Shore Lore: Common Problems
Site Challenges: Steep Slopes
Steep slopes down to the shoreline present many challenges to homeowners.
When vegetation is removed and the slope is being mowed, problems arise due to overland runoff.
Erosion on steep slopes can lead to personal endangerment when attempting to mow. Winding stairways built into the hillside increase the potential for erosion.
When planting on steep slopes, kill the turf and plant within the dead sod rather than tilling the soil (photo right).
On steep slopes, use erosion control fabric when the ground is bare. It helps hold the soil in place until new plants are established, will provide a weed barrier, and helps retain moisture.
It will be difficult to establish vegetation on slopes steeper than 2:1 (horizontal:vertical).
If the slope is not vegetated, grading may be needed to establish a stable slope. (See section on erosion).
Plants for Steep Slopes
See the "Starter Lists" in the Native Plant Encyclopedia.