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Turn that Hard to Mow Bank into a Gorgeous Slope with Erosion Controlling Groundcovers

Low grow Sedums have low water needs yet thrive on steep banks

Driving thru older neighborhoods, you’ll often see homes several feet higher than the sidewalk with a bank gradually sloping down to street level.  This is a a challenging site to grow plants.

Water runs off quickly rather than soaking in often leading to erosion.  A steep slope may need to be reworked by terracing or creating a retaining wall. For gradual slopes, planting groundcovers is a cost effective solution for dealing with these problem areas while stabilizing the soil, reducing maintenance while turning a negative eyesore into a gorgeous front yard.

The key to making this work is using  groundcovers that are quick to form a  solid, soil-holding mass. You’ll want to space them a bit closer together when planting and make sure you water well the first year so their roots can become established in their new environment.  A strategic placement of large boulders buried about 1/3 of the way into the soil adds interest and breaks up the flat plane of view.

Ajuga tenacious roots cling like honey to a biscuit in sun or shade

Ajugas fast spreading tenacious roots cling like honey to a biscuit

A favorite and adaptable groundcover is Ajuga Chocolate Chip with persistent, fast spreading roots.  Ajuga is tenacious, spreading by means of runners, or ground-level stems that root and form new plants.  It also chokes out weeds along the way.  Excellent for sunny or shady spots on a slope.

Creeping Sedums are some of the most versatile plants that take hold effortless in dry soil and one of my personal favorites.  They easily root along a stem making this an ideal choice for very steep banks and sunny slopes without any need for supplemental irrigation.  Their only requirement is good drainage. Since they come in an array of colorful foliage colors, plant an array of varieties (such as Sedum Flaming Carpet)  for a truly gorgeous garden display from spring-winter.

Phlox subulata forms shallow roots and their horizontal stems root easily thus its common name creeping phlox.  Their evergreen foliage remains attractive throughout the year and their spring blooms are nothing short of beautiful.

Daylilies form a dense mat and  are ideal for erosion control as the roots trap run off water which it then uses  during dryer spells.  A short growing reblooming daylily as as Happy Returns or Going Bananas would be a good

Plant fast spreading Aegopodium where you can allow it to roam


Other groundcover considerations

Aegopodium or Bishops Weed

Creeping Thyme

Flowering Vines such as Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

Ornamental Grasses such as Elymus, Festuca, and Panicum

Plumbago (Ceratostigma)




There is nothing more satisfying than taking a tough garden spot and turning it from a liability to an asset with easy to grow erosion controlling groundcovers.

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