Ground Cover - Knowledgebase Question

Frankfort, IN
Avatar for vperkins8
Question by vperkins8
June 1, 2002
I have a hill in my front yard with steps going down the middle. I planted ten blue rug juniper on each side. The hill is steep. I put river rock between the plants. I was wondering if I should have used something else and if so what.Thanks for any help you can offer me as I am new to this.

Answer from NGA
June 1, 2002
Low growing junipers are often used as a ground cover on slopes. It should work as long as the area is a sunny one because these plants like full sun or at least a half day of good sun. Since the hill is steep, you will need to do something to prevent erosion until the junipers grow enough to cover the soil. The rock should help, however it may allow weeds to grow up unless you put weed barrier fabric under it. Note too that sometimes, on a very steep hill or on a long slope, it is also a good idea to terrace the slope and use retaining walls or similar method to help hold back the hill. Finally, make sure to water the junipers as needed to supplement rain enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. A hill is usually fast draining and relatively dry as a planting site, so do dig down into the soil and check to see if and when you need to water, then water slowly to make sure it soaks in and is not just running right off. Good luck with your junipers.

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