A hill of clay dirt that needs life - Knowledgebase Question

Cleveland, Te
Question by jameshopejr1
April 25, 2010
We have a hill behind our house that is red clay dirt it is about 200 ft long and from the bottom up it is about 8 ft high it is tapered into our backyard but is too steep to mow what would be the best thing to put there cheaply to keep the water from running off with the dirt and just adding life to it. The cheaper and more simple the better.a retaining wall is coming but proably not within the n

Answer from NGA
April 25, 2010


I'd plant a drought tolerant ground cover such as Ajuga or Gaillardia, or a vine such as Chinese Trumpet Creeper or Passionflower. With a sloping area, the water will naturally run off before it soaks in, unless it has somewhere specific to go. If you take the time to amend the soil with organic matter each time you install a plant, the water will tend to soak in rather than run off, especially if you apply water slowly, either through a drip system or a soaker hose. If it is impractical to amend the entire area with compost, peat moss, etc. prior to planting, at least dig some of the organic matter into the planting areas and leave a small indentation (watering basin) around each plant to help channel the water to the root zones. Then if you apply water slowly for an extended period of time it should soak in rather than run off. Best wishes with your slope!

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