Best Plants for a Slope
From erosion to beauty
Using these savvy tactics, Tracy turned eroded land into a fertile hillside.
Bind soil with sturdy roots. Any plant helps, but those with deep, clumping roots (trees, shrubs, grasses) are especially effective, as are groundcovers, which find and fill empty spaces.
Remove weeds carefully. Pulling them disturbs fragile soil. Healthy plantings and groundcovers will eventually crowd out most weeds. Until then, use mulch to smother weeds and to fortify the soil. Pull weeds when they're small. Knock dirt from roots and put it back in the ground.
Make a rock garden. Place stones or boulders among plants to trap soil and moisture and slow water runoff. You'll get a more natural look by scattering rocks of a uniform type.
Build terraces and retaining walls. It's a costly solution, and you probably need a landscape contractor for help. But terraces, softened by cascading plants such as creeping phlox, dramatically transform even the toughest terrain.
Pictured: Creeping phlox and Louisiana irises, along with a curved grass path, provide an appealing contrast to stone steps and retaining walls.