Getting grass to grow on a hill can be tricky.
Living in hilly areas can present challenges like steep slopes that you may have already had the displeasure of experiencing when trying to get your lawn started and maintained.
Slopes are tough because let’s face it, gravity has its way with everything including dirt, water runoff after storms or heavy rains, erosion leaching nutrients from soil; even wind drying out earth during hot summer days will make maintaining vegetation almost impossible for anyone!
Although growing grass on hillsides is challenging work (and there are plenty more troubles besides) don’t despair if this sounds familiar – we’re here to help you.
Best Way To Plant Grass Seed On A Slope
A common misconception is that the process of planting grass in sloped lawns just means spreading seed and waiting for it to grow.
This isn’t always true, as not all seeds will germinate at an appropriate rate on a slope with good drainage or soil composition.
The best way to make sure you have healthy green turf everywhere from top-to-bottom your yard is by investing time into properly preparing the ground before hand so each step can be achieved 100%.
Step 1: Prepare the area.
Remove any existing grass and weeds from the area you want to plant grass seed on a slope.
Remove all dirt, rocks, and debris from the area. Use a rake to smooth out the ground so it is flat and level. If necessary, use a shovel or tiller to make the area flat and level.
Step 2: Water it well.
Water the soil in your planting area thoroughly with a garden hose or sprinkler system. This will help loosen up the soil for planting, as well as provide moisture for germination of your new lawn grass seed.
Make sure you water deeply enough into the soil that you soak down at least 6 inches (15 cm). The deeper you water, the better your chances are for a good germination rate of your new lawn grass seed.
Step 3: Install an irrigation system if needed.
If there’s no natural source of water nearby, like a creek or pond, then install an irrigation system in your yard that will allow you to water your newly planted lawn grass seed daily until it’s established (about 3 weeks).
You can buy an irrigation system at any home improvement store or online through Amazon or eBay if needed.
Step 4: Spread the grass seed.
Spread your grass seed over the area you prepared earlier, using a spreader or by hand. You want to make sure you cover the ground evenly with seed, and not leave any bare spots.
If you’re planting more than one type of grass seed (a mix), then make sure you spread each type in equal amounts over the area.
Step 5: Rake it in lightly.
Using a garden rake, lightly rake the seeds into the soil surface until they are covered about 1/8 inch (3 mm) deep. Be careful not to bury them too deep since that will inhibit germination.
If you’re planting more than one type of grass seed (a mix), then make sure that all types are covered evenly with this step so there are no bare spots for weeds to germinate in later on.
Step 6: Water it again if needed.
If there’s still moisture left from your previous watering, then just let it be until your newly planted lawn grass seeds have germinated and started growing. If there’s no moisture left after raking in your new lawn seeds, then water it again deeply enough into the soil that you soak down at least 6 inches (15 cm).
The deeper you water, the better your chances are for a good germination rate of your new lawn grass seed. Repeat this process daily until your new lawn grass is established and growing well (about 3 weeks).
Make sure to water deeply enough into the soil that you soak down at least 6 inches (15 cm). This will help loosen up any compacted soil below as well as provide moisture for germination of your new lawngrass seeds so they can grow faster and stronger once they’ve sprouted up through the soil surface where they can start growing quickly once they’re watered daily by natural rainfall or by an irrigation system installed in your yard if needed.
Recommended Grass Seeds for Slopes
This is a cool season grass that requires full sun and well draining soil. This grass is very versatile and can be used for both residential and commercial purposes.
Bentgrass is commonly used on golf courses, parks, playgrounds, lawns, athletic fields, and many other places. It is a great choice for sloped areas because of its ability to grow in poor soil conditions.
This is a warm season grass that requires full sun and well draining soil. Rye Grass is often used as an overseed with other types of turf due to its ability to tolerate low fertility levels while still producing dense growth.
Rye Grass also has the ability to grow in poor soil conditions like clay or compacted soils which makes it a good option for sloped areas since it will be able to grow even if the soil quality isn‘t ideal.
Zoysia Grass is a warm season grass that requires full sun and well drained soil in order to thrive.
This type of turf performs best in dry climates but can tolerate wetter climates as long as drainage issues are addressed properly before planting this type of turf on slopes or flat surfaces where water tends to pool up after rainfall events occur.
Grass Seeds to Avoid on Slopes
The following grass seeds are not recommended for use on slopes because they have a shallow root system that does not hold the soil well and are susceptible to many diseases and insects. They also require frequent mowing to stay looking good.
- Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)
- Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
- Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
- Rough bluegrass/Carpet grass (Axonopus affinis/Axonopus compressus)