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If your own property is not straight, a slope reinforcement for steep places that are easily removed is a good idea. If you want to secure your slope, there are several variants available that work with and without a foundation. On the one hand, they serve as protection against erosion and as a decorative aspect, for example if you want to design several slopes as terraces. The various methods for this project are presented in detail in this article.
Slope reinforcement with foundation
Foundations of various types are used for classic slope fortifications, which form the basis for the fortification. The foundation allows even heavy materials to be used as attachments without them sinking into the ground or shifting under the weight of the earth. Since these materials do not fix themselves, they are dependent on foundations and then act effectively to secure the slope. If you have opted for an attachment with foundations, you have four options available, which will be illustrated in detail in the following sections. When choosing a suitable method, the slope of the affected area is particularly important, since not every one is suitable for particularly steep slopes.
One of the classic ways of fixing slopes is the use of L-bricks. Due to the L-shape, they are ideal for this application, as they fix the soil and join together seamlessly. L-stones have the great advantage that they are quite heavy, which is important when you are fixing a slope. Due to the weight of the stones in combination with a suitable foundation, the slope is permanently and effectively protected against erosion, even in heavy rains and thaws. A foundation is poured for the L-stones that corresponds to the length of the slope and the width of the stones. The stones can be attached to this. L-stones are particularly suitable for the following slopes and projects:
- steep slopes
- slopes threatened by erosion
Although you have to buy higher and wider stones for steep slopes, they are rock-solid with a suitable foundation and can support the soil even in heavy rain. Except for the delivery and transport of the L-stones, the project can be implemented without any major problems. Just make sure that you should place stones in terraces from a height of three meters to avoid excessive soil loading.
notice: Due to the weight of the L-stones, you can also lay a thick foundation of gravel or crushed stone for them. The stones hold up quite well on this if the embankment is not too steep.
Another method are plant stones, which are mainly used in gardens that otherwise do not have that much space or are intended to provide additional space for the cultivation of a wide variety of plants. Select the plant stones according to your garden to achieve a harmonious effect. Size, color and shape can be chosen by you. Since a gravel and concrete foundation is required for a slope attachment on plant stones, even uneven slopes can be attached without any problems. The trench for the foundation simply runs along the embankment. You should consider the following points with this slope reinforcement:
- Concrete foundation: about 30 cm
- Gravel foundation: 60 to 100 cm
- maximum tilt angle: 70°
- Gravel intermediate layer: 30 cm
The stones are shifted backwards according to the inclination. About half of a planting stone should be covered with another planting stone in order to provide the desired support. Proceed in this way until the entire slope reinforcement is in place. Then you can plant the individual stones. The maintenance effort is particularly high with this attachment and must not be neglected.
In addition to the slope reinforcement with plant stones, the use of a dry wall is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive variants that you can choose. But this can be adapted exactly to your own ideas and to the shape of the embankment that is attached. A concrete foundation is not used for a dry wall, but gravel or crushed stone, since no wet building materials are used for this project. After the foundation with a depth of up to 80 centimeters, a combination of different stone layers is used, which secures the soil and thus the slope (from bottom to top):
- at least 10 cm stone layer in the ground
- through tie
- stone layer
- through tie
- set stone wedges in between
- stone layer
This is done until the entire wall is up. The start-up is ten to 15 percent, which you absolutely have to keep in mind. Drainage and a separating layer of gravel, earth or sand are laid behind the stones, which are separated from the slope with garden fleece. As a result, not all of the moisture in the soil gets into the wall and it is not inhabited by roots and animals. The higher the slope, the gentler the incline must be to provide adequate support. But the work is worth it, as dry stone walls look romantic and natural in the garden. Even heights of up to five meters can easily be secured with a dry wall. Just make sure that the stones always fit exactly.
A modern method of stabilizing a slope is to use sturdy gabion fences filled with heavy rocks. Gabions are available in a variety of heights and widths and can therefore be used on a variety of slopes. Due to the point foundation, they can be placed precisely. Compared to the previously mentioned variants, the foundation requires the least amount of effort, so you should rely on professional help for delivery and filling. Especially with gabions with a lot of volume, it is very exhausting to place and fill them yourself. Gabions are particularly suitable for the following projects:
- steep slopes
In addition to the high level of stability, the filled wire cages have an extremely decorative aspect that puts your slope reinforcement in the foreground in a unique way. You can choose the stones and the color of the gabions and place them according to your ideas. Modern gardens can be attractively equipped with them. Because the fences can be loaded immediately after placement, you don't have to wait for the soil to compact before stepping on and planting. The slope can be used immediately after setting and filling the lattice baskets.
