Need Idea For A Steep Slope

DazzzSeptember 7, 2012

Hello All,

I have a decent size slope in my backyard and am in need of ideas of what to do with it. Up until now, it was filled primarily with weeds and brush which has since been cleared. There's also 5 large pines two of which were recently taken down leaving the stumps and decent size roots. 70% of the slope gets full sun.

I now need no/low maintenance ideas as to what to do with that space (approx 500 square feet). The soil would be impossible to til and no way can I pull up all the roots left behind when we cleared the brush. We did use RoundUp sparingly. To compound matters, the previous owners had laid down black landscaping cloth which is covered by pine needles and some soil - a lot of it has pulled up and clearly became ineffective against weeds and brush. Other areas of the hill have tall fescue grass which is impossble to mow.

Some ideas I came up with are tall grasses of some sort, bamboo although I'm afraid it would become too invasive, vinca or wildflowers. Truthfully, I'd like to just be able to throw some kind of seed up there, water it daily and then let it grow wild. I'm worried though as to how to control the weeds before whatever I plant takes root. It's almost Fall now so I'm not so concerned until Spring comes around.

What's the solution?

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First of all - don't remove the roots or till. You need those there to hold the area against erosion. Those roots will die and decompose over time, so you're right that now is the time to get new stuff in.

Natural succession of the land would have grasses come in to hold and build the soil. Over time, tree and shrub seedlings will come in and the area will become more woody - as you saw before.

So I would research native grass seed that is as locally sourced as possible. Contact the Maryland Native plant society if necessary.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Came across this... lists plants you could use.

Here is a link that might be useful: Earlier discussion

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:54PM
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One of the rest stops on future I73/74, about an hour south of Greensboro, NC, is built high up on a steep slope. They have planted one of the native sedges (Carex) and it looks great.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Do you know which carex? I have really enjoyed some of the ones I have now, mostly in the shade, but those have performed so well in the drought.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:22PM
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I don't know which kind it is, but it is very long and looks great on the slope. It's the rest stop on the southbound side near Troy. There's a rest stop on the northbound side there as well, but I haven't been as observant there to notice if that one has the Carex.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Hmm. I may have mis-spoken. There is a beautiful carex at the rest stop. I assumed it was native. It may not be.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Seaside Goldenrod. (Loves my parent's steep slope).
Bearberry. (Tough evergreen with berries)
Big Bluestem(Andropogon gerardii )

Are you looking for shrubs or a lawn you can walk through?

Check out:

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Thank you all for your gracious help. Between this and the list provided from another discussion, It's good to see some solid options. Again - thank you!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:22PM
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