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How to Mulch a Very Steep Bank

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Mulching a steep slope is an effective way to landscape an area that can be dangerous to mow. Mulching also prevents soil erosion and adds depth and interest to an uninteresting and unused area of your yard. If you ever want to plant the slope, the mulch will help prepare the soil.

Lay burlap cloth or wet newspaper over the slope. Burlap and wet newspaper will grab onto the surface well and, if your slope is covered with grass, this will help smother it.

Purchase enough mulch to cover your slope at least 4 inches deep. Shredded hardwood mulch will work best since it will grab onto the burlap and newspaper and stay in place on the slope, according to Pennsylvania certified horticulturist George Weigel.

Spread the mulch evenly over the slope. Pack it gently with the back of a shovel.

Build a 4- to 8-inch tall retaining wall out of fence posts, large boards or landscape bricks if you are concerned that the mulch will wash away. Otherwise, you can simply rake any mulch that gets washed to the bottom back onto the slope.

Mulch A Very Steep Bank

Mulches for steep banks should resist erosion from wind and rain. Loose mulches blow or wash away on exposed slopes during strong winds and heavy rain, but shredded materials such as vineyard waste, mixed fir bark and angel hair, which is shredded redwood bark, hold together and stay in place. Apply the mulch 3 to 4 inches deep, leaving plant bases clear for 2 inches around to avoid rotting. One cubic yard of coarse mulch covers about 100 square feet to a depth of 3 inches. Applying mulch has a beneficial effect at any time of year. Spread mulch on a newly planted bank immediately after watering plants to protect bare soil from erosion, and top up an organic mulch yearly or more frequently as it decays. alpina "Pygmaeus") grows 6 to 12 inches tall and 12 to 30 inches wide and bears orange-red spring flowers followed by small fruit.

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