Top 5 Ways to Deal With Steep Slopes In Your Yard

Valley with house at bottom.
Farmers and gardeners have long used terraces to manage steep slopes.

You have the perfect home in the perfect location: the only problem is that your yard is too steep. When you purchased the home, you might have thought the slope wouldn’t be a problem. But after a season or two you might feel that because of the slope, your gardening options are limited.

What can you do to modify your yard and enjoy gardening again?

1. Plant Groundcover

If you notice that water and soil are pouring down your slope to create a muddy mess at the bottom, then you need to stop the erosion that’s being caused by all of this water. Planting groundcover plants can help you slow down the water. Study, well-rooted grasses help stabilize your slopes.

2. Add Even More Plants

Once you’ve stabilized your slope with groundcovers and grasses, add more plants that will use and slow down the water and soil movement. According to Visionscapes, “Woody plants and those with a sturdy root system are usually the best for the job.” Hardy perennials that can manage having wet roots include willows, irises, and many chokeberries and dogwoods.

3. Manage the Incoming Water

If your home is at the top of the slope, make sure the water isn’t coming from other places such as overflowing gutters or poorly-placed downspouts. Adding a gutter cover can help stop your gutters from overflowing and inundating your yard. Download our free gutter guide to learn more about the important role your gutters and gutter covers can play in managing rain and melted snow.

Digging swales is another option for managing water. Adding trenches on the contour can encourage the water to stop and soak into the ground instead of continuing its rapid run downward.

If you have a lot of water and rocky ground, you can also consider adding a stream or waterfall to your property. This can channel your water into a pond or a rain garden below.

Potted plants.
Planting in pots can help in areas that are particularly steep.

4. Plant In Pots

If you’re having a hard time establishing plants, consider planting in pots instead. Create a small terrace and use planters to add color. You can move these planters as the weather changes and refresh them when necessary. Choose areas that you can access easily so you don’t need to move up and down the slope.

5. Build a Terrace

For thousands of years, farmers who only had steep slopes to work with have built terraces in order to manage water flow and keep soil in place. You can do the same. This involves some effort to reshape your yard in steps, and you’ll need to reinforce those steps with a wall or packed soil.

If you have a yard that’s steep in some places and not in others, Better Homes and Gardens recommends that you “Connect two levels with a curving stairway that minimizes the severity of the sloped flower bed.” The effort you make to establish the terraces will be well worthwhile as you step up the slope and enjoy gardening on several flat terraces rather than one challenging slope.

At Lednor Home Solutions, we’re here to help you with your home and landscaping problems. Whether you need a new gutter cover or you have a leaky roof, we can help you manage your home. Talk with us to schedule a free estimate today.

Written by Del Thebaud

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