Building Mountain Boulder Retaining Walls

 mountain boulder retaining wall

What to do when neighbor’s weeds are infringing on your property.

Build a mountain boulder wall. It prevents them from skipping over that hard surface. No, really. It’s about the soil and holding the mountain in place. Some use RR ties or timbers to build retaining walls and that’s ok too.  There’s always a place and time for big mountain boulders. Boulder walls can take a ton of pressure since they’re found in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina and are plentiful.

Creating a Firm Foundation for Mountain Boulder Retaining Walls

In building a mountain boulder wall, the slope and grade have to be considered and the maneuverability to get the machinery into the space to lay the boulders and stack. If mountain boulder walls are an option for the area, grading may be preliminary to the job as well as cleaning the surface of the terrain. Our forestry mulching equipment along with excavators and a skid loader can carve out and grade and clear the specific area. Footers for the mountain boulder walls are dug. The mountain boulders are divided out between the small, medium and large. The bank is blanketed with a heavy landscape fabric to prevent erosion and sediment from running off. The wall is then carefully constructed using a fine assortment of harvested creek stone with moss and lichen laden boulders of a mixed size and variety. The wall is started by choosing the larger, flatter stone to establish the first base course. The jagged and imperfect side is left face down to act as an anchor in the soil. The second course is ready and the flat layer is positioned upward continuing with each course.

Mountain boulders are moved with the CAT skid loader and a mini excavator with a thumb that carefully handles each stone in stacking. Attention is given to not scratch and scar the mountain boulders or knock the moss and lichen off. This preserves the aesthetic look of the stone and its embellishment to appear as though it’s always been in place. As the boulders are stacked, the stones are placed like a jigsaw puzzle pieces and layered tightly so the joints are minimal. As the wall goes up, graduated sizes of mountain boulders and rock are placed strategically. Once the wall is completed, the gaps are filled in with smaller boulders and rock. As the layers are being placed, stone and soil backfill is being packed behind the boulders. Finally, a level top course is set and the finishing touches to the rest of the area are performed such as plantings or mulch and edging.

If you’re perched on a hillside and getting too much soil running over to your side of the mountain, it might be time for a mountain boulder retaining wall. Give us a call and we can give you the details.

Watering Plants Correctly & Thoroughly

watering-plants-landscaping ideas-Asheville

With hot weather comes our share of dry days and lack of rainfall. This can cause potential stress on your landscape and plantings. Supplemental watering will help the survival of your investment.  Take these notes on how to adequately water leaving all plants thoroughly satisfied.

Observe for Adequate Moistures

Make observations in the garden. Take a look at the leaves of the plants. Are they wilting? Are there brown leaves at the base of the plant? Scratch beneath the soil’s surface with a small trough to see if the soil beneath the surface is holding water or how dry it is. Dig several inches down to the root system to tell if there is any moisture. The soil should be moderately damp but not soupy wet. If there is moisture, skip watering. If not, get out the soaker hose and curl around the base of the plant or throughout the planting area. If a drip irrigation system is set up, the emitter can be added to adequately water at different gallons per hour.watering-plants-landscape ideas-Asheville

Watering for Penetration to Root Systems

If watering by hand or spot watering, first water until there is some runoff. Water each plant lightly using the rain dial on the handle instead of the hard pressure jet spray. A slow, steady stream is best to give a good drink to each plant. Water will slowly penetrate better instead of running off the surface of the mulch and away from the plant. After ten minutes of watering, brush away the mulch around the plant and dig down to see how much in inches the water has penetrated. This will give you a good understanding as to how long to continue watering. If setting up the sprinkler in the yard over a period, place a small bucket in the vicinity of the plant. Measure the amount of water obtained in the bucket and how long the sprinkler was running. Check the root system around the plant to see the depth of penetration and follow up accordingly.

Watch the weather forecast each week and observe the health of your plants by taking a daily walk through the garden. Any stress to the plant, whether it is drought, the wind or other conditions can make it susceptible to diseases. Enjoy your plantings for years with regular fertilizing and a water regiment.




Spring Cleanup Chores to Do

forsythia-forced branches-landscape designer-After the deluge of cold weather, I’m sure some of you are itching this spring to get out and look to see if your trees and shrubs sustained the frigid wind and cold. Observations through walking around in the yard will give you a clear understanding of what spring chores need to be attended to first. Make note of spring cleanup chores that need to be done in the next 2-3 months to keep your garden growing and healthy.

  1. Observe winter-killed branches and prune away dead, damaged and diseased limbs after last winter storm unless there is a pending hazard.
  2. Pull up old annuals and spent perennials to tidy up.
  3. Cut back ornamental grasses to 2-3 inches for new growth to emerge.
  4. Cut back rose canes below the blackened area (winter damage) by 1 inch.
  5. Divide select perennials and transplant after the soil thaws.
  6. Rake leaves and dead foliage that could foster diseases, mold and smother grass seeds.
  7. After threat of frost, fertilizing and mulching can resume.
  8. Collect soil samples to test the soil’s pH.
  9. Begin seeding when forsythia starts to bloom.
  10. Spread pre-emergent for broadleaf weeds at forsythia bloom time.
If you need Spring CleanUp Chores performed, contact us!