Most gardens lie atop even grounds. Because of this trend, many property owners flatten out slopes to have a more interesting, better-looking outdoor space.
However, you can also have a beautiful garden without leveling the slopes if you live in a hilly area.
A garden on a slope is an excellent outdoor feature to have. When designed correctly, it can easily capture the eye of anyone who gazes upon it.
A sloped garden can also be the centerpiece of your lawn.
Moreover, when planned properly, landscaping pros in Chesterfield, Missouri say that your inclined garden can help prevent erosion caused by water runoff. When you cultivate the ideal plants in the right places and add or build the appropriate fixtures, your property won’t be affected too much by corrosion.
Creating the Perfect Sloping Garden
If you have decided to start a garden on the sloping areas of your property, follow these tips and tricks:
1 – Create terraces
Add character to your sloping garden by building a few terraces. This feature can give you more gardening opportunities, too.
Construct steps on the area by shoring up the land with walls made from rock, stones, concrete blocks, or landscaping wood. You can then create a flat surface for planting that will retain soil and water, and at the same time, allow for drainage.
Once you are ready to plant, use wire landscaping mesh to prevent soil and seed loss until the plants mature.
Aside from cultivating a garden bed, you can also add container plants to the terraces.
2 – Add retaining walls
Retaining walls separate spaces in a sloping yard. These also make it easier for you to grow plants in places where you won’t be able to plant.
But to get more out your retaining walls, choose a building material that encourages plants to grow. This means selecting one that has plenty of nooks and crevices. Examples of these are natural stones or rocks, cut stone, bricks, and timber.
Additionally, pick plants that love growing out of crannies. These include creeping phlox, rock cress, hens-and-chicks, sedums, and sweet alyssum.
3 – Create walkways
Walkways are essential functional and design features in sloping gardens.
You have two options for this feature: steps or ramps.
Steps are the most common way of going from one place to another on your hilly property. To have the safest ones in your sloping garden, make sure the steps are deeper and wider than regular ones.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to build the riser or vertical face between 15 to 20 centimeters. The tread, or the flat surface you stand on should be at least 30 centimeters. If you have a small inclined garden, consider curving the steps or building them across the patch so they will take up less space.
If you want easier access to your garden, opt for ramps, especially if you have a family member who uses a wheelchair.
To ensure these pathways are safe to use, choose non-slippery materials. Also, have handrails installed, particularly if an elderly person will be visiting the garden frequently.
4 – Manage dry soil problems
Generally, the soil on hills or slopes is often dry since water runs downhill fast before the soil can get a good soaking. Because of this, you may have a hard time starting and growing an inclined garden.
This is a problem that you will find more difficult to remedy if your slope faces the south. Aside from the quicker water runoff, the plants will also receive intense sunlight for a long period during the day. Because of this, your foliage might suffer from uneven water distribution that can cause them to dry up and die.
To ensure your garden plants grow well and thrive, install a slow water delivery system such as a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system to reduce the amount of runoff and keep your foliage hydrated and healthy.
5 – Prevent erosion
Since erosion is your top enemy when cultivating a sloping garden, make covering the bare areas a priority. By doing so, you will reduce the fast corrosion of soil on your future garden area.
Choose the largest plants you can afford and plant these as close together as possible. Additionally, use mulch and landscape fabric or mesh since they can anchor the soil until the foliage becomes established or you add more.
You can also add clusters of boulders into the soil since these anchor portions of the sloped flower bed. They’ll also improve the natural beauty of your garden.
7 – Opt for native plants
Although you want nothing better than having plants you love in your garden, you have to be a bit wiser in choosing the ones you will grow.
To avoid spending too much time tending to your garden and experimenting with different plants that may or may not grow, cultivate natives. If you already have some flora in your yard, transfer some of them on your ready plot or purchase similar seeds.
If you are not sure about what native plants to cultivate, go online or visit a local nursery to find out which ones are best suited to your area.
Keep in mind that native plants will evolve and develop over time in a natural setting. Once they have become established, you will have foliage that won’t require too much fertilizing, watering, and weeding.
7 – Cultivate fast-spreading ground covers
Quick-growing ground covers are another excellent solution to have an attractive yet low-maintenance sloping garden.
Brass buttons, creeping phlox, heuchera, and stonecrop are some of the best low-maintenance ground covers you can plant. Aside from making your garden look more attractive, they can reduce erosion and weeds.
To help young groundcovers grow faster, prepare the soil in the garden in advance. This means covering your soil with organic compost, followed by a layer of fertilizer. Let the earth absorb the nutrients from these products for a day.
Next, use a spade to turn the soil over and mix the compost and fertilizer in more.
Once you have transplanted the groundcovers, apply large amounts of mulch to control weed growth and soil erosion until the plants have become established.
These tips and tricks can help you have a lovely garden even if its location is in an inclined area. However, these are not the easiest to follow.
If you want to have a beautiful, low-maintenance sloping garden, consider getting help from landscaping and lawn care providers in Manchester, Missouri. They will come up with a great design and help you improve your outdoor space.