steep hillside

beckybabeJune 20, 2005

Hello! I have a pretty steep hillside being held by a retaining wall at the bottom, and I need something to cover the hillside that will retain the soil, will spread/fill in quickly, doesn't need mowing, and is inexpensive. There is a similar situation nearby and it is covered in clover with purple flowers which are very pretty, so we were considering that as an option. Does anyone know if this would be a good plant for this purpose, and if so... would this wild clover be the same as clover that I could find at a nursery? I hate to go on private property and dig up their clover (although it is naturalized and the owners probably wouldn't care if I dug up a few weeds... it's a very very large area) when I could buy it at the local nursery in neat little square pots!!

Any information that you could share I would appreciate greatly. We are in Illinois in zone 5a near 4b... don't know if that helps.

Thanks very much!!


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Sorry, but I forgot to add that the site is in full morning and afternoon sun.



    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 2:16PM
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Japanese garden juniper? Only grows to about 12-24" and spreads about 10-ft as I recall. Some varieties may be larger spread. Not as prickly as some of the junipers, and will take full sun.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 12:41PM
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I would take a look around at the indegenous plants-

first of all, is that purple clover, or 'crown vetch' which has a more vining habit, and larger flowers? it's a good erosion control plant, but I like it WITH something, instead of all by itself- and honestly, it's root diversity that will hold a slope together.

around here, the local daylilles are free for the digging in the spring along the roadsides everywhere. and they spread fairly quickly, if they like the situation they find themselves in.

standing sedums are amazingly easy to propagate- break off a branch (or a leaf) let the end dry, stick it in damp potting soil, and leave it in the shade for a week. it will put out roots. one plant will make 15 babies will be 15 flowering-sized plants the next year.

:) and then there's the bully.

I adore this plant. love it, love it, love it. it speads like bad gossip, lives in the worst soils, and can take full sun (it's a fairly well behaved shade plant, a monster in the sun) and it's a fairly open groundcover, so you can grow tall things (like a row of burning bushes at the base of the slope, about 3' back from the retaining wall, or stands of either daylilies, or the standing 'turk's cap' lilies, or phlox, or sedums...) up through it.

and I will gleefully sell you plugs for less than a buck a piece, now that my own bed is established :)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 11:00AM
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