Planting on a Slope: Prevent Erosion With These Gardening Tips

by Nancy Brenseke 05/29/2022

Planting anything on an incline might seem like more trouble than it's worth. However, if your yard has any slopes, you could be at risk for soil erosion and landslides. The best way to avoid them is to plant trees, shrubs or other plants on the slope to strengthen the ground. Here are some tips for gardening on a slope:

The Best Plants to Grow on a Slope

There are several different types of plants that will grow well on a slope. One type is ground-cover plants that spread out to form a mat of vegetation and roots. Plants that have deep roots and plants that grow multiple stems from the same root are also beneficial. Try ornamental grasses, sprawling shrub roses and clover.

It's also important to consider the environmental needs of the plants you choose. If you have a sunny slope, try catmint, creeping juniper, rosemary and purple coneflower. If your slope is mostly shaded, opt for carpet cypress, periwinkle or pachysandra.

Plants to Avoid

You'll want to avoid planting things that grow tall but have shallow root systems. Some examples of trees to avoid because of their roots would be cottonwood or cypress. Both have shallow roots that make them risky to plant around your home and on a slope. Instead of helping prevent erosion, they might cause more damage if they fall during a landslide.

You'll also want to avoid any invasive species that could threaten the local ecosystem. Some invasive plants, like English ivy and vinca, grow quickly and can invade neighboring yards if not properly maintained. Research what plants might be problematic in your area before you get started with your gardening.

What About Turf?

Most experts will advise against laying grass turf on a slope. However, if the incline is shallow enough and you don't mind the extra mowing effort, turf can work well on some slopes. The key issue with turf on a slope is watering, as water will drain downhill instead of evenly saturating the lawn. Keep this in mind if you live in a particularly dry climate that would require regular watering.

By using any of these ideas you will be able to plant an eye-catching and effective garden on a slope. Consider these options to prevent erosion and protect your property from possible landslides.

About the Author

Nancy Brenseke

I love the ocean, sand and sunshine! That's why I call Hilton Head Island/Bluffton my home! I relocated to Hilton Head Island over 20 years ago from North Carolina after graduating from East Carolina University - Go Pirates! I continue to be successful in real estate for the past 13 Years and with my experience working with top resorts and gated communities, I have cultivated attention to detail, understand the importance of listening first and have the positive "Can Do" attitude in all situations. I offer my sellers and buyers the BEST advice to achieve their real estate goals. I enjoy spending time with my family boating on the May River, attending festivals along Old Town Bluffton and building sandcastles on HHI beaches.  

"Nancy Brenseke is the type of realtor that everyone should contract to sell their property. She is very knowledgeable and gave us valuable information when listing the townhome. The whole process went smoothly and Nancy was responsible for that. She always communicated with us which kept us confident that all aspects of the closing were under control and on track. I highly recommend Nancy Brenseke." ~ Deb Bluffton, SC

"I would highly recommend using Nancy for your real estate needs. She is extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Nancy's representation is top-notch." ~ Jill - Nashville, TN

"Nancy went the extra mile on everything around selling the condo. I would use her again and would recommend her to anyone I come in contact with. Our condo sold in 1 day! She was excellent and hardworker. She helped in all aspects of selling, from marketing with great number of pictures, to home inspection with helping us find contractors to fix the inspection issue so were were able to close." Eric - Cumming, GA