Landscaping on Slopes – 7 Practical Ideas That Work

Why Beautiful Landscaping On Slopes Is Not Impossible

Landscaping on slopes is, as you can probably imagine, not so simple. Still, landscapers, contractors, and outdoor property management companies can help make their customers ideal visions a reality by implementing these key landscaping ideas for slopes.

The main problems you may encounter when landscaping slopes are:

  • Maintenance
  • Erosion
  • Lack of sunlight (or lack of shade)

The first thing to understand is that you should avoid planting anything on a steep slope that requires maintenance. This will save you the headache of trying to maintain plants on a steep hill, as well as significantly narrowing down your landscaping options.

Next, erosion is a factor that cannot be ignored. It can be a pervasive problem when landscaping on slopes. Choosing the right solutions to counteract erosion is essential.

Finally, you need to determine how much sunlight your slope is exposed to. Certain plants grow better with more sunlight and some grow better with less.

With these three things in mind, here are 7 practical ideas for landscaping on steep slopes.

Landscaping Ideas For Slopes In The Sun Or Shade

1.Shrubs – The root system of shrubs will anchor to the soil and slow water runoff, which is helpful during storms. There are many types of shrubs that can be used for landscaping on slopes. Some grow best in sun and some grow best in shade. Be sure to choose the right type of shrub for your slope.

2.Azaleas – Azaleas will give the landscaping on slopes a beautiful view, especially in the spring and early summer. They will also help counter erosion. Most azaleas can grow in sun or partial shade exposure, but it really depends on the type of azalea that is being sold in your area. Your local garden center will know the best kind of exposure for azaleas in your area.

3.Stair  Steps and Terraces – This option will take a lot of digging work. You may also need to add a retaining wall depending on how steep your slope is.

4.Rock Garden – If you have interesting looking rocks on your slope, you may want to consider turning your slope into a rock garden. If you go with a rock garden, you should consider growing some perennials and low growing vines to add texture.

Retaining Walls and Landscaping

Slope Landscaping In The Sun

5.Trees – Like shrubs, trees also have a root system that will anchor to the soil and slow water runoff.

6.Wildflowers – Wildflowers are beautiful and can give the landscape on slopes a very natural look. They also have the benefit of keeping the topsoil from eroding or washing away.

Slope Landscaping In The Shade

7.Ferns, Perennials and Low Growing Vines – For landscaping on shady slopes, consider these three options. They will help slow erosion by catching rainwater on their leaves, and their roots will help prevent soil from washing away.

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5 Summer Landscape Care Tips

For most landscapers, summer means heat, drought and watering needs. This can be especially difficult for landscapers that need to rely on home owners without irrigation systems.

The good news is that there are ways to assist plants and allow them to thrive despite these seasonal challenges. Adjusting summer landscape care accordingly during the hot months can not only provide relief for lawns and gardens, but also for the landscaper.

General Summer Landscape CareSummer Landscape Care - Country Springs Wholesale Nursery

1. Monitor soil moisture. Provide supplemental watering and/or increase watering times on your drip irrigation system during hot, dry periods. Watch for pests and manage them accordingly. Many insects will attack plants when they are under stress from drought.

2. Assess which of your plants are under stress from the heat. Consider moving plants that prefer more moisture and shade to a different, more shady location so they will grow better next year. However, don’t do any transplanting now, wait until late August at the earliest.

Perennials & Grasses Summer Landscape Care

3. Staking gladiolus, dahlias, crocosmia, and other lanky perennials is important to prevent stem breakage and enhance the flower display. The choices of staking materials run the gamut, from bamboo stakes and tobacco sticks to hardware cloth and rebar. Rebar, commonly used in home construction, can be a useful material to create sturdy forms for tall perennials and supporting annual vines. Use heavy gauge wire to form a teepee-like trellis. Garden twist-ties and cable ties attach well to wires. Deadhead (remove spent flower heads) perennial flowers to keep their energy in flower production, not seed development. Pinch out the top buds of dahlias, phlox, and garden mums for bushier plants and more flowers later in the season.

4. Ornamental grasses do not need much care during this period. Most of them should be thriving right now, they should be providing beauty, movement, and texture right now.
Watch soil moisture closely, and add additional mulch around the base of plants if mulch has thinned out. This keeps the roots cool and helps preserve soil moisture.

Trees & Shrubs Summer Landscape Care

5. Early July is the last call for pruning ornamental shrubs, such as azaleas and spring flowering bushes. It is important to water shrubs that are pruned for normal recovery. Evergreen hedges are hand pruned or sheared as needed during the summer months. Boxwoods are best pruned in early spring. Prune to remove faded blooms of Knockout roses. Fertilize roses monthly until September with fertilizers such as: 10-10-10; one gallon of liquid fertilizer dilution; or fish emulsion.PageLines- TeaserInfoGuideButton.png

Following these summer landscape care tips will help to keep your landscapes looking great throughout the summer and into the fall. Get more seasonal information by downloading the Country Springs Wholesale Nursery Information Guide. Click on the ebook image NOW! >

Have a Landscaping Equipment Plan

Landscaping equipment is almost as important as your personnel. Winter is obviously a good time to upgrade equipment if it is in the business plan. Just like the search for new employees, this process usually starts well in advance of your pre-season.

Landscaping Equipment and 4 Off Season Ideas

  1. An end of year review that assesses each piece of landscaping equipment’s service history will determine if replacement, a major overhaul or just routine preventive maintenance is necessary. If something needs to be replaced, it should be placed on a list for upgrades. Major purchases made in early spring Landscaping Equipment - Country Springs Wholesale Nurserycould be advantageous with various suppliers that may be offering rebates and financing.
  2. End of year landscaping equipment audits are also a good idea. Schedule basic end of year maintenance like draining gas out of equipment, clean up, and wear assessment. When final maintenance is complete, leaving a little gas mixed with stabilizer will allow your landscaping equipment to be in a ready to go state come spring. Checking things over one more time at the start of the season is important and having a mechanic or an equipment foreman on staff is also a must. It should be this individual’s responsibility to stay on top of maintenance needs and to be sure the owner’s manuals are accessible.
  3. When it comes to trucks and vans, depending on the company size, it might be advantageous to have a vendor partner. Having an auto shop to handle the service needs makes it easier to track expenses. Many use software programs that track entire fleets and often have an online computer dashboard to access current & upcoming needs. Automatic maintenance notification could be part of the package. This could also include construction equipment.
  4. Developing relationships with vendors is important. No matter how much preparation, something will eventually go down. Relationships with dealers often have benefits, for example if one of our larger pieces goes down, our vendor will drop off another one that we can use until ours is fixed. These relationships need to be nurtured, and the winter months are a great time to focus on that.

Keeping your landscaping equipment in tip top shape will set an example for your employees and clients. It will let everyone know you care about the quality of your work and business, and will help to spread the word of your organization.