Fastening slopes with gabions – explained step by step

Gabions have become increasingly popular in recent years. No wonder, because they are versatile. They can be used, for example, to fasten a slope very well.

Gabions can be filled in many ways
Gabions can be filled in many ways

At first they were only seen as fences or screens. Now they are already true all-round talents. We are talking about baskets filled with stones. Also called gabions. These stone baskets can be used to build privacy and noise barriers, flower beds and raised beds, seating, fireplaces and much, much more. But you can also use gabions to fasten a slope.

Slope can become a source of danger

A slope looks quite nice, but it can also be dangerous. Especially if it wasn’t fortified. Then it can happen that the soil is washed away when it rains. If you have a garden with a slope, you should always secure it for safety reasons.

This works very well with gabions, for example. There are even special gabions for it, which have an L-shape and serve perfectly as retaining walls. The shape of the gabion reliably supports the soil behind it. The only problem: these L gabions are not everywhere. I found them on, for example. Here they are available in the dimensions 80 x 100 cm (H x W), 100 x 100 cm and 60 x 100 cm. Or even larger (120/150/170/200 x 100).

Of course you can also fix the slope with plant rings. That looks nice, too. But those who like it modern should rather rely on gabions. They safely support the slope and can also be set in scene much more beautifully than plant rings. Gabions can ultimately be filled with a wide variety of materials. For example, sandstone, basalt, granite, pebbles or quarried glass stones can be used. You can even illuminate the latter indirectly. What’s more, gabions are easy to transport, set up in no time at all and very stable.

To attach a slope with gabions

Step one:

If you want to fix a slope, you must first create a solid base. To do this, excavate a foundation with a depth of approx. 35 centimetres and a width of approx. 40 centimetres.

Step two:

To ensure that the gabions are properly fixed later, it is advisable to place the lattice baskets on a damp concrete foundation made of rammed concrete. This means: place the gabions in the rammed concrete, level them with the spirit level and then pour concrete into the smaller part of the grid basket again. Then string them together basket by basket.

Step three:

Now you can already fill the gabions. You can choose between sandstone, basalt, marble, granite, pebble or broken glass stones. You’re spoilt for choice here. Allowed is what pleases. A few ideas on how the filling can look like can be found at Personally, I like the variations with the broken glass stones and the tree trunks very much. The grain size of the quarry stone filling must always be slightly larger than the mesh size of the steel grid.

Step four:

Now you have to fill the back of the gabions with a drainage layer. For this purpose you can backfill the stone baskets with gravel, for example. You can also lay a filter fleece behind the gabions. A dimpled sheet is better. Then fill everything with topsoil.

Step five:

In principle, you have already finished fixing the slope. But since the whole thing still looks a bit barren, it is advisable to plant the paved slope. On the surface of the earth you can basically plant anything you want.

If you like, you can also plant the spaces between the gabions. Pick places to fill with a mixture of equal parts of potting soil and coarse gravel. This works very well with a small spoon, by the way. Then you have to put the small plants deep into the joints and fill everything with substrate. You can find out which plants are suitable for this in our article Planting garden walls – How it works!


As you can see, it is not difficult at all to attach a slope with gabions. In addition, they offer some advantages in general and with regard to slope fastening:

  • easy to transport
  • quickly built
  • very sturdy
  • need only a simple foundation
  • versatile fillable
  • can be planted

Just think carefully which material to fill the gabions with. After all, the filling material should match the style of the garden.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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