The Q&A Archives: Stabilizing A Slope

Question: I have a sloping grade on the north side of my house in a shaded area. The soil is gradually sliding down hill. I need a grass that doesn't need cutting that will stabilize the slope. What could you recommend?

Answer: The ideal no-mow grass is still in development. Scientists are working on a tough low-growing grass that will require minimum mowing during the season and still stay healthy. But we're not quite there yet. At this point it's a matter of us adjusting our attitudes to accept a more natural looking area rather than a golf-course preened look.

You could use any number of ground covers, such as vinca, euonymus or ivy, but it would costly and require heavy maintenance the first few years. After that it would be nearly trouble free.

With all the garden talk of natives plants and wildlife habitats, consider planting a short meadow: various low growing flowers and grasses and clovers which may attain a height of 18-24 inches, but would also invite birds and bees and butterflies to your area. Some flowers are annuals and would need to be reseeded, but some wildflowers are perennial. Wildflower meadows don't look beautiful at all times, but they are increasingly a very acceptable environmental alternative to lawns and problem areas. Give it some consideration!

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