Landscaping Strategies When Dealing with Slopes

A house on a hill can be pretty romantic and scenic. However, the steep slopes that this type of location involves can be a challenge to deal with. It can be that your house is elevated and the land area slopes down. It can also be the opposite. The house can be at the lowest with the surrounding land area elevated and sloping towards the house. With either situation, aesthetics are not just the only considerations. It is also important to consider the landscape design of the slope to prevent erosion and to ensure that there is proper drainage.

Here are some strategies you can consider for your sloped landscape:

– Add groundcover. Cover the slope with plants, especially ones that are known erosion preventers. These are usually plants that grow low and absorb water efficiently. These can include ivy, creeping myrtle or Utah shrubs. Ask your Salt Lake City landscaping company about plants that do well even with sun exposure or shade and which are best on slopes.
– Build a Utah retaining wall. A retaining wall is a structure that is used to keep the land from eroding. The wall keeps the slope in place and also provides flat areas at selected elevations. We recommend that you hire a Utah landscape company to build the retaining wall. This must be properly erected to ensure safety. The retaining wall needs to be built by someone who understands construction concepts especially if the retaining wall is designed for steep slopes. When thinking about building a retaining wall, you should remember to check any local regulations and requirements for permits.
– Add tiers or levels. Instead of one retaining wall, you can build a series of smaller retaining walls so that your lawn space becomes multi-level. This “staircase strategy” makes the sloped area more interesting, especially if you add plants on the flat surfaces of each level. To make things more interesting, you can add shrubs, trees, rocks or boulders.
– Use landscape fabric. You can cover the slope with landscape fabric. You can then cover the fabric with design elements such as grass, plants, mulch and rocks.
– Add a water feature. This draws the eye and can also attract birds and insects. The bubbling sound of flowing water is also attractive and gives a sense of calm. You can take advantage of the slope to design your water feature and you can add lighting for a more dramatic effect during nighttime.

Other considerations

Adding elements. Rocks, boulders, plants, grass and shrubs can be added with careful planning and an understanding of structural support, water flow and drainage. For instance, you can create “shelves” for you to anchor boulders or rocks so that their weight is properly supported.
Structural integrity. Removing old trees (to make the most of the view) should be done with care. The trees may already have deep roots and these roots are the ones that prevent the slope from being eaten away by the flow of water. Cutting off the tree can result in the roots being dried up and this can affect the stability of the slope.
Drainage. Water flow can cause erosion in sloped areas. To prevent the ground from wearing away, especially during hard rains, the flow of water should be directed away from the slope or absorbed with the use of gravel, plants and dry creek beds. Water-loving plants can also be used to absorb excess water and prevent it from flowing across the slope. There should be a diagram as to where the water will flow, especially their exit at the bottom of the slope.
Ease of maintenance. Ask if your current strategy is one you can maintain easily or with the help of your landscape company. For instance, planning grass on the slope can be a temporary measure but the grass can easily burn and dry up during the summer season. There should also be access points such as steps so that you can get near the sloped areas if they need some work done.