How to Keep Your Sloped Lawn Beautiful, Maintained, and Erosion-Free in Asheville
Hilly landscapes are common in Asheville, a city set in the gorgeous mountainous region of North Carolina. Residents and tourists love the aesthetic appeal of the area’s rolling hills, but sloping lawns can often present problems to homeowners, mostly in the form of stormwater management and soil erosion.
These issues may not be noticeable soon after purchasing a home, but you’ll probably start becoming aware of some of the side effects of a sloped lawn after a few intense rainstorms during Asheville’s wettest period during the summer months.
Common Problems with Sloped Lawns
As beautiful and natural as slopes and hills are to the Asheville area, they do present some serious problems for homeowners and businesses, making them difficult to maintain.
The most common issue people face with sloped lawns is soil erosion, which can cause some significant problems, like:
- Degrading your own soil, washing it away in some areas and compacting it in others, which changes your landscape and makes it challenging for grass and plants to grow.
- Decreasing the soil’s ability to capture, or slow down, water runoff from storms.
- Polluting nearby sources of water when soil and its nutrients collect in rivers, streams, and lakes to form sediment.
Lawns with slopes in the Asheville area are much likelier to contribute to erosion than flatter land because water moves much faster down slopes than on flat ground. Over time, erosion can make soil quality so poor that it can’t absorb water, causing more flooding, decreasing its ability to provide for plants, and leading to more water pollution from sediment.
After a storm, stormwater needs somewhere to go. On flat land, it might pool in your yard until it gets absorbed into the ground. With sloped yards, the water can sprint down hills, disrupting soil and causing erosion in its path.
Stormwater picks up everything on the way, too, including soil, fertilizers, pet waste, and other pollutants that can harm nearby bodies of water and the organisms and plants that live there. You might also see water pooling near the bottom of slopes in your yard.
If you use fertilizers, lawn food, or any other kind of treatment to grow and maintain your lawn, then your slopes might affect how effective they are. Think of how water, when given even the slightest decline to move down, will find a path to the bottom as quickly as possible.
Thanks to gravity, your lawn treatments can do the same on your sloped lawn. Beads of fertilizer or lawn food can trail down slopes away from some parts of the yard and concentrating in other areas, causing bald or brown patches in areas of uneven treatment.
How to Maintain Your Sloped Lawn to Prevent Problems
There are a couple of tasks you can tackle yourself to minimize, or even prevent, soil erosion and better manage stormwater runoff in your sloped yard, while more significant jobs are better left for the experts. Here’s what you can do to maintain your sloped lawn:
The first line of defense against soil erosion from improperly managed stormwater runoff is adequately planted grass on your slopes. Grass isn’t just for looks; it’s also there to absorb water. Cool-season grasses, like perennial ryegrass and tall fescue, are best for the Asheville area because they remain relatively green through the colder months and they’re quick to germinate.
Healthy grass starts with proper seeding. Be sure to aerate the soil on slopes before planting seeds, so your grass can get the right amount of nutrients and water from the earth. Use seed mats to hold seeds in place during rainfall and windy conditions and to prevent weeds from interrupting the growing process.
Once you establish your lawn, you need to keep it mowed regularly. Cutting each blade to the same size ensures that they all distribute nutrients evenly, resulting in not only a well-manicured appearance, but also a hardier, healthier yard that absorbs water effectively.
Most lawns need to be mowed weekly for best results, but you shouldn’t cut cold-season grasses any shorter than about three or four inches in length to discourage weed and undesirable grass growth.
Call in the Landscaping Experts
In many cases, a well-maintained lawn can aid in controlling erosion and managing stormwater. Unfortunately, it’s not usually an end-all solution. Yards with significant sloping will likely need some extra help to control water.
A landscaping and hardscaping expert can offer the right solutions for homeowners with sloped lawns. Hardscaped systems, like a natural stonework water capture system or an erosion control system, can capture and move water strategically on your sloped lawn to catch stormwater and prevent erosion from taking over your yard and disrupting the area’s water ecosystems.
Some of our professional work for homeowners with sloped lawns includes mulching minor slopes, creating erosion control plant systems, building stonework waterfalls and retaining walls, and designing drainage systems that allow water to move effectively – and non-harmfully – through your yard. We create our concepts specifically to work with Asheville’s natural mountainous landscape and adhere to the area’s stormwater management regulations.
Contact Ambrose Landscapes today to learn more about our services or to request a quote.