Help with large steep slope

higgin704September 23, 2007

I wanted to get some opinions on fixing a large steep slope in the front and side yard of our home. Our builder did a horrible job of final grading and left it in this condition and we are evaluating options to correct it. We have had some estimates for a semi-large retaining wall to help but are hoping to find another, cheaper alternative to building that.

The are in question is approx 115 feet long and runs from the house down about 25-30 feet.

We are trying to figure out if there is a way to do some planting on the slope that will actually grow and help to hold the soil on the hill.

I have attached some pictures that hopefully will illustrate the area.

from the rear of the house

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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

First, I took the liberty of putting the pictures in the post, just makes it a little easier to see.

Thats a pretty big area - I can only imagine the expense of putting in a wall for that area. One option might be to do the retaining wall in phases if your contractor sees that as an option. Most of it looks like it isn't too steep to plant, although pictures can be deceiving. But it is also a large area to maintain if you were to plant it. Are you currently mowing the area now?

The side yard (picture #3_ looks the most concerning to me (at least from the pictures). It looks as though that is going to require at least a partial retaining wall, not necessarily enough to level the area but enough to lessen the slope. I think you could landscape the front and back with whatever you want, just be sure to pick plants that don't require moisture. And keep in mind that whatever you do plant will have to be mown around which can be tough to do on a hill.

ANother alternative is to replace the grass with native plants and grasses which require less maintenance after they have established. They can look "weedy" to some - it's a matter of personal taste and some HMO will not allow it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:07PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

That should be HOA (Home Owners Association) not HMO.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:13PM
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Thanks for help inserting the pictures, I was having trouble with that.

It is a bit steeper than the pictures show. The plan as we have been given is to build a 3.5' retaining wall near the bottom of the slope, this will not come close to leveling but would lessen the slope a bit. just trying to see if we can avoid a 12k hit for the wall.

I am currently mowing what little is growing there (bad landscape job all around) but would like to avoid in the future if possible.

Thanks again for the input.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 1:16PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

What is the problem and what do you want to correct? What would you like to see in this area?

No one can help solve your problem if they don't understand what you think the problem is. How do you want to use the space? Are you a grdener? Do you want low maintenance?

I don't think the builder did a bad job with the ground level - the house is clearly in a hill and there is only so much you can do with that. He obviously did not plant the grass properly if that was part of the deal.

Leave it as grass - that works.

Can be completely planted in shrubs and trees

Some retaining walls, some planting

Lots of options.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 6:00PM
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A talented contractor with a backhoe could possibly make the existing hillside more terraced. I suspect that will be needed or at least very helpful before you do much else. If you do plan on putting in one or more walled terraces it might be easier if the digging and the wall-making were part of one project or at least make sure that any digging you do meets the requirements of future wall-making so you don't have to dig twice. There are lots of things you can plant depending on your taste and any limitations that are imposed on you by others. I saw a photo of native bearberry the other day and it looked pretty good. Willow stakes might be o.k. also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Erosion Control Magazine

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 5:57PM
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