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How to Landscape a Slope - A Short Guide

How to Landscape a Slope | Landscape Improvements

A beautiful house on top of a small grass-covered hill is what many picture their dream home to look like. But the process of bringing that image to life can be a nightmare. Landscaping on a sloped lot is challenging. Even a simple landscaping design needs more effort and money. The rewards can be amazing though.

You need a contractor who knows how to landscape a slope. An experienced landscaper will ensure your property is functional and beautiful.

Challenges of a Sloping Landscape

A slope is any change in a property’s grade. Most yards have minimal grade changes. The problem happens when you have a steep slope. Landscapers also have to consider whether they’re working on a downslope or upslope. Each has its own challenges. Here are other problems you might face:

  • Drainage Issues: It’s crucial that proper attention is being given to drainage. You don’t want to experience mudslides on your property. Your landscaper will need to figure out how to redirect rainfall away from your home. They also need to come up with ways to prevent water from pooling.
  • House Access: This means your landscaper will also have to design easy access to your home. A curved driveway does look attractive but it’s not good for a small property. A steep sloping driveway can also be dangerous in bad weather.
  • Type of Soil: Homeowners overlook or don’t know the kind of soil they have in their yard. This could become a problem in a hill-like property. Sand, gravel, and silt with minimal clay are good. They have good drainage properties. Soils with high clay content are not. They can damage your home and need extensive filling.

Unique Ideas for Landscaping a Slope

It’s easy to put in place landscaping design ideas on flat ground. A sloped lot will need more planning and effort. But it could also set your property apart and boost its value. Here are some ideas on how to landscape a slope:

Mulch It

Mulching is the simplest way to landscape the front of the house. The typical mulch won’t do though. You need something heftier and have more fiber, like a gorilla hair mulch. Its texture will ensure the mulch sticks. Landscapers often lay down jute netting first. They then cover it with the gorilla hair mulch. This ensures the mulch won’t slide down. It can also prevent weeds from growing.

Choose the Right Plants

While a grassy slope looks great, the right plants can make it look awesome. Consider these:

  • Pick plants with deep, fibrous roots. It makes it easier for them to latch onto the soil.
  • Ground covers like lantanas and junipers are a good choice. They’re easy to install. They also spread fast and wide from a single root ball.
  • It’s better to pick low-maintenance plants. You don’t want to keep hiking up and down to care for them. Another option is to put plants that need regular care in accessible spots.
  • Use drip irrigation to make watering the plants easier.

Add a Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is the landscaper’s go-to solution when it comes to slopes. It will reinforce stability and secure the soil. It also makes your property look nice and clean. You can use different materials for your wall. Rock and concrete are popular choices, although wood is also a viable option. You can also use your retaining wall to create a garden. You can plant sedums, thyme, or other crevice-loving plants.

If you are going to use wood for your retaining structure, make sure it’s pressure-treated. Add gravel at the base and behind your wood wall to improve drainage and keep the moisture off. A masonry retaining wall might be a better option though. It costs more but it lasts longer.

Build a Terrace or Deck

A terrace is a good landscape design for front yards. Instead of one massive retaining wall, use several low walls. You can then level the land to create terraces. Pave one or two levels to use as a patio or an outdoor seating area. The others can be a garden. You can even design every level in a different way for variety. For instance, one level can be for succulents. Another can highlight native flora. You can use stone steps to connect the different levels.

Another option is to build multi level decks. It’s more striking to see the mix of hardwood and natural planting areas. It’s also a good way to extend your living space.

Use Steps for Easy Access

Steps will make a sloping yard look more inviting. Use wide, meandering steps to make climbing up easier. You can place the first step at the base of a flower bed. You can line it with hedges or flowering ground covers. It’s also a good place to design a container garden.

Make a Statement with Hedges

You can make good use of your property’s slope by using boxwood hedges to create a design. You can plant the hedges to create a box. You can then fill the middle with plants with colorful leaves. You’ll make a statement that you can see from your patio or living room window.

Welcome the Outdoors

Landscape Improvements can help you make the most of your outdoor space. We are one of Florida’s top landscaping companies. We’ve been in the business for almost three decades. We have the experience and expertise to design a good landscape. It will help make your life or business better. We offer residential and commercial landscaping. We also do maintenance work, landscape lighting, and more. You can reach us at 407-606-7326 or at info@landscapeimprove.com.

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