Soil Retention – The Key to Gardening & Landscaping

Gardeners and landscapers know: soil retention is vitally important to keeping gardens and all landscaped areas intact. After all the hard work and expense you put into preparing your gardens and properties, you don’t want to lose precious top soil or even one flower or vegetable to sudden downpours, steady rainfall and even maintenance watering.

The trick to avoiding these issues, and the ultimate key to keeping all of your beautiful work intact, is using good edging materials and build-up. That way, soil retention is not an issue. Well-constructed walls, edges, and shrewd use of wooden retaining materials of different kinds will keep in your valuable plantings.


For good soil retention, you still need to allow some drainage for water building up behind retaining structures. Consider placing geotextile membrane along the inside of walls and timber structures, with pea shingle added to aid drainage. Bark surface material can absorb some of the water, too. Smaller stones set against larger outer rock can stop grains of soil, too.


If your property slopes, so might your gardens and plant plots. Or, if you have created level sections of earth, these are prey to the elements. Frost, snow and ice can gather amongst dried plants and soil in the winter, and seepage can be a soil retention issue as the weather warms. It is critical to use surrounding structures and materials on sloped property, especially for set off segments of earth.

Masonry such as natural stones, flagstones, shale and other materials can be used alone to secure sloped earth or peripheries of stepped areas. After digging back the ground for these standout spots, it’s vital to construct walls for soil retention. Stone structures alone might allow too much leakage between rocks, so consider using timber support in tandem with these materials. Heavier blocks of soil might require concrete walling; many styles can be employed aesthetically.

Fence Posts

For the above and for level ground, including pathways and lawn areas, fence posts of varying sizes – planted vertically into the ground – can easily be used for good soil retention. In particular our machined round edging. This is fairly easy to accomplish, and only requires digging holes deep enough for the fence posts, using stakes to hold them in place, and packing soil in place around them with the proper tools. Also, consider raised wooden beds, a very effective way to safely surround plots of soil.

Railway Sleepers

Creating all of the above, or making good path edging for effective soil retention can be done with railway sleepers. Garden jigsaw railway sleepers, mini sleepers, oak sleepers and rustic sleepers make perfect retaining walls. Smaller ones, or cut sections of heavier ones can be planted vertically make stunning retaining walls. Rot-resistant, treated oak planks secured with wooden pegs about 1m apart, and gravelboard, similarly secured, creates lovely natural edging.

Our Products

You can get all of these soil retention materials – with the nails, fixings, fasteners, tools, as well as decking components and fences to secure your properties – at AVS Fencing Supplies. They’ll help you retain soil and money, by only selling you quality materials, and offering free advice to maintain them.


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