The Q&A Archives: Groundcovers For Eastern Slope

Question: Our church has an area of lawn with a slope of about 60 degrees or more! It currently is covered with weeds and grass. They would like to have it covered with groundcovers that would need no maintenance. They have asked me to do this as my Eagle Scout project. It is too big an area to do serious terraces. I don't know where to start. Can you help me?

Answer: Rather than try to plant the entire slope, plant a vining groundcover at the foot of the slope. Cover the slope with biodegradable mesh netting so the vines have something to climb up. You will have to weed-whack the slope first and pull out the most stubborn of perennial weeds before you begin, and until the groundcover becomes established, you may have to keep the area mowed and the weeds pulled. It's best to unroll the mesh up the slope as the vines grow so you don't run the risk of catching it with the weed whacker. Enrich the soil at the foot of the slope before you install the plants. All the following will grow in full sun to partial shade:

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quiquefolia) is a rapid grower that should cover the area quickly. The glossy green leaves turn gorgeous red in the fall. Virginia creeper's cousin, Boston ivy (P. tricuspidata) has a similar growth rate and provides evergreen coverage. Flowering vines that will do the trick include Clematis durandii, Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and five-leafed akebia (Akebia quinata).

I hope your project is a great success!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by mcash70 and is called "Moss on a log"