Low Maintenance Banks
me a garden with steep grass banks and I will
show you a garden in need of reduced maintenance.
They can be the devil to cut especially in periods
of wet weather. Where they are too steep for
a mower they have to be cut by hand using a
strimmer or with a pedestrian mower lowered
and pulled back up by rope.
There are two alternatives to grass. A rockery
built on the slope will be interesting and attractive.
Alternatively a solid planting of low -growing
ground-covering plants will help hold the soil
in place and hide the bare earth. In either
case the grass needs to be killed using glyphosate
based weed killer or removed with the aid of
a turf cutter. Pile the strips of grass turf
upside down. Within six months they will have
decomposed leaving you with good quality, fibrous
are three golden rules when constructing a rock
ground must be free of perennial weeds. Murphy’s
law states that the worst weeds will have
their origin under the largest rock.
rocks must be firmly seated with no risk of
planting areas should be small pockets of
weed free, well drained soil between the rocks.
scree slopes may be formed by using gravel similar
to the rocks and planting gentians, sedums and
other non-invasive plants.
will be less expensive than constructing a rockery
and if properly executed will lead to a low
you are confident that any perennial weed problem
has been taken care of you can start to plant.
Pit planting will be necessary to reduce the
surface area of loose soil.
a planting hole larger than the roots of the
plant. Add bone meal and compost or well rotted
farmyard manure at planting time. Firm the soil
and water to settle the soil around the roots.
are many suitable ground covering plants but
avoid those that are exceptionally vigorous.
They tend to smother the smaller plants.
low growing junipers are evergreen and form
a dense mat preventing weeds from growing. Juniperus
conferta and J. repanda are attractive and low
growing. Periwinkles (Vinca major and V.minor),
some with variegated foliage, are evergreen
with blue or white flowers.
the two, V.minor has smaller leaves and is lower
growing than the large leafed V.major.
the right selection of plants you will have
an attractive, maintenance-free bank.
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