Now that summer is over, gardeners around the country can rejoice in being able to tackle autumn garden maintenance without the strong summer heat. As someone who hasn't been in their first home very long, you may not be aware of the impact that summer conditions play on the health of your retaining walls. Now is the perfect time to head outside for a closer inspection of your retaining walls, and there are two main factors you need to look at.
Eroded Soil Behind Retaining Walls
Summer storms and a cyclone in Queensland this year caused heavy rainfalls. This large amount of water also contributed to significant flooding in the state. The problem with flooding is that this volume of water leads to severe soil erosion in places.
When the water ran through your property at a fast-moving current, it may have washed away the soil behind your retaining wall. Without this soil, your wall is weakened and susceptible to failure. Look behind the retaining wall to see how much soil the flood waters have taken away. Your landscape supplier can sell you the soil you need to refill this space until it is full and packed with dirt once more.
Overgrowing Plants Behind Retaining Walls
Plant roots are another factor that can cause retaining walls to fail. During the spring and summer seasons, plants grow vigorously. Plant roots expand and become trapped behind the back of the retaining wall. These roots need to continue their growth, so will work their way down the retaining wall in search of gaps they can push through. Once they find a gap, they will grow into this space, which has the resulting impact of splintering the wood and damaging your wall.
Autumn is the perfect time to move plants that have gotten too big for their roots! If you have no experience of transplanting vegetation, ask your local landscaper to give you some pointers. Plants stop growing during autumn as they enter their dormant winter stage. By moving your plants now, there is a good chance they will grow well in their new location, and your retaining wall will no longer have constant pressure pushing against it.
Take a trip outside this autumn to check out the state of your retaining wall after summer. The faster you repair any damage it has sustained, the sooner you can turn tick off your gardening chores for this season and head inside for warmth and comfort food.