a little discouraged..

birdwing(z4 MN)May 9, 2006

first thanks to all those who have offered plants(see my fast plants for steep slope post) I think I'm going to need them. I've spent most of today trying to get the slope to a point where I can even think of planting things. I jumped the gun and went to larson's nursery in mendota, my favorite place. They have hosta (and lots of other perrenials) for 4 for $20 or $6/per. So I bought some really big hosta there. I also went to menard's and got some ground cover 6 packs. (sweet woodruff and yes, pachysandra terminalis)

The thing is, The slope is VERY steep which is one reason we've decided to cut our losses and put the tuckunder garage there. We live in mounds park st. paul and there are lots of hills and slopes on the river bluff.

Now, to the discouraging part. I have it pretty much to the dirt stage (by hand yanking everything including grass) but I'm worried that without terracing (becuase of the future garage)plants will just errode away. The slope is about a 45 degree angle (I was an english major so I had to look that up on google to make sure it was right) and it is a BIG area each side of the slope is about 900 sq ft (30x30 right? )

Does anyone think i can just plant stuff or will it wash away? any suggestions about how to deal w/ this? can i just pull out everything on the slope (digging as many roots as possible) and then start planting or is it a waste of time?

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meeperx(z4/5 Mpls)

Hosta and other plants with a thick, tuberous root system (daylilies, etc.) shouldn't wash away.

Have you already cleared out the entire 900 sq ft area? If not, I would try working your slope one small plot at a time instead of trying to do the whole thing at once. That way the weeds will keep your hill from washing out until you're ready to plant something in their place.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:06PM
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birdwing(z4 MN)

I am trying to do it in sections. there are two 900sq foot sections. I am trying to do one at a time. one side is pretty much shade and the other side a little mixed so it'll have to be different sorts of plants.

Thanks for the info about the tuberous plants, I'm going to put some lilies in there tomorrow. I feel better already!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:32PM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

DO NOT take all of the vegatation out.

Here is what I did. to my very steep hill. Cover with several layers of newspaper (this kills the vegetation). Put down a layer of farm post, compost or top soil. Now the part that keeps it together. Burlap. You use either landscape staples or the green plastic posts to keep it in place. I put a layer of farm-post on top to cover the burlap and had to replace some of it after a heavy rain.

Now to plant you cut an X through the layers, put your plant in and tuck everything back around it. The burlap decomposes, but is in place long enough for everything to get a good root base.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 8:04AM
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birdwing(z4 MN)

Well, on the one side it's too late but on the other side I can probably still do the burlap. Do you wet the newspaper before you put it down or how do you keep it in place? How long (about) does it take for things to get a base. I know it probably depends on the plant. I already planted about 6 hosta and some pachysandra and sweet woodruff on the side that I've already cleared out.

Since I've already pulled the weeds out can I just put the burlap down on this one side?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 9:52AM
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zenpotter(z4 MN)

Go ahead and put the burlap down. I did that on one area before I found out about not taking out the underlaying grass. With plants in place already you will need to cut holes for them and gently put it over the plant. A bit like trying to dress a doll with straight arms.

So far I have just put the newspaper down dry and covered it right away. It would probably help to have it wet if it won't stay in place. My husband and I usually work together so one is doing the newpaper while the other is covering it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 8:27AM
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