Can I Plant a Garden on a Slope?

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Can I Plant a Garden on a Slope?
Gardening on a slope requires understanding drainage and the soil type on the slope. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A garden can theoretically be planted anywhere there's enough space and soil, including on a sloped hillside or the like. However, keep in mind a few issues if you're planting on a slope. This includes issues related to the actual incline of the slope as well as its drainage. In addition, the kind of soil on that potential garden slope needs to be examined. Fortunately, several techniques can allow for sloped gardening, including terracing.

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Incline

The degree of incline of the slope is important because the steeper the slope, the greater will be the issues with water drainage, soil erosion and plant selection. Water landing on a slope will runoff quicker and in greater amounts. This could leave the soil in your sloped garden a bit drier than the soil below it on flat land. Regular watering, then, will be a must.

Drainage

Sloped gardens tend to experience issues with excess drainage more often than gardens on flat land. Solving the loss of water through regular irrigation is key, of course, but the loss of soil through runoff can be a bit trickier. Planting horizontally (not vertically) across the slope can help prevent soil erosion brought on by drainage. Soil and water tend to stay on a horizontally planted slope because it's more difficult for it to overcome horizontal plant barriers.

Soil

The type of soil in your sloped garden can be a big contributor to its ultimate success. Examine your potential garden's soil for composition. If it's sandier, you'll need to think about mixing in a variety of plants such as perennials and possibly even bushes and trees or other ground-cover plants. Their roots firm up soil, preventing it from running off. Also, their leaves break up rain's pounding impact, keeping the topsoil stable and steady.

Techniques

Several gardening techniques exist when you're dealing with a sloped garden. One of the most effective can be terracing it, especially if you're looking at a slope more than 30 degrees steep. By setting up several even terraces, you also keep rain and soil where it belongs and not running down and away from the slope. Plus, with terraces, you can usually forgo adding ground-cover plants to stabilise your soil.

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