Case Study: Terraced Site

This plan is for a domestic property in Port Townsend, Washington. 

The Site

The property is in USDA planting zone 8b. The frost-free period is typically 225-250 days. The area typically has lower precipitation than is usual for the state. There are typically around 21 inches per year of rainfall, and 2.1 inches of snow. Precipitation happens, on average, 138.4 days of the year. Soil type is predominantly Tukey Gravelly Loam, which is moderately well-drained, with low available water capacity. The site can be prone to erosion and run-off. 


This design aims, first and foremost, to manage water and stabilize soil on the site, which has slope of 20-30%. A series of twelve terraces, with on-contour swales, are the predominant feature of the design. The goal of these is to slow water egress and develop a forest garden system with plenty of fruit and nut trees, fruiting bushes and other perennial planting. 

In addition to creating these terraces, this design also aims to improve the amenity and landscape around the existing property, for further food production, leisure and for the benefit of pollinators and other beneficial wildlife. 

A dozen chickens will be housed close to the property, and will aid in raising fertility (through composting) and in the creation and establishment of the site, and ongoing pest control, in addition to providing yields.

On the visual plan for the site, the approximate boundaries for the terraces are shown. And in the accompanying report, I have outlined details for the design above, and provided planting suggestions for the terraces and areas around the home, and further additions that could be considered in future.

If you have a property that you feel might benefit from terracing, with similar needs to the above, please do get in touch to discuss your own particular requirements.

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