Home>Discussions>YARD & GARDEN>What to do with a steep slope?
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What to do with a steep slope?

Hi everyone, and thanks in advance for taking time out of your day to post ideas! We recently purchased a new home, and love it, save the steep slope on the side of our home. I have affectionately nick named it the "drop of death." Aside from the fact that I hate to mow it, and weeding the area by the retention wall is more than just a pain, I have a two year old who bee-lines it straight to the top of the steepest part whenever we go outside the front door. I'd like to put something (that doesn't look totally stupid) at the top as a "fence" to prevent kids from falling down, and would prefer to landscape the slope area so that I do not have to mow. I'd like to use vegetation that is as hands-off as possible, so that I don't have to weed. (I feel like I have to tether myself to something when I pull weeds.) Not opposed to terracing or adding a brick or stone stair way so that going down is easier. Here are the things to consider:
1.) This is in GA, so we have clay soil. To compound this, it's a new construction site, so they pretty much filled in dirt/clay over the left over construction debris.
2.) This area is used for water drainage. I need to avoid potential flooding of both my neighbor and my yards.
3.) I need to make sure that the retaining wall can handle the load placed on it. (I plan to talk with a structural engineer about this.)
4.) This area is VERY sunny. Like, at least 12 hours baking in the Southern sun.
5.) This area can get VERY windy.

Not the most hospitable of places, but I'm at a loss for what to do, aside from Astro Turf, so any ideas are very much appreciated! Thanks! (I would add photos of the area, but can't figure out why they won't upload....will keep trying and post when I can!)

A. Spruce
Re: What to do with a steep slope?

I'd go with an ivy or similar ground cover that won't need water or maintenance once it's filled in. Juniper type bushes may be another alternative.

Before you terrace, you'll definitely need to speak to a soils engineer, ESPECIALLY if the slope is right off the side of the house. You don't want to undermine the integrity of the soil and have your house go sliding down the hill. Because of this, terracing and retention walls will be costly, and to what benefit, ultimately? You won't have the slope, but you probably are not going to gain any useable land either. Another consideration, how will you access those terraces? All points to ponder.

Re: What to do with a steep slope?

If you have a steep hill, why do you let a two year old climb up it?

To fight erosion plant Rosemary plants. They tolerate sun and once established, require little water.

For the purpose of maintaining the slope, install stairs with railing for safety. Concrete (expensive) or railroad ties (so so) are two common types.

Re: What to do with a steep slope?

The slope is off the side of the house, going from the front to the back with a walkout basement. It's also located right next to our driveway. When I go out the front door, to go to the car, my two year old runs over to the edge of it. ;) No climbing allowed. Since I can't seem to upload it, here are the links to the three pictures that I have of the area. And, to compound the issue, we have two utility lines running right up the little space that is there. Ha! I'm thinking I'll need to get someone professional for this, since I don't want to mess anything up. Or die. *wink!*

Re: What to do with a steep slope?

After looking at your photos, your slope is not that steep. If you want, you can fence it.

I think that your son will be a mountain climber. See him on mount Everest.

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