Mulch on a hillside

rplearyJuly 6, 2006

I have planted shrubs and bushes on steep hillside (about 35 degrees) after using ROUNDUP on the grass. Now I fear using a weed mat will just allow the mulch to slide off the mat. Maybe applying the mulch directly onto the dead turf would be better? I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.

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How about planting a groundcover rather than mulching? I think you're going to have just as much trouble keeping the mulch on the slope, weed mat or no. There are plenty of options for groundcover, some more... vigorous than others!

How large is the area? What, if anything, is around it (i.e., do you need to keep groundcover out of the neighbors' adjacent lawn)?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 3:48PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Landscape fabric isn't the best thing for keeping weeds down, as they'll just grow on top of it eventually, and then you'll have a mess on your hands. Do a search for landscape fabric on this forum to read more.

If the slope is too steep to keep mulch on, groundcover is the better solution, in the form of creeping plants, or shrubs and perennials planted close enough together to shade out weeds. They'll also help hold the mulch in place while they fill in, but you'll still have to do some hand weeding until they do.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 5:33PM
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schizac(z8 Edmonds WA)

To answer your question, weed mat will cause the mulch to slide more than mulch alone. Dense plantings will be the most effective in stabilizing the slope, and you should mulch anything you plant. Perhaps an erosion control mat can be used under the mulch, I've done this with great success, it breaks down within a specified amount of time depending on your needs, 12 month, 24 month etc.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 6:47PM
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We just completed a slope project and used newspaper to cover the ground. On top of the newspaper we placed jute netting and then on top of that we mulched. Through this we planted ground cover and small shrubs. Eventually the newspaper and the netting will decompose, but we hope the ground cover and shrubs will be established by then.

The jute netting was the key to keeping the mulch from sliding down the hill.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:12AM
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Long shreddy mulch holds best on slopes. Finely ground mulch washes down and blows away. Chunk bark rolls and catches the breeze sometimes. The shreddy stuff tends to hold itself together on the slope. Wood chips roll and blow like chunk bark.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 6:53AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

No matter what you decide to do, I would suggest using plenty of Preen to keep seeds from germinating in the future. I try to Preen, mulch, and then Preen again.

I have recently been buying a generic version of Preen. I have a Preen shaker canister, and just fill it with the bagged off brand stuff. It is the same ingredient, and the same percentage. I recently found some at Menards (Like Lowes) and the bag was busted so they sold it at 1/2 price.

Possibly you could locate some tree trimmer wood chips (free) and just see how well they hang on in a downpour. Then if they 'hold' ok, you could topdress it with some mulch more to your liking. I get shredded bark, from the sawmill for $30 a truckload, and it has a nice color.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 10:58AM
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I know that I am responding to this article which is several years old but there is a new product which could have helped RPLEARY. Go to It is a material specifically for holding mulch on hillsides. I am sure there are others with the same issue.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:30AM
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There is a new product called Slope Hugger. It is a new landscape/erosion control fabric that traps mulch to the slope in areas of wind or water runoff.
Check out
It works on slopes up to 5:1. Simple to use, one roll, one layer, one time. When everthing goes downhill!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 5:27PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)


You know shilling is against the forum rules, right? (Assuming Vickeygrow is a a real person...and not some form of 'bot...)


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:30PM
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I just happen to live in the same city as Vickygrow, She is one of the inventors and owners of the patent which she and one other person own. This does indeed look like a viable product and one which would work. I'm not going to beat on her for listing her own product, and this is not meant as a "tattle" either. Our hillsides here are quite steep here, and some are ~40* which is not easy to walk up. Her product is not in production at this time, but I do commend her for seeing a problem and attempting to provide a solution.
I don't know (or care to know) her, nor am I involved in marketing (anything) for anybody. I just looked at the website and it looks promising. I hope she makes a fortune and the product catches on with landscapers.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:26AM
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I have landscape fabric on my hill and pine straw on top, and it is a nightmare! Basically, my hill is 90' L x 20' H, and at some points more steep than 45 degrees. I have a lot of very small junipers planted on it but the weeds keep growing adjacent to the juniper locations where there is no fabric, and that forces me to walk the hill to pull them off, which is where the problem lies. It is very slippery and precarious to walk on a sloping hill covered with a landscape fabric and pine straw.

I am currently trying to figure out what to do with my situation so if anyone has any suggestions, I welcome them greatly...:)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 12:56PM
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jrobertsz66, rather than piggyback onto an old thread, it would be better if you start a new one explaining your problem.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:54PM
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Thanks Yardvaark, I have my own thread now. Cool handle name...:)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 3:58PM
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