Planting on a slope

Sharie
Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭
edited June 2021 in Garden Design

I'm looking for deep rooted plants to hold the soil together rather than building retaining walls. It will be next to the road/driveway so needs to be stable enough to not collapse in a heavy rainfall. So far the main recommendation around here is Vetiver. It's not ideal for grapes or they'd be my first choice. The main problem I have to deal with is the dry and windy season and then the rainy season. Shrubs or small trees would be good too. My climate is near the equator but it's cooler in the mountains. 12 hour daylight pretty much year round. The slopes beside the road are about 3-5 meters high.

Comments

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    @Sharie sounds like a classic case for a permaculture designer.

    I have no actual plant recommendations yet but I would suggest a three stepped approach.

    1. Plant anything to get the soil fixed and covered. This could be even annuals with a quick root formation.

    2. Plant shrubs and bushes to have a semifast coverage and arresting of ground. In my climate a living fence made of willows would be a good choice but with your more dry climate could be challenging.

    3. Plant trees that go really deep at best from seed as this way the main root goes deeper than with potted trees.


    Seems a bit like the plan for a food Forrest.


    Sorry for not being more specific yet.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin
    edited June 2021

    While I think about permaculture swales and berms might be an option here too.

    Not so much to capture the water but to slow down the flow of the water as volume and flow destroy terrain on a slope. If you can slow it down it will cause less damage.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    You raise the question that's been in my mind, too. I've been removing grass, weeds and trees, but not replacing them with a substantial number of plants to mitigate their loss and worry about erosion. There are some creeping evergreens on the hill which I don't like at all, but definitely hold the hill together. I've been adding things here and there as and experiment to see what sticks and I like.

    I'll be checking back to see what others recommend.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    I'll take some photos next time I go there. It's steep but not too high, maybe 3 meters. I don't see a need for swales and it's too steep for berms. Hard to describe without a photo. I just need to plant something or do a retaining wall which I'd rather not do. Most people would just leave it but I don't like the idea of it sliding if there's a really bad rainy season. I'm having a seismic study done and will get the results next week so I should be able to find out how stable the ground is under it.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    How steep is your hill? Oregano can be pretty and useful but I don't think the roots are deep enough if it's really steep.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    @Sharie I did some research and some bushes you may want to consider are in the Euonymus family with more than 170 varieties to choose fromor Buddleja davidii which is a pollinators plant too. Roses are a good choice especially Rosa rugotida, rosa canida or rosa rogusa they do not net any cutting, have wonderfully pollinators friendly flowers and root quite deep.

    Another option would be broom. They root quite deep to and are quite forgiving on the living condition.

    Same grasses are also quite effective in this job but I am afraid they are quite invasive.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    @Jens the Beekeeper Thank you for the suggestions! I love Rosa Rogusa, but didn't think it would grow here. I think I'll try it. I'm more allergic to grasses than fond of them, but the Euonymus family bushes are so pretty. Thank you for the suggestions!


    @Sharie It's pretty steep, about 45 degrees. The lavender is finally taking hold as is the rosemary. I'm going to try rosa rogusa and Euonymus plants that Jens suggested, but I'm all ears as there's about 100 feet to cover.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Many people use crownvetch over here in the states. Its supported by conservation groups for holding in soil. Its a hardy perennial once established

    I would look at ther smaller decorative nettles. They spread well, look pretty and do have some herbal uses

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