For the past few weeks, we’ve shared a series of blogs about gardening on slopes. Here’s a recap of the tips and techniques covered.
Before you plant
- Spend a year looking out your windows before you ever put the first plant in the ground. What do you see—or would like to see? What problem areas need fixing?
- Analyze your site, define your goals, and develop a plan.
- Resolve stormwater runoff problems.
- Tackle weeds now—and forever.
- Install steps, paths, and hardscapes.
- Do research to find the right plant for the right place. Be aware of the growth habits of different varieties within a plant species.
When you plant
- Camouflage the slope so it’s not so overwhelming to look at. Do this by varying your plant heights, shapes, colors, and textures.
- Create backdrops and focal points. These are places the eye stops and rests as you survey the garden. Use plants that act as visual markers of slope edges or entranceways to different parts of the garden.
- Buy plants in small containers—one, two, and three-gallon sizes. They’re much easier to plant than large root balls, they establish themselves quicker, and they will soon catch up in size—and save you money in the process!
- Slopes can be dry. A drip irrigation system is very effective and eliminates the need to drag heavy hoses up and down the hillside.
- Reduce maintenance on slopes wherever you can. Fill in with ground covers and evergreen shrubs. Use reseeding flowers. Let your plants grow together and happily cohabitate.
While gardening on slopes can be challenging, those slopes need not intimidate you. With good gardening practices, you can create a beautiful and enjoyable steep slope garden paradise to enjoy for years to come.
Article written by Beth Leonard, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.