Gardening on a Hillside: Solutions for You
February 5, 2024
Landscaping a garden on a hillside or as it connects to a hillside can be a huge challenge; without the right support, the integrity of the hillside will collapse. Without the right plants, the area can look disconnected from a homeowner’s garden. Below are a few ideas for hill stabilization.
Roots and Shoots
There are many ways to shore up a hillside to prevent soil erosion. Water and gravity push soil down the hill. In order to keep the desired plants on the hill, it is important to find plants that might offer erosion control through complex root systems. Essentially, a deep root system which regularly sends up new shoots and spreads through rhizomes can enable a shrub, tree, or plant to grasp on to the hillside and help hold it together. Groundcovers and shrubs are more effective at holding soil in place.
Watering on a Hillside
Water whisks quickly off a hillside leaving plants dry. Planting drought tolerant trees, shrubs, and plants on the hillside as well as plants which are more likely to absorb water at the base of the hillside help a homeowner to solve the tricky problem of water run-off. Drip irrigation with a very slow drip enables effective irrigation without heavy run-off.
Stairs, Paths, and Rocks
Building stairs, pathways, and retaining wall support systems into the hillside help stabilize the hill and also offer a safer walking area for guests. Rocks, particularly large rocks, can work as well as a retaining wall to support soil if appropriately positioned.
Dry Creek Beds
Designing a dry creek bed to slice down the hill and funnel water once it hits the bottom of the hillside can also add considerable assistance in providing appropriately directed drainage. It is also a visually appealing and attractive landscape feature.
In the photos, you see a huge hill and flat lawn space. Designing a middle area that will help catch excess water and transition the lawn into the hillside makes for a more visually appealing landscape and helps to solve excess water run-off.
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