Making Smarter Landscaping Choices

How To Establish Grass On A Slope

Do you dream of a beautiful green lawn but have issues due to a hill or major slope on your property? It can seem like nothing can stop the erosion and you will never be able to establish grass on your sloped lawn, but there are strategies that can help you overcome this challenge.

Sod vs. Seed

The main issue with seed is that it tends to wash away when it's applied on a slope. Seed must be kept moist for several days to a week before it germinates and begins to root. Unfortunately, most of the seed can wash away to the bottom of the hill before germination can occur. The result is a bald hill with a lush lawn at the base.

Sod, on the other hand, is easier to keep in place until the roots penetrate into the slope. It still takes sod a week or so to root into the soil of the slope, but at least you can tell if erosion is affecting it so that you can remedy the problem before all the grass washes to the base of the hill.

Anchor Options

If you must use seed, then anti-erosion seed mats can help overcome slope challenges. Organic mats host a combination of organic matter and grass seed, typically held between two layers of woven natural material. The mats are staked into place to prevent erosion. As the grass germinates and establishes, the mats decompose. Inorganic mats are also available, but these do not decompose and they can later break apart and damage lawnmowers.

For sod, the only anchoring typically necessary are a few stakes. U-shaped garden stakes, sometimes called staples, work well to anchor sod until the roots establish. You can then either remove the stakes or leave them in place to slowly rot away into the soil.

Deep Rooting Methods

You can further prevent erosion on new grass installation by encouraging deep rooting. First, take the time to fully prepare the soil — till the ground to loosen it up, add compost and fresh topsoil, and use a starter fertilizer. Whether you opt for sod or seed, follow the recommended watering schedule as provided by your installer so that the grass produces healthy root systems.

Once the roots establish, reduce watering to only a couple of deep irrigations a week. Fewer deep waterings encourages deeper root growth, which means erosion is less likely to occur. Frequent but shallow watering leads to a shallow, easily disturbed root system.

Contact a grass landscape installation service for more help when it comes to installing a lawn in a challenging area.