Ground Covers for Steep Slopes

Birmingham is a city of hillsides, great views, and gardening challenges. Sometimes, you have all three on the same property. It is very difficult to garden on a slope. Getting plants established is a huge challenge, as is weeding and watering. Grass, although commonly used, is often not the best solution. Mowing is best left to professionals.

ground covers for steep slopes

Ground cover of English ivy on slope

In my neighborhood, some of the best (and most attractive) ground covers for steep slopes are dwarf mondo grass, dwarf vinca, English ivy, and leaf mould. Except for the leaf mould, all are slow to establish. Weeding of these groundcovers helps to assure a successful planting, but the judicious use of pre-emergents simplifies the process. Once established, these groundcovers are tough and easy.

Leaf mould needs regular renewal, but little else, and looks natural.

leaf mould ground cover

Leaf mould covering hillside in Birmingham.

Mike Rushing

Mike and Paula Rushing have been gardening in St. Clair county since 1990, and In Forest Park since 2007. A Jefferson County Master Gardener and course instructor at Master Gardening classes, Mike also volunteers weekly at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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