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I have large steep slop in my backyard. I would like to plant a ground cover from seed. Is this possible. If so what kind would be best to keep weeds and bay, grow quickly and look appealing? I was wonder if Vinca Major or St johns wart would work? Thanks for your time Milt

Answer(s)

A

It's very difficult to successfully establish new plantings on steep slopes. Consider terracing the slope; this will make more useable space plus reduce irrigation and rain runoff.

Here is an online publication from Colorado State University Extension that discusses erosion control techniques:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/PUBS/NATRES/06308.html

 

Posted on 27 Feb 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

Answer(s)

A

If possible, build terraces to reduce the slope angle. This will help conserve water by reducing runoff. It's hard to establish plants on steep slopes.

I also suggest that you diversify your plant material so that the entire slope isn't just one plant. Use some native grasses like Great Basin Wildrye for vertical accents, and some native shrubs for bird refuge. Apache plume is a native shrub that will establish quickly and adds winter interest with its feather seeds.

A slope can provide a very good bird viewing area, provided you make it attractive to birds. You can sit on your patio and watch hummingbirds come feed on nectar, or watch robins stealing grapes or strawberries. You could even put a small waterfall or birdbath for birds to drink from and bathe in.

If you are interested in a native 'scape, here is a good resource book:

Waterwise: Native Plants for Intermountain Landscapes, by Wendy Mee et al. Available at most USU Extension county office.

Good gardening!

Posted on 5 Apr 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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