Return to the Hillside Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

planting a dry shaded hillside

Posted by maggiewp PA (My Page) on
Wed, May 16, 07 at 10:44

Hello. We moved into a house that in the back is gradually sloped and wooded (~15 large oaks and numerous saplings on 1/4 acre in back). There is dappled shade mostly. There are a few ferns (wild) and low growth "shrubs"and I've planted some hostas successfully, but the problem is that the soil is not great up there and water runs off of it. We have tried to compost leaves but mostly leaves on the hillside blow down closer to our house so we end up having to rake them to the curb for leaf pickup. Note that it is pretty much impossible to get a chipper back there because of the way our propery is configured. I'm looking for ideas of how to get this area looking better and what I might plant. Basically from the first floor of our house you look out onto the floor of the hillside. If that weren't the ccase, it wouldn't look so drab, FYI in front of this area is a steeper sunny hill that has a beautiful stone wall in front of it. I have been fairly successful with perennials there, but am having some trouble keeping the top of it (where it is steepest) planted. Ivy and vinca that started at the top is migrating down towards the stone wall and competing with my perennials. I'd post a photo if I knew how! Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: planting a dry shaded hillside

What you could do with the leaves is corral them in temporary cages at least three feet high and wide, open on top and left to rot down for a year or so. They turn into leaf mould that can then be used to improve the soil. It is also useful for adding to potting media but only for acid-loving plants.

The oak roots are always going to be a challenge for gardening. If oak stands are native to your area, and ferns already grow there, what might you do to increase the fern population in suitable places? One thing that might work is to leave branches on the ground to rot down and trap water/leaves behind them. Fungi will sprout there and break down the wood, which then forms a useful moisture-holding base for ferns, mosses, and woodland plants. If you have a rocky soil you can use partial rock barriers but they're not as useful as branches and small logs.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Hillside Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here