Dirt Hillside

lmrosario(7)July 14, 2010

Hi. :)

First time home owners that just moved from Baltimore MD to Memphis TN - a 1950s house on a lake - at a loss on several parts of the yard!

One section in particular is a fairly steep dirt hillside. The soil seems to stay hard and dry even after a lot of rain. We also have soil erosion to consider...

there are large old trees along the property line, but it still gets plenty of sun (all day) facing South. The trees drop those spiky little seed pods everywhere too (lesson learned: one can "roll" down a hill when tramping on these...)

Unfortunately I'm not a fan of junipers (sorry!) and grass seed doesn't seem to "stick".

The link below is the better side of the yard, but you can see the beginnings of the dirt patch area (the picture really doesn't show the "bad" part).

Any ideas for other ways to improve a dirt hill? I'm considering a rock garden type adventure to tie into the little wall the last owners left behind, but not sure if that's going to do much for the erosion...

Any suggestions until I can snap a better photo to show?

Here is a link that might be useful: Hint of Hillside

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I garden on a hillside too and what I do is first, get help from the closest nursery on what does well in your area. Then when planning the layout, plan for what kind of irrigation will be needed, if any. We're hot and dry in summer here so I've put in a drip system that doesn't create any erosion. Next, when planting I make sure there is a level basin to hold water around the plant. You have to dig into the hillside a bit to do so. Last, I place a rock on the downhill side below the plant to hold the water further and keep the plant secure.
With a new house, (which is in a beautiful location BTW), you'll probably be doing some major Fall planting like I did when I first began gardening in my new location. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sierra Foothill Garden

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 11:58AM
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The advice above is great. I would also add a weed barrier. It means less time on the slope weeding and it helps keep the soil in place until the plants can take root.

And no you won't find a grass that will work under an evergreen tree. It's too shady. But you can plant full shade plants in that location especially if they like acidic soil.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 7:58AM
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