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Terracing Flat Land

James Colbert

Joined: Jan 02, 2012
Posts: 255
Hey permaculture guys and gals I have a idea/question about terracing flat land. Is there any benefit? It seems like a cool idea and it should create more "edge" if I am understanding the concept correctly. I envision something in which small rolling hills approximately 6 feet high and perhaps two or three times that in width (12' - 18'), following the natural contour of the land. Each terrace can be designed to maximize water infiltration. Would this be worth the effort? Would regularly spaced swales suffice? Your input is greatly appreciated.
Eric Thompson

Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 319
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
50% more surface area is a big plus. and varying levels of moisture and shade. But definitely tough to drive a combine over!
Jeanine Gurley

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1393
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
I'm pretty flat here and we have regular periods of drought. I am just doing swales. It seems that in my yard anything above ground level can get pretty parched but the swales and areas surrounding them stay moist.

1. my projects
Lori Crouch

Joined: Sep 26, 2011
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
I'm picturing a deep pond or water retention dug in the center with terracing going up the edges from that. I think it would be neat and it would create a micro climate to diversify your land more. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do with the land. It sounds like a very fun project!
Brenda Groth

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
our property was basically flat before our housefire..

when we put in the new house, new laws required that we raise our drainfield and the house/crawl 4' above grade..as we have a lot of water here..so we did..

we had the contractor dig fill from our wettest spot in our field to fill around the drainfield and house to make a nice easy slope down to grade, which made a shallow pond..over the next several years my son got a few hours at a time use of a backhoe and he dug deeper the wet hole to make a pond, and banks..so although it isn't terrace so to speak, there are now slopes all over the place..

I also have built some raised beds and hugel beds..

we still have a lot of clay piles from the pond dig to move as well..but yeah, you can change flat land to less flat, and for us here it worked really well.


Bloom where you are planted.
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
subject: Terracing Flat Land