Are you wondering how to landscape a backyard with a slope on a very small budget? Sloped backyards can be difficult to landscape, especially for budget-conscious gardeners, since hiring a landscaping company can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. As with any landscaping project, it is important to plan ahead.
Create a Good Foundation
If the slope of your backyard is very steep, soil runoff could be a big problem. A good solution is to add ground-cover plants. Look for flowers and shrubs that do well on slopes. When you are buying them, you may want to buy extra soil to help the new plants in case the soil that is there isn't that accommodating.
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You will need to stabilize the slope first with coir erosion fabric, which is a woven, open-mesh netting that provides erosion control. You can also create terraces on the slope, as this will prevent runoff. Add some gravel to help prevent erosion.
Add Landscaping Items
To create terraces, you can salvage some old landscaping items. Look for extra stones, bricks and discarded logs that are not being used and create flat planting areas. If you want to add new plants, choose young seedlings or seeds and look for varieties that will grow quickly. Native perennials and grasses should also take root well and will reseed and return every year.
A few inexpensive evergreen plants might also fit into your budget. If doable, these can serve as nice focal points for your hillside landscaping project. You can also build stairs to add design interest. A few well-chosen pieces of stone or wood can also do the trick.
Also, keep in mind that you might not have to landscape the entire slope. You may be able to get away with adding a few small trees, stones and ground cover. Then, the open areas can be filled in with mulch.
Save Money on Mulch
Pine straw tends to be very cost effective as mulch, and it should do its job if you apply it to a depth of 4 inches. Wood mulch may not last as long and will need to be replenished often. You can try making homemade mulch, which is the most cost effective, but it requires a bit more effort.
To get started with homemade mulching, you will need to collect yard waste, such as fallen branches and leaves. You can start by raking leaves into a pile and go back and forth over them a few times with your lawn mower. Use this leaf mulch as-is or if you have grass, branches or other wood, you can make the mulch even more nutrient-packed and protective.
Make Wood Mulch
Wood chips look better and make for better mulch, but you will need a wood chipper to make it. Chippers can be expensive, but you can rent one for much less for one day. Use the chipper as directed to convert the loose wood into small pieces and then add it to the leaf mulch. Mix everything together before applying it to your hillside.