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Landscaping Sloped Areas

Updated on February 2, 2016
Photo: © Delion | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
Photo: © Delion | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos | Source

Landscaping Ideas for a Hill

It is very difficult to grow grass on steep slopes or hills, especially if the area is damp. Rain washes down the steep bank creating trenches and the flowing water makes growing grass hard. It's even more of a challenge to mow grass on a hill. So if you have steep slopes on your property, you should look for alternative ideas for landscaping on a hillside or slope.

There are many different types of shrubs you can plant to have low yard maintenance and provide stability to the steep bank you are landscaping. Planting now for erosion control will relieve future frustrations with hard to maintain areas in gardens. There are many advantages to removing grass from a hillside. Shrubs come in all sizes and are easily adaptable to most hillside lots. Simple ground cover ideas can be very effective for easy lawn maintenance.

Landscape Steep Slopes With Shrubs

Ideas for Hard to Mow Areas on a Hill

The best, least expensive, and easiest way to landscape a steep slope in your yard is to plant woody shrubs. If you plant shrubs you don't have to remove the sod if there is already grass growing on the slope. All you need to do is improve the soil in the spots where you want to do the planting.

Once you plant the shrubs of your choice, layer the ground around the shrubs with newspaper. Soak the newspapers with water and then cover it with organic mulch. The newspaper will smother the grass before it has time to decompose. The newspaper mulch will act as a weed control until the shrubs start to take root. Make sure you fertilize the shrubs twice a year - in early spring and again in early summer.

Terrace the Slope With a Retaining Wall

Build a Retaining Wall

Building a retaining wall is a very expensive way of landscaping a steep slope. However, it can be both attractive and functional. Create a series of steps in the slope with stone or other material suitable for use in a retaining wall. This way you will be able to create areas that are flat where you can have a variety of shrubs and flowers. South facing slopes on a hillside can dry out quickly so look for drought resistant plants and shrubs to minimize the need to tend.


What are the best shrubs

to use on a hill?

Recommended Shrubs For Slopes - Alternatives to Planting Grass

Whether you are landscaping a steep hill or a hard to mow area, shrubs are a great alternative to grass. Landscaping maintenance is reduced as shrubs are easy to care for. These are some of the shrubs that are best planted on steep slopes:

  1. rugosa roses
  2. red and yellow twig dogwood
  3. potentilla
  4. spirea
  5. false spirea
  6. stephanandra
  7. evergreen ground coverings such as speading yew and cottoneaster

What are some of your landscaping challenges? - Or just leave a note to say you stopped by

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Definitely planting shrubs and ground covers. Not only is it easier to maintain, but the roots of shrubs or ground covers stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      It makes a lot of sense to landscape naturally to avoid mowing dangerous slopes.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent advice, thanks

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      Good tips! We live on a sloped lot, and trying to mow the lawn on even a slight hill can be difficult and dangerous. Terraced walls, shrubs and groundcover plants are all good suggestions for landscaping sloped areas.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      I had a very small slope in the lawn at the last place we lived with property - even a small slope is hard to keep grass on. Thanks for the grass keeping tips :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I especially enjoyed terraced slopes!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent advice. Our front and back are both sloping, although not as steep as in your photo. They are hard to mow though and we are looking for other ways to landscape them.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Short, sweet and to the point. Good suggestions.


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