How to Plant a Garden on a Hilly Backyard

gardening equipment

Most people want a perfectly flat backyard. While size and condition are important, an even ground is often preferred or expected by people who want to acquire their own home. A steep hill might discourage potential buyers because it is harder to properly utilize and maintain.

Not everyone, however, can have a flat backyard. Some homes come with a sloped land.

One reason why people tend to fear elevation in their backyard is the risk of erosion. If the ground has a steep incline, water will flow down from it which makes cultivating a garden a little challenging. Of course, homeowners can pay to level their backyard, but it is not an affordable project nor is it always feasible.

However, it is possible to create a green space that can be utilized as a garden and an outdoor living area. Transform your sloped backyard into an oasis full of life with these tricks.

Address the Basics

Before doing anything else, identify your potential problems.

For starters, you probably will find it difficult to grow grass on a hill because rainfall will just wash the seeds you have sown down to the ground below. Even a moderate amount of water will be disastrous to your efforts to make your backyard greener.

Many homeowners have found success through hydroseeding. The process involves spraying seeds, mulch, fertilizer, and a bonding agent to the ground. It is a quick process, and it can effectively stick the materials on the soil to allow grass to grow. Other homeowners installed seed blankets that already contain the seed and fertilizer as well as a cover to protect from rain.

Next, develop an effective drainage system. Water will flow down from the top of the slope, and if your house is at the bottom, it will create a pool that can seep indoors. A French drain places pipes at the bottom of the slopes to guide rainwater away from the house and into the street. That way, there would not be water accumulating around the building.

Create Terraces

In Southeast Asia, ancient farmers planted rice on the side of the mountains by carving terraces. You can adopt the same technique, albeit on a much smaller scale, in your sloped backyard.

A hillside terrace garden divides the land into a series of smaller gardens in a way that, depending on the height of the slope, resembles a staircase. The technique not only effectively prevents erosion, it creates an unusual but mesmerizing backyard.

A hillside terrace garden utilizes all the available space in your backyard. With it, you can still have enough room to plant flowers, vegetables and fruits, and herbs. Some homeowners incorporate a waterfall and a pond into their terraces to recreate a tranquil outdoor space.

Or, Keep the Greenery Low-Maintenance

If terraces are too much work, you can keep the slope in its original state but, to make it look more lively, plant a mix of low-maintenance specimens. Choose the ones that can survive almost any condition you put them in such as a burning bush that needs little to no maintenance. Japanese yew, California lilac, Siberian Carpet Cypress, creeping juniper, dwarf forsythia, and snowberry can also thrive on the side of a slope.

california lilac

These plants would not require constant TLC, and they will not slide down the slope with any sign of rainfall.

Build a Deck

You do not have to flatten the slope in order to gain a flat surface. You can, instead, build a deck over the elevation to use for dining al fresco and entertaining friends. Depending on the size of the incline, you can even add storage beneath the deck.

Use the Slope to Your Advantage

A sloped backyard might not be a problem, but a feature that makes the property stand out. If you add stairs that go up the hill, you can use them to work out every morning. A deck on top of the incline can create a lookout point where you can see your property and the rest of the neighborhood. In states where it snows, the slope can be used for sledding.

Use your imagination. Look for ways you can enjoy the hill. Once you find the best way to utilize the feature, you will start to see it not as a challenge but a blessing.

A sloped backyard can definitely be harder to maintain, but it enables homeowners to develop an unusual landscape that you and your family can fully utilize and will entice buyers to immediately make an offer.

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