Top Tips For New Hillside Gardeners

Posted on: 13 September 2015

Have you recently purchased a house atop a small hill or on the side of a slope? Are you an avid gardener and are now wondering whether you'll be able to continue your favorite hobby? While gardening may be more challenging now, it's certainly not impossible. Here are some tips to help make your garden successful:

Build retaining walls: One of the hardest parts about hillside gardening is the lack of flat ground. By building retaining walls and filling the area behind with dirt, you can easily create terraced areas for your favorite vegetables and other plants. If you want a neat and orderly look, you may want to consider making your retaining walls out of bricks or cement blocks. Otherwise, for a more natural look, they should be made of either large river stones or partially finished logs. Terraces like these will help to keep water from washing precious topsoil away.

Use plants with extensive roots: Some plants, such as carrots, have a relatively limited root system. Although carrots are delicious, they may do little to help hold the soil around them. Other types of plants, such as various legumes, do much better. If you have a hillside area that is bare, you can help to build up and retain topsoil by sowing plants such as alfalfa or even ordinary pinto beans. Not only will they help hold what's left of the topsoil, they will enrich the soil by adding nitrogen to it. When you decide to plant something else, the roots left behind in the ground will continue to help hold the soil particles together.

Use mulch: Mulch is another good way to keep topsoil from being washed downhill. Because mulch can also get carried downward over time, it may be best to use mulch mainly in areas that have been terraced and that have retaining walls. Not only will mulch help retain topsoil, but it will also help retain moisture in your plant beds, resulting in less frequent watering being needed. If you use a natural organic mulch, such as chipped wood, instead of stone mulch, the mulch can also add nutrients to your soil as it breaks down. While this may take several years, your soil quality will slowly rise with the use of wood chip mulch. 

While you may not be able to garden exactly as you are used to, hillside gardening doesn't have to be difficult. Instead of focusing on plants that won't work well in your new area, make lists of all the beautiful and wonderful plants that will thrive in your location. Eventually, because of the neat and orderly nature of terraced gardening, you may even find that you prefer this method of gardening to whatever you were doing before. Contact a company like L & L Excavation & Landscaping for more information.