Creating A Terraced Garden Over The Weekend

Posted on: 5 March 2015


Whether your current landscaping is nonexistent or you just want to make a change, you may be considering hiring a landscape designer or contractor to assist you in your quest for a beautiful lawn and garden. However, by renting industrial equipment and putting in a little elbow grease, you can obtain the same results for a fraction of the price. Read on to learn more about how you can create a terraced garden with just a piece of Bobcat rental equipment (from an outlet such as Summit Tool Rentals Division Of Wirtz Rentals) and a free weekend.


If your home is on a hillside, you may have dreamed about creating a peaceful, terraced vegetable or flower garden. This dream may be within reach—and this project is actually much better suited for DIY than installation by a landscape contractor, as it will require some continued maintenance to ensure that the grass and garden contents continue to grow.

To create your terraced garden, you'll need a skid-steer loader, some grass seed, thick dowel rods and string for marking, and paver stones or river rocks to help create your garden's retaining walls.

First, you'll want to mark the borders of your garden with dowel rods and string. You'll be creating a series of rectangular or crescent shapes (depending on the shape of your hillside), much like stair steps. This marking will help you visualize the final product—and it's much easier to make changes before you've begun excavating!


After you've prepared the area, start your skid-steer and drive to the highest terrace you plan to create. Since some of the newly-excavated soil will tumble down the hill, you'll want to work from the top down to minimize the amount of cleanup you'll need to do at the conclusion of the project. Place the blade flat against the ground and slowly drive forward, lifting up the top couple of inches of earth. Don't rush this step—it's better to take off too little and need to make another pass than to take off too much and have to perform "fill-in" work.

If you're working with a very steep hillside, you may be better served to excavate from the "front," rather than driving from side to side across the terraced steps. This will not only be safer for you, but will allow you to ensure your steps have an even appearance.

After you've finished excavating, you should have a series of flat, dirt-covered stair steps going down the hillside.

Retaining walls

Depending upon the angle of your hillside, you may wish to install vertical retaining walls at the back of each step to help prevent erosion. With your skid steer, you'll be able to avoid using mortar to keep your wall intact. Simply use the skid steer blade (turned flat) to push the paving stones into the hillside.

Plants and flowers

Your final step is that of planting your garden, including spreading grass seed in any areas that may have inadvertently been excavated. Once you've finished planting, you're ready to enjoy the beautiful colors and scents of a private terraced garden!