Steep, grassy hills add color and contours to a backyard, but they’re a hassle to maintain. Hills are a natural focal point so it’s noticeable when the grass is not trimmed, but mowing on a steep hill is difficult and potentially dangerous. There are a number of easy, cheap landscaping solutions to add texture and color to the hill while reducing the amount of maintenance required.
Remove the grass from the slope with a flat shovel. Push the blade under the roots and unearth the grass in patches. Replant the grass in bare areas of your yard.
Use a pitchfork to turn over the top 3 inches of soil on the hill. This process adds oxygen to the soil and loosens it up. Pour a 3-inch layer of equal parts compost and topsoil over the surface and mix it into the loose soil.
Plant hardy ground cover over the top half of the hill to add growth that won’t require mowing. Ground cover like clover and Virginia creeper are a few examples of fast-growing groundc-overs that add color and texture to a hill.
Add fast-growing perennial shrubs around the bottom half of the hill. Consider Robin hill azaleas to add year-round greenery, seasonal pink flowers and growth up to 2 feet tall. Lindley butterfly bush is another perennial shrub to consider for its drought tolerance, purple blossoms and aggressive growth. As root systems develop, shrubs prevent erosion and help absorb water runoff at the bottom of the hill.
Embed artificial boulders near the foot of the hill. Concrete boulders are inexpensive and lighter to move so they’re easy to work with. About 1/3 of the boulder should be partially buried and surround by compacted dirt.
Spread a 4-inch layer of shredded wood chip mulch over the hill and around the base of plants. This mulch is cheap and won’t float away with heavy rain, plus it retains moisture and insulates the ground during cold seasons.