The Q&A Archives: steep hill

Question: my home lot sits on a coner 1/2 acer ,full sun with a steep hill. what can i do to make this a low or manitance hill. i would like to plant perennials of some kind;but i dont know wher to start. i can only do a little each year. should i start at the top of the hill are the bottom. thank you, lynda in missouri

Answer: Rather than start at the top or bottom, try purchasing "flats" of creeping groundcover plants and space them far apart? This way you'll have some control over the erosion that often occurs on steep slopes. I'd also spread the word with friends, neighbors and co-workers that you're in need of plants to put on your hillside. Spring is when many people dig and divide their plants; it's also a time when many gardening clubs and non-profit organizations have plant sales. I'll bet you'll find lots of lovely plants for very little money at these special events. In the meantime, here are suggestions for some creeping, deep rooting perennial groundcovers:

Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) and Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)
Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)
Liriope or "lilyturf" (Liriope spicata)
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea')
Creeping myrtle, or periwinkle vinca vines (Vinca minor)
Deadnettle (Lamium galeobdolon)
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Creeping thyme plants, such as woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)

Best wishes with your landscape!

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