Stairway To Heaven: The Magic Of Retaining Walls

The world famous Banaue Rice terraces in northern Philippines is made possible by the hard work, diligence and technology of ancient Filipino tribesmen. The technology used by the ancient Filipino to create these landscape masterpieces over decades revolves around a simple and age-old technique which is the same as the ones used in Chinas rice terraces. What makes these stairways to heaven possible is the creation of a retaining wall.

Retaining walls are the solution to erosion. And that is the main reason it is almost close to impossible to sustain an agricultural system on the mountainside. The sloping side of a mountain is never an ideal place to plant and grow produce due to its high risk of constant erosion especially from flooding.

The solution to this is to create a retaining wall which not only retains the moisture of rain and water, but also prevents soil from eroding. Creating a retaining wall is fairly simple. There are two major items that need to be considered: one is irrigation (how to make sure the portion of soil that is retained by the retaining wall does not flood up) and the other is to simply create the retaining wall on the perimeter of a plot of soil or land.

For irrigation, tubes or pipes may be used to offer access to water overflow from one plot of land secured by a retaining wall to a lower level of land. This allows water to have access to natural movement to a lower plane of land and will prevent the flooding of that plot of soil that is behind the retaining wall. Gravity is the gardeners best friend in this part of creating a retaining wall.

In addressing the second item, what the gardener needs is to simply decide on what type of wall is needed for the retaining wall. Concrete is one of the most often used materials for creating a retaining wall in most home yards.

However, one can be more creative and nature friendly by using boulders or big chunks of blasted concrete from construction or demolition sites. The only expense needed is to get these chunks of blasted concrete walls is on transporting them from the construction site to the garden or yard.

Most construction sites consider such materials as waste. The only thing you need to do is fit them together and glue them to form your gardens retaining wall by using a minimal amount of cement. Not only will Mother Nature be happy, but your wallet as well. Less expenses for the retaining wall, more money for other garden materials.