Slope reinforcement without a foundation
If you do not want to lay foundations or intend to incur the costs for their implementation, you should rely on a slope reinforcement that does not require one. There are two classic methods you can use to secure a steep slope without having to dig holes and pour concrete. Depending on the length and gradient of the embankment or slope, these are quite inexpensive and in most cases do not require equipment such as mini excavators. However, with these it is somewhat more difficult to create a clear line, as is desired, for example, with terraces lying one on top of the other. While the foundation fixtures appear modern and orderly, the following variations are recommended for a natural touch. Especially slopes in natural gardens or in the country are often fixed with these methods.
Instead of foundations, plant lovers rely on attachments made of a wide variety of perennials and shrubs, which permanently stabilize slopes due to their growth. The roots of these plants improve the soil structure over a period of several years and provide support, especially in the upper soil layers. These are most at risk from erosion and the plants counteract this problem. The following plants are particularly good for this:
- Lady's mantle (bot. Alchemilla mollis)
- Cranesbill (bot. Geranium)
- Golden nettle (bot. Lamium galeobdolon)
- Waldsteinia (bot. Waldsteinia ternata)
- Elf Flower (bot. Epimedium)
- Carpet St. John's Wort (bot. Hypericum calycinum)
- Ysander (bot. Pachysandra)
- Ivy (bot. Hedera helix)
- Summer lilac (bot. Buddleja davidii)
- privet (bot. privet)
- Cornus (bot. Cornus mas)
- Cinquefoil (bot. Potentilla fruticosa)
- Ornamental quince (bot. Chaenomeles)
- Cotoneaster (bot. Cotoneaster)
- Creeping juniper 'Repanda' (bot. Juniperus communis 'Repanda')
- Small shrub or ground cover roses (bot. Rosa)
- Dog roses (bot. Rosa canina)
- Common broom (bot. Cytisus scoparius)
The best thing about this selection is the combination options. No matter how steep or long the slope to be planted, you can let your imagination run wild with these plants. Just be sure not to walk on embankments after planting for the next few years, or only during maintenance, to allow the plants to establish themselves and stabilize the soil. If you want to support insects, birds and wildlife by planting food and havens, focus especially on plants like the dog rose, as it has dense growth, rosehips and nutrient-rich flowers. The possible combinations are limitless.
notice: If you want to pave a low embankment so that it can be walked on, it is advisable to use turf, ideally turf made of robust grass. In this case, even the grass roots are sufficient to secure the slope and make it possible to sunbathe on it or use it for other purposes.
A traditional method of securing slopes is the use of rods from native willow species. These can be used in different ways and are suitable for other inclines and embankment lengths. Fascines, which have been used for security for centuries, are particularly well suited. Bundles of rods, which together reach a diameter of about 30 centimeters, are used to stabilize the slope. They are about two to three meters long and can be easily laid end to end to secure even longer embankments. You can choose between the following types:
- Deadwood: no longer sprout
- living rods: able to germinate and sprout
If you do not want to support additional growth of the rods, it is best to use deadwood. These are usually cheaper to buy in stores or at nurseries. Now calculate how long and high the embankment is. You can stack fascines to get the height you need. In addition, you need wooden posts for every meter at the height of the slope, which stabilize the bundles. The application is simple enough:
- dig a ditch
- Depth: 15 - 30 cm
- Lay out fascines in bundles
- fix with post
- use wire for better support
- fill in the pit
If you wish, you can cover the fascines with wood so that they look like a closed fence. In order for the bundles to be able to secure the slope for a longer period of time, you should firmly firm the earth behind it. If your embankment has a consistent slope, it may help to remove some soil from the bottom. This makes it easier to place the bundles.
tip: You can perfectly combine the concept of planting and willow rods to secure even steeper slopes without having to rely on a foundation. To do this, simply plant the plants directly behind the fascines, which significantly improves stability.