How To Deal With A Steep Slope In Your Garden

Sloping garden, stone steps

If you are faced with a garden on a steep slope, you may be at a loss as to how to deal with the awkward land. The good news is that though a steeply sloping garden can be a challenge, you can still create a beautiful and productive garden and with a little hard work, can create the haven that you have always dreamed of. By using your imagination and elbow grease, you can create a garden on a slope for far less money than you might have imagined.


A steep slope can cause a number of problems that a good garden design will look to solve. The first problem is stability. Sometimes, a steep slope can be unstable, leading to concerns over collapse. There are several solutions to deal with such a steep bank in your garden. The first solution is to undertake land works to create terracing, with supporting walls or other structures to hold back the banks. This will be the best

solution where flat growing space or seating space is desired. You can reduce the costs of terracing work by doing a lot of the manual work yourself. Mill Dene Garden, slopingAnother way to save money is to use materials you already have on hand to create the supporting walls – rocks dug from your own land, or perhaps logs from trees felled elsewhere on your property.

Other steep slopes will only require planting in order to provide the necessary stability. The roots of trees and shrubs will help to stabilise a bank, while deep rooted ground cover plants will help to stop soil from eroding away.

Another problem with steep slopes in a garden is that they can cause water run off, with dry conditions at the top of the slope and waterlogged conditions

Swale on a slope

at the bottom. Unfortunately, this can also lead to poor soil fertility as many nutrients will be washed away downhill. Planting can also help with this problem, as plants roots and falling leaves will help to increase organic matter in the soil and make it more able to catch and retain moisture.

Swales, or ditches, on contour, can also be invaluable to prevent water run off on steep slopes in heavy rainfall areas. These ditches, which will catch and store water rather than carrying it away, can allow plants to thrive on what may otherwise be a fairly dry environment. Heavy mulches will also help to retain moisture.