One of the more common questions we get at the nursery is, “We’ve got a slope in our yard and we just don’t know what to do with it. What do we plant on it?” San Diego county is definitely not flat so chances are good that you may have this issue. When considering what to plant, think in terms of ‘layering’ your slope with ground covers, shrubs and trees.
The number one priority for slopes is preventing erosion. If you have a bare slope start with a fast-growing ground cover, such as Myoporum parvifolium/Prostrate Myoporum or Rosmarinus offincinalis ‘Prostratus’/Prostrate Rosemary. Both of these will quickly cover a large area and can be thinned out later when the other plant material on the slope has matured. Next, think of vertical elements, such as large shrubs or trees. With their deep root systems, these will eventually be the plants that will hold the soil in place to prevent erosion. Some suggestions include Rhus lancea/African Sumac, Cercidium ‘Desert Museum,’ Tipuana tipu/Tipu Tree, Cotoneaster lacteus, Heteromeles arbutifolia/California Holly, or Ceanothus/California Wild Lilac. You may even want to consider planting fruit trees on your slope.
Finally, select the accent plants. These are the ones that will ‘jump’ out at you when looking at the slope. Choose plants that have color or texture differences from the rest of the slope. Some excellent choices are Agaves, Echium candicans/Pride of Madeira, Shrub Roses, Gaura, Lantana or perennial grasses.
For some fire prevention tips for your slope, see our Gardening Tips for September in this newsletter.
Still have questions? Come in to one of our nurseries and our helpful and knowledgeable sales staff will be happy to assist you. Don’t forget to bring the kids and the dog, we’ll be waiting for you here at Evergreen Nursery.