Suggestions for landscaping a steep hill : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I need all the help I can get on this one. I have a very steep hill that wraps around 2 sides of the garage. I have tried over the years to plant perrenials, etc. but the weeds ALWAYS take over - no matter what I do. I want to get this over with once and for all !! It is mostly dirt but the south side does dry out alot faster cause of the sun beating down on it. I have a few perrenials that have hung in there but need help on what to do with it. We planted mums on the east side, hostas along the bottom, etc. What can I do to win the war with the weeds? I've tried roundup several times, even tried burning it off. Because of the encline (sp.) of the hill, it makes it difficult to even stand on. Anyone out there got the same predicament?? I'd like to get this done and quit having to look at the towering weeds year after year. Thanks for any and all suggestions! Oh yeah, I'm located in central Wisconsin - if that makes a difference.

-- Pat (, September 09, 2001


Id go with some kind of ground cover,, like PHLOX,,, or how about making terraces? with timbers,,or even tires

-- stan (, September 09, 2001.

Crown vetch, if it will grow in your area, it is pretty hardy so probably it does.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), September 09, 2001.

We are facing the same problem, and have decided to go with crown vetch. It is very hardy, and chokes out all those nasties...also is drought resistant once established. It took a LONG time to sprout. We bought our seed at Jim

-- Jim Deweese (, September 09, 2001.

isn't vetch invasive? we have volunteer vetch of some sort (creeping , maybe, with the vines?) that is a noxious weed around here, easily spread by birds, etc., and it kills out all of the native plants, and we keep ripping it out by the handfuls.

-- marcee king (, September 09, 2001.

If you have a nice view from that location how about building a timber deck over the area? You will get a nice outdoor area for summer evenings and never have to worry about those weeds for the life of the deck.

-- john hill (, September 09, 2001.

I'm not nuts about the suburbia look, but some of the low growing junipers are pretty, or any other spreading shrub.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (, September 09, 2001.

One of the smaller native grasses like buffalo grass or some of the dwarf ornamentals like festuca or zebra grass may work and not need mowing. The ornamentals tend to be in clumps and may allow weed growth between though. A lot of people start vetch from plugs if you go that route. I've found it doesn't hold some soils all that well, erodes between the plants of all things. It's also considered an exotic invasive and can be a problem. Same with honeysuckle. Terracing might be your best bet to get a variety of maintained perrenials and shrubs established and easier to get at to take care of.

-- Susan (, September 09, 2001.

Pat, have you considered Climbing Hydrangea? I've seen weeds out compete crownvetch, especially in clay soils. If you plant Climbing Hydrangea at the top of the slope, and water it well during the first year while it develops the root system, it will take off down the slope after that--and the big leaves smother the weeds so well! It also looks very dramatic! Beautiful plant.

-- Judy in IN (, September 09, 2001.

Crown vetch can be invasive, but its also extremely easy to kill by mowing. I've never had a problem keeping it under control. And its BEAUTIFUL when it blooms. If I had a steep spot that needed to be kept from eroding away, I'd plant it here in a heartbeat.

This is not the same as the other vetches, like hairy vetch, that are commonly used for hay or green manure. Mowing kills crown vetch DEAD.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), September 10, 2001.

We have a bank about 120 feet long that I am sick to death of weed- eating, so this spring I planted some small forsythia plants. This is a bush that grows about 8 feet tall and has beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. Right now I am just weeding around them, but if they grow at the same rate that the other ones on my property have, within three years I will never have to weed-eat there again, and in the spring it will be spectacular. If you know anyone who has these bushes, small ones grow under them by the hundreds and they transplant very easily.

-- Melissa (cmnorris!, September 10, 2001.

I did a steep hill once with trailing rosemary and erigeron with drip emmiters on seperate plants. Saw the people a couple of years ago and they were very happy with it still.Ground cover roses would be nice to.

-- kathy h (, September 10, 2001.


I had the same steep hill/weed problem and I fixed part of it. I put down an old carpet, nailed it on the bank in several places with gutter nails and put a heavy mulch over it. Believe me--no weeds will come through you carpet. Go to a Salvation Army, Goodwill or thrift store and buy the cheapest, ugliest carpet you can find, place it carpet side down and voila! If your hill is straight up and down, terrace it first (just a little) so the mulch won't slide down.

-- Marilyn Placke (, September 30, 2001.

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