Finding the Slope

So we’re going to have to terrace our hillside in order to be able to garden in it. A useable slope is about 2%, or 1 foot of rise for every 50 feet of run.

Our slope is about 8%. To find that, I used a simple equation from Algebra 1 I never thought I’d need in my adult life…Ha!

Slope= rise/ run 

But even before that, I had to find out what my rise and run were.

To find the slope of a hill, you need the following:

  • Stakes
  • Twine
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Tape measurer
  • Spray paint

I started at the top of the hill and placed a stake. Then I stepped out 8′ and placed another. I did that every 8′ all the way to the base of the hill.

Then I tied twine to the base of the first stake at the ground. Using the level, I walked the twine to the next stake and wrapped it around, this time, using the level to make sure the twine between the stakes was level before tying it in place.

After doing that for all the stakes, you get something like this:

Then I used the tape measurer to find the height of the string from the base of the last stake (31.5 inches) and the length of the string from top stake to bottom stake (32 feet)

Then comes the math. Gotta work with all the same units so had to convert from feet to inches 32’x 12″= 384″

Then you can set up the slope equation 31.5″/384″= 0.08203125 slope

Then you move the decimal two places to the right to get a percentage

Slope= 8%

My son got a kick out of my sidewalk chalk math

Perhaps that’s how I get him to stay interested in his studies.

So anyway, now we know what we’re working with. No wonder we were having run off issues!

Next step is building the retaining walls and leveling out the “steps” of the terrace. Then we’ll prepare each step in the same Back to Eden method and hopefully, use it for our fall crops and berry bushes.

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