is. It looks dangerous, unsteady.

What about making a small brick wall (probably two deep and two to three feet across.) Level and firm the soil behind and on top with more of the same brick or one of the large pavers (or whatever fits that section) then behind the paver make another small two deep brick wall and repeat until you get to the top?

Architect I am not LOL

May 15, 2007
5:54 AM

Post #3498830

could try cutting up a pressure treated 6x6.

Cut and drive in some 12" to 18" rebar stakes. Drill the cut to length boards, and drop them over the rebar (can stack 2 if necessary). This will give you a stable edge for the steps. Backfill with decorative gravel and tamp. Will provide a stable and not so slippery surface to walk down.

Cary, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 27, 2007
3:05 AM

Post #3540091

you have a great area for a wonderful cascading rock garden.. Good Luck :))

Fort Payne, AL
(Zone 7a)

May 27, 2007
11:09 PM

Post #3542675

One of the local suppliers of stones has a website: They show different pavers and bricks, etc. with instructions and materials lists for different products. They don't have one specifically for steps, but the retaining wall plan might work for you.

I live on the side of a mountain and have similar problems. The house was built in 1946 and the former owners stopped gardening several years ago due to illness. All my walls need to be redone. It's on my list of things to take care of which should be finished sometime in 2022.

Here's a pic of my house and retaining(?) walls.

This message was edited May 27, 2007 5:12 PM

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