Stabilising Slopes With Pallets

We’ve used a large range of techniques to stablise our steep slope, you can read about some of them here, here and here. Yet another way we’ve used recycled materials to keep our slope from sliding down the hill is using timber pallets.

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We salvage these for free from the side of the road, building sites and warehouses. They’re treated with heat, so are chemical free – this means they’ll break down sooner rather than later, but before they do, you can use them in *countless* ways. If you’re searching for some yourself, look out for the “HT” stamp on the pallet as seen below.

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We had never tried this technique before and seeing as it’s a super hot and dry slope,  were unsure which plants would really thrive in such a compromising position (without heaps of pampering). Because of this, we initially planted a range of herbaceous, edible and native plants to ‘test’ which one/s would work. The winner (by far) was creeping boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium). We’re big fans of this vigorous native ground cover and have planted it in some of the hardest spots in our garden where not much else survives (except invasive grasses). One of these plants will happily cover up to two-three square metres densely which is absolute gold when you live on steep slopes. Check it out!

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You can see some of the pallet structure peeking out in the top left hand corner. Creeping boobialla puts down roots along the length of its “branches”, so while we planted each plant at the top of the bank it’s now put down roots from top to bottom.

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At the top of the bank is where the creeping boobialla meets a solid planting of garden thyme, an edible herb that is also a ground cover – we love the way they merge into one another seamlessly.

So in solidarity with all of you slope dwellers out there (it’s hard work, hey) we offer up yet another approach to working with steep, steep slopes to foster landscapes which are accessible, productive and beautiful. All power to you!

5 Responses to “Stabilising Slopes With Pallets”

  1. Belinda Browning

    This is excellent! I have a dry loose slope along 50m of the front of my house that I had no idea what to do with. I know I’d like to try artichokes and olives, so I’ll do this, with the odd plank removed for a bit of room for growing and see how I go. Do you have any/other recommendations for dry tolerant food plants? If they fail I’ll just go with a lovely native ground cover after all 🙂

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Glad it’s helpful Belinda! In terms of what plants to choose, it depends on where you are in the world – olives are definitely hardy with dry conditions as are figs and lots of other mediterranean herbs. We do grow globe artichokes on some other steep slopes, but in an area where they get excess water and nutrient leaching from our orchard as they do love water and nutrients!

      Reply
      • Belinda Browning

        We’re on the Eastern Shore, so your climate is my climate! The artichokes will get the runoff from my no dig self seeding patch, so they’ll probably do really well.

        Reply

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