Do you have any tips to help with gardening on slopes?
I’m taking the “Boots 2 Bushels” course and I am loving it! I do have a question about slopes. We live on one acre of land, which is “not ideal for farming” (we are learning how to address this) and also very sloped. Do you have any tips or tricks to help with planning gardening on slopes?
Majorie Peronto, Extension Educator, Hancock County
Thank you for your question. I’ve had the most success establishing gardens on slopes by building permanent raised beds that are terraced and parallel with contours of the land. I’ve used both large rocks (dug from the garden) and wooden frames (made from rough-hewn hemlock) to hold the soil in place. To minimize erosion, the pathways between the beds should be mulched with organic material like straw, leaves or wood shavings, or planted with a groundcover like dutch white clover. Raised beds should be between 8″ and 12″ tall and no more than 4′ wide, so you can reach into the center of them from either side without stepping in them. They are an efficient use of space, and easy to work in once established. People and pets know exactly where to walk, so your growing beds do not get compacted by foot traffic. The photo below is from my own landscape.