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We’ve recently built a new home, and our entire front “lawn” is sloped…

John Asked

We’ve recently built a new home, and our entire front “lawn” is sloped at approximately 15-20 degrees, and measures approximately 50 ft. by 200 ft. It receives plenty of sunlight, was sodded with fescue in June, and is healthy. But the slope is creating a major problem for mowing. I am seriously considering converting from my manicured lawn to a maintenance-free stand of native Kentucky grasses, or some kind of low groundcover. Because of the area, it seems that any selections should be quick “spreaders.” Or is my entire idea even feasible?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Planting on a slope has its challenges, but so does mowing one! Switching out fescue for ornamental grasses is certainly an option, but with the space you are dealing with you might consider combining plants with spreading/clumping growth habits. This will add texture, layers, and color throughout the year.

A landscaping plan that incorporates different plants can create a no-mow front yard. Of course, there is always maintenance, but not with a mower. It is a great opportunity to create a beautiful front garden to showcase your new home. You can always have a plan drawn for you by a local landscape designer. They can also help in terms of labor and maintenance if needed.

The Extension Service in Warren County is a great place for resources. The horticulture agent will be able to help you get your soil tested and hopefully give suggestions for local designers. Take a look at this publication provided by our Cooperative Extension Service that discusses planting on a slope and also has a list of recommended plants for sloped sites.

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