How to Plant a Slope

While it's possible to plant grass on a slope, it's extremely difficult to care for. Rather than plant grass, lawn care experts recommend planting groundcovers. Regardless of what you decide to plant, it's better to plant something than to leave sloped areas bare. This is because bare slopes can lead to erosion.

When preparing to plant a slope, you will need a few supplies, including groundcover plugs, jute netting (for erosion control), sod staples (to hold the netting in place), and mulch.

Good Plants for Slopes

The following is a list of groundcovers and low-growing shrubs that can be planted on a slope. Keep in mind that these plants are likely to spread, so contain the plants using either stone, metal or brick edging. Not only will this protect other areas of your lawn, but it will add a decorative touch to the slope.

  • Ajuga- Ajuga is a low maintenance groundcover that can thrive in full shade to partial sun.
  • Five-leaf akebia- This vine intertwines itself onto fences, gazebos, houses, and patios. In the summer, five-leaf akebia grows dark green leaves.
  • Bearberry- This woody plant is recognized for its red berries. Since bearberry has trouble establishing itself, it's best to place it in pots or sods. If you decide to use bearberry, make sure to apply acid peat moss and sand to the soil.
  • Crown vetch- Crown vetch is commonly used to cover steep slopes. With its pink flowers, this plant can make a slope more attractive. Crown vetch can be invasive; however, creating a barrier between it and other plants should provide enough protection.
  • Scotch heather- Scotch heather performs well in well-drained and acidic lawns. With a large assortment to choose from, your slope will look beautiful year round.
  • Lily of the valley- This plant is ideal for shady areas; however, their leaves can turn brown in the summer. Its creeping roots enable it to spread easily.
  • Tawny daylily- Tawny daylily can prevent erosion on slopes and hillsides. In addition to providing erosion control, this plant is resistant to pests.
  • Creeping juniper- Creeping juniper offers a solution to homeowners who have unsuccessfully planted other plants on a slope before. Although this plant can survive on steep slopes, it cannot withstand a lot of foot traffic.
  • Fragrant sumac- This plant closely resembles poison ivy; however, it's not poisonous. Since fragrant sumac spreads rapidly, it's perfect for covering large areas.

Steps to Planting a Slope

Preparation is important when planting a slope. If the soil is poor (sandy or heavy clay), adding compost can improve its quality. Next, spread the jute netting and pin it to the slope. Then use a knife to cut the holes for the plants.

Once you've done this, you can plant the plants. You'll then need to use mulch and water the plants. Doing this will help plants retain moisture. For the first two weeks, water the plants daily. During the third and fourth week, water every other day. After the first month, water once a week for the next three months.

If you're having difficulty planting a slope, you may want to ask a local lawn care company for help.

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