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Porsche986S 04-12-2019 02:16 PM

retaining wall/planter ?
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I completed a 2 car detached man cave late last year but I still have to build a retaining wall or possibly a retaining wall/planter . I am in northern Georgia and will either build the wall out of PT 6x6's or stackable block . My original thought was to just build the walls to existing ground level and be done . But the more I think about it I'd like to make it look a little better than just walls . So the thought process now shifting to partial retaining wall and partial planters .

The excavation into the hill was done over 18 months ago and in that time we have had a LOT of rain/winter and summer conditions . The sidewalls of GA. clay are very stable very little has fallen down over that 18 month time . The slope basically goes from zero to 5 ' tall in the back of the building . Whatever wall material I go with I will hold it back 18 - 24 " of the existing dirt walls . If I were to build up retaining walls lets say 3 ' tall what would be good types of plants to grow ? Would you do ground cover type plants ? Or a hedge type of plant ?

In the pics below I still have to add 3 - 4 " of dirt to slope away from the drainage pipes and then 4 - 5 " of gravel as my walkway . The pic behind the building where I have house wrap on the ground a long shed will be built for garden tractors/tools/gardening supplies . So the back will be shaded while both sides will get partial sun . So in summary what plants will help hold some dirt back , not grow too large and will look decent ? Hopefully the pics will post .

Porsche986S 04-12-2019 02:18 PM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
If it matters the backwall area is about 32 ' long and the sidewalls about 28 ' long .

3onthetree 04-13-2019 07:39 PM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
I'd probably use CMU and not have to worry about wood ever.
I think you're saying you'll have a 2' high slope down to the wall in back, so that's where you want the plantings? I probably can't help as much as like the UGA Ag Extension, but I'm sure there are lots of taller grasses, maybe not so many bushes like spirea for shade though.

I will say you have an opportunity to do something a little more than just hold the dirt back away from the garage. Maybe something worthy of what your username indicates what's in that garage, like some curves or stepped areas that tie into the rest of your lot.

Calson 04-21-2019 02:55 PM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
It is was my place I would have forms built to create the wall and then do a single pour of the wall and a walkway alongside the garage. Once the forms and rebar is in place, it is a single pour for the wall and walkway.This makes for a near zero maintenance for as long as you or future occupants want.

Important to scope out possible drainage issues before you do anything as much easier to correct with only dirt in the area.

For a 2-4 foot wall there is the option of using dry stacked stone which once it is in place will look like it has been there forever, like the stone walls farm country built from the rocks dug out of the fields.

mark sr 04-22-2019 06:32 AM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
The pics might be deceiving but I'd consider digging back further before erecting a wall. You want enough room to easily clean out the space between the wall and the bldg as trash [leaves and such] will accumulate in that space.

I wouldn't consider any wall that wasn't masonry!

Nealtw 04-22-2019 08:17 AM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
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I would set it something like this, what ever the wall is, drainage is the answer.

DoomsDave 04-23-2019 01:55 PM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
@Porsche986S , you might want to see if you can do a more gradual slope up to the woods in back, if you have the time and energy to do that. And, a place to put the dirt you'll move in doing that. You could plant a nice sloping lawn, that will, if well-planned, be much easier to maintain. Or you could plant some kinds of ground cover, or even a vegetable garden.

It will look a lot better, and, given your soil's stability, won't have a tendency to wash out, like soils sometimes do.

Walls sometimes fall, no matter how good a job you do making them, though I'll confess that a lot of my skittishness about that is being out here in the Land Of the Moving Earth.

Let us know what you do, and show us pictures.

Porsche986S 04-24-2019 08:59 AM

Re: retaining wall/planter ?
I appreciate all the advice thank you . I double checked the height in the back as I was going on memory and it is just 4 ' not 5 so that helps a little . I did get an estimate last year for concrete footer and walls and it was just too much to spend . I am retired so have to juggle cost vs. longevity vs. maintenance . I also have other projects consuming $$$'s so have to spread the wealth around to cover .

It really comes down to pressure treated 6x6's or stackable block and either way I will have to do the work to control costs . I would prefer to do the blocks just have to sharpen the pencil and see what the costs will be . My plan for right now is to attack this in the fall so I have time to make a final decision .

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