Hillside advice

herdftblfanJuly 4, 2010

It seems you folks know what you are talking about so perhaps you can help.

I am building a new home in West Virginia (Huntington, climate zone 6 I think). I have two slopes. Both have been sitting idle since the 1920Âs and have good soil but there are a lot of rocks in it (big and small).

Slope 1: Huge and very steep. It is roughly 100' wide and 80' deep. It is covered in briars, poison ivy, some sort of ground cover ivy and weeds. It was several trees and a fair amount of rocks. It gets sun about 40-50 percent of the day and faces north. The adjoining lot (the neighbor) is as big and as steep and is covered in ivy. They have obviously put a lot of effort in to their side.

I cleared much of it last year but of course it has grown back for the most part. Other than the steepest part, I removed all the brush as well. I have started this week spraying with Roundup in hopes of killing off everything except the trees. I am hoping to clear the slope with killer and then aggressively plant ground cover in hopes it will take over and choke out the weeds, poison ivy and briars as well as make the hillside look nice. I am considering using the same ivy my neighbor has or going with blue rug juniper simply because everyone else in this area uses the ivy. I also like how the juniper really doesnÂt let anything grow underneath but I am concerned the ivy would get amongst the juniper and kill it before it could get started or that it wonÂt grow fast enough to prevent water erosion.

Slope 2: About 10Â deep and 55 feet wide. It is also steep but will create a boarder for my lawn up against the street. Thus I would like to have it more decorative. It has a few rocks in one spot that canÂt be removed and again the neighbor has ivy (which I have mowed back from my side while we are building).

I like the idea of using juniper here as a border but I would like to consider adding some other plants that would offer some decoration as well. I am not adverse to adding mulch as needed on this slope.

I am looking to start working on the ornamental slope in about 5-6 weeks. I sprayed Roundup on it yesterday and will work to get it cleared. The back slope I can start on immediately but I donÂt how long it will take to clear it. I surmise I will need to probably clear the portion closest to the house (it starts ten feet behind the house and goes straight up from there) and do a part at a time. I am thinking maybe clear 100Â by 10Â and then plant. Then clear another ten feet then plant, etc.

I know the message is long winded but I am looking for advice AND someone who can provide the plants I need at a reasonable price. Whatever you can offer is appreciated.


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If your neighbors ivy butts up to you place then go with the ivy. Otherwise all your gardening time is going to be spent trying to keep the ivy out of your yard.

Don't plant right after using round up.

If your using a spreading juniper you may have room for some annuals in the early years but after a while all you will have are junipers.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:44AM
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