When we think about landscaping our homes, sometimes the ideas come easy. Cost and budget are the only constraining factors. But sometimes we don’t have the ideas. It might be because of a strangely shaped space in the yard, or might be because of a strange land feature.

That’s certainly the case with rolling hills in a back or front yard. For those of you in this situation and who are being mindful of spending, here are 5 few ideas for how to landscape a steep slope on a budget.


1. Encourage Existing Plants

One of the challenges with hills is that homeowners often struggle to get things to grow on them. Growing vegetation on steep slopes is difficult for a number of reasons, but it’s not impossible.

Take a look at the existing plants on your steep slope. First, distinguish between invasive plants that you don’t want there and that demand removal. But them identify the plants you do want that just haven’t been growing the way you would like.

If you know what the plants or grasses you want are called, do a little bit of research and learn more about how to encourage their growth. Many times we want our yards to hit cruise control. We want to be able to automate our watering, mow every once in a while and have a beautiful yard — no worries.

But that’s not often a reality, especially with steep slopes. Do a little bit of research and learn extra steps you can take to encourage what you already have in place. You may find that a few extra steps can get your steep slope plants into tip-top shape.

Don’t know what the plants are called? Use a site or app like Leafsnap that lets you take a picture of a leaf and upload it for identification.


2. Plant Native Plants

If you do want to hit the easy button vegetation for your steep slope, opt for native plants. Native species are well adapted to survive and thrive with little care or attention. They are typically easy to plant, and you can often find them at rock bottom prices.

Want to explore native plants in your area? Use this handy native plant finder tool. Just enter your zip code and up will pop your options.


3. Look for Giveaways

For the budget-conscious landscaper, the best place to look is anywhere you can find free stuff. I once needed some pads of St. Augustine for my backyard. Just my luck: I found someone on Craig’s List giving away a truckload. He just needed someone to come and get it.

Likewise, take a look at Craig’s List (or a similar site), and search for a specific species of plant or grass. You may find that someone has more than they need and they’re looking to get rid of it.


4. Think Small

If you’re anything like me, you tend to want to go big with your landscaping, to make a statement that everyone will notice. But that’s not the best route for a steep slope. Instead, think small.

Also, you may want to find a small or young version or a plant that can grow bigger over time. This is the perfect approach for a steep slope. For example, seek our perennial flowers that can add a pop of color to your slope and reseed quickly. This is a small-lift project that can pay big dividends over time with little to no maintenance.


5. Improve the Soil

Have you tried manure or compost? You may not feel like you need it in other spots in your yard, but adding a little compost or manure to your steep slope can help make thrive anything you want to plant there.

Yes, compost and manure can be dirty work, but there’s a reason why people choose to do it anyway — it works.


Final Thought on How to Landscape a Steep Slope on a Budget

Whatever you do, stay mindful of the reason why planting on a steep slope can be so challenging — water runoff. Water runs so quickly down a hill that little to none of it is able to sink into the soil. Therefore, you don’t want to plant something that gulps water. Instead, go for plants (like the native plants above) that can thrive with little to no additional water.

Do you have a good idea for how to landscape a steep slope on a budget that isn’t listed here? Let us know in the comments section below, or feel free to send a direct message using our contact form.