It isn’t too unusual for people to have garden areas that are placed on slopes. Your entire property might be on a slope and this can create some issues when it comes to getting things to stay.
For instance, you might be worried about your mulch moving away from the garden due to the subtle angle.
If you’re wondering whether you can solve a problem like this, you should be happy to hear that the answer is yes. You can indeed keep mulch on a slope if you’re willing to take a few extra steps.
Read on to learn about your options so that you won’t have to worry moving forward.
1 – Make Use of Mulch That Stays Better
There are some types of mulch that are going to be able to stay in place better than others.
Remember that the term mulch can refer to lots of different things and some mulch is made out of light materials that will blow away in the wind. If you want your mulch to stay on a slope, it’s going to be better for it to be slightly heavier.
You can use wood chips successfully when you’re on a slope, but you have to be mindful of the weight. Heavier wood chips and wood nuggets are going to do better than lighter ones. Try to get a heavier type of wood chip if you want to use those in your gardens.
Shredded bark is a very common choice when people are looking for nice mulch. This winds up working out well when you’re on a slope because the shredded bark pieces get all tangled up with each other.
This makes them hold down a lot more efficiently and you won’t likely have to worry about losing too much mulch unless you have a really pronounced slope.
Pine straw can work out fine even if you wouldn’t think that it would be ideal at first glance. This works because the pine needles wind up getting stuck together and they just kind of stay where you put them.
It might even be the best overall mulch style to use because of how well it stays down.
2 – Don’t Use Plastic Underneath Your Mulch
You might be one of the millions of people that utilizes landscaping plastic or fabric underneath your mulch. This can be effective in many ways, but it isn’t good at all when your garden area is on a slope.
If you use the plastic or fabric underneath your mulch, it’s going to create a slick surface that will make it easier for mulch to fall out of the bed.
It would be better to utilize a strategy that involves using multiple layers of mulch. You can get the same results that you would from a plastic barrier if you try to do this. Just lay down a layer of mulch and then water it before laying down another layer.
Some people might think that it’s a pain to remove a plastic barrier from underneath the mulch, but it might be necessary. Many of your problems with losing mulch on a slope are likely directly related to the plastic.
Just get rid of it and go to the multiple layers of mulch strategy as soon as you’re able to.
3 – Netting and Landscaping Pins
Have you heard of landscape netting before? Some people who are gardening on a slope will need to utilize landscaping pins and netting to keep everything in place.
Essentially, this is going to keep your mulch from moving out from the bed because the net is pinned to the earth and isn’t going to allow the mulch to escape.
It’s a method that can work out nicely, but it’s usually only necessary if the slope is particularly problematic. Even so, it’s good to keep this solution in mind because it can work out nicely and it’s pretty easy to pull off.
Most people will use either a traditional netting or some type of biodegradable blanket to hold the mulch in.
The landscaping pins (like this 200 pack) act as anchors to hold the netting or biodegradable blankets down. You can even still have water come in just fine and your plants will be getting what they need.
This works surprisingly well, but it might not be perfect because it doesn’t look super appealing.
You also care about the overall look of your gardens and covering plants with blankets or netting will ruin things a bit. If you don’t have any other option, then this works well enough and it makes sense.
It just isn’t ideal to not be able to see your gardens as well as normal due to the netting or biodegradable blankets.
4 – Buy Landscape Edging
Of course, landscape edging is going to work out perfectly when you’re trying to keep your mulch in place.
This stuff can add quite a bit of aesthetic appeal to your gardens as well. Try to buy landscape edging that is high enough to keep all of your mulch where it needs to be despite the slope.
You should be able to find plenty of different styles of landscape edging to purchase either locally or even online (like this 100′ edging kit). It won’t be hard to find something that goes well with the type of garden vibe that you’re trying to create. Once you find the perfect choice, it’s just going to need to be installed properly.
Installing landscaping edging is generally very simple and it involves either placing it in the right spot or embedding it in the ground slightly. Some people even use plants to create landscape edge barriers that will hold in mulch.
Just decide what route you want to go and know that landscape edging is highly recommended when your gardens are located on a slope.
5 – Making a Trench
Another intriguing idea that you can try out is to create a type of trench to keep your mulch from going too far.
Basically, you just need to dig out a little barrier around your gardens and it doesn’t have to go too deep. Dig around four inches deep and go all around your flower bed or garden.
Once you have dug the trench out, it should be able to catch any of your washed-out mulch. You can then place the mulch back where it needs to go and it should prevent you from really losing any. This is a solid idea that you can use in lieu of buying some type of landscape edging.
Raking your mulch back into your bed will always be easy now that you have done this. If you want to make maintenance a simple thing, this should be an option that you consider. It doesn’t require you to purchase anything and it’s a reliable solution to your slope issues.
What About Steep Slopes?
Steep slopes can be a fair bit trickier than dealing with a normal type of slope.
When you are trying to keep mulch in place on a steep slope, you’re probably going to have to use terraced sections. This prevents things from going too far and it allows you to make flat sections that will keep your dirt where it’s supposed to be.
You could also build structures to hold your gardens on a slope and ensure that they’re secured well to the house or whatever else is nearby.
For instance, someone could make a garden on a steep slope by setting the garden in some type of wooden structure that is meant to hold the dirt. This can also hold mulch and you just need to ensure that you’ve taken the proper measures to keep things where they need to be.
Overall, if you’re willing to terrace sections of a slope and make big terrain alterations, you’re going to be able to do a lot. However, there are situations where the terrain just isn’t well-suited for gardening.
If the soil on the slope isn’t good or if there is just too much rock there, you might be dealing with a lost cause that is not worth your while.
Take the time to examine things and then figure out how you want to move forward. If you’re able to get things how you want them to be, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice garden area with mulch.
You just have to take the right steps and ensure that you can accomplish what you’re setting out to do first.
Have Fun with Your Gardens Again
Have fun with your gardens again now that you know how to keep your mulch in place. It can be a bit of a nuisance to have to worry about being on a slope, but you do know what you can do to handle things now.
There are quite a few options at your disposal and you’ll be able to find out which one will work right for your situation.
Once you’ve solved your slope issue, it should be possible to just have a good time enjoying your gardens once more. You should be able to admire your handiwork and just take it easy.
Most of these methods aren’t too hard to pull off, but you will be putting in some hard work if you have to use the terrace strategy.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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