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View Full Version : Too steep to mow, idea's?


hogheas
06-24-2006, 05:15 PM
Could anyone recommend a way to manage this slope so not to have to mow, its just too steep? The area is about 40 feet long and 15 feet from bottom to top. Though there are no trees in my yard, I am completely surrounded by them. I want something low maint to include not digging out the maasive leaves I will have in the fall. I have thought of flat rocks and with mulch between them, then just blow off the leaves. I live in NW Arkansas zone 6, the slope is on the west side of house and gets minimal sun. Thanks for anyones inputs. I am open to any suggestions..


http://www.flickr.com/photos/31699159@N00/174038191/

ss

ed2hess
06-24-2006, 07:09 PM
Too bad the front wasn't graded such that you could easily see the home from the angle you took the picture. Then it would be very easy to mow and it would look neat.

KauffmanL&L
06-26-2006, 12:39 AM
If money is not an option why not get 3 to 4 terraced rock walls in stalled and make flower beds or you can also use crown vetch hydro-seed it with a a ryegrass and it would also look great after all this the last step is to drink up cuz it will be well deserved:drinkup:

hogheas
06-26-2006, 01:37 PM
Thanks for your input, I think I would like to drink first though....:drinkup:

Kate Butler
06-26-2006, 08:55 PM
If you want flowers and hummingbirds, I'd plant it heavily with daylilies, siberian iris, geranium himalyense, lysismachia ciliata 'atropurpurea', lupines, phlox (tall), any medium-tall campanula, adenophora, hesperis, mints, bee balms, etc.. All are medium to tall perennials that naturalize and compete well. No need to nuke the grass: they'll crowd it out after a couple of years. If you have access to "instant gratification" plants (really large ones) they will spread faster than small plants. Ornamental grasses could also be an option: mix and match the decorative ones and be sure to take their untimate height into consideration.

danmc
06-26-2006, 10:01 PM
What kind of mower are you using? I only ask because I mow three banks that appear to be much steeper than yours. For two of them I use an old bobcat 36" fixed deck belt drive walkbehind (you can find used ones for very cheap). For the 3rd bank I use our exmark Turf Tracer.

all ferris
06-26-2006, 10:20 PM
Ivy.....ivy.....ivy

LarryF
06-28-2006, 04:41 PM
What kind of mower are you using? I only ask because I mow three banks that appear to be much steeper than yours. For two of them I use an old bobcat 36" fixed deck belt drive walkbehind (you can find used ones for very cheap). For the 3rd bank I use our exmark Turf Tracer.


Please do me a favor and tell me if you mow across the hill, straight up, or up & down at about a 45-degree angle? The reason I ask is that I have a similar hill and a couple of old 22" self-propelled mowers (Bobcat and Hahn-Eclipse) that I've used on that hill when I didn't resort to a string trimmer. But when I've mowed across the hill, the mowers have turn upside down on occasion. Not a nice feeling, of course, but since they are relatively light, it wasn't a disaster. These are pretty old mowers with low HP, and they don't really have enough power for the straight-up path or even up at 45 degrees. I had thought of getting something bigger, perhaps 36". Something like that might or might not turn upside down, but if you've been doing this, I'd like to benefit from your experience.

The string trimmer I use is a Stihl FS 45, which is nice and light and seems to do a good job, but it takes a long time and doesn't provide the even-cut look that a mower does. Well, maybe someone with a lot of experience might get it, but that's not the typical homeowner and certainly not me.

PROCUT1
06-28-2006, 05:53 PM
Get a flymo. Take the handles off, tie a rope to it and start swinging.

Birdhunter1
06-28-2006, 06:53 PM
If you've got a tractor you coudl either get a sickle mower or a ditchbank mower.
Or you could just let it grow all summer long and every ecember or so go and throw a match in it (not that I have ever done that on areas that were too steep to mow, or when I just realized that matches are cheaper than deisel fuel).

Brendan Smith
06-29-2006, 02:33 PM
hard to see much detail in the pic, but what if you killed the vegetation, applied pre-emergent, mulched, and installed ornamentals? granted you would have to figure out ways to divert water to keep the mulch from washing out. or maybe plant junipers?

danmc
07-02-2006, 10:42 AM
I mow across the hill - it takes a bit of practice but once you get the hang of it it's not too bad. The first time I did it, it was a disaster, the mower skidded all over the place but if all else fails and it starts to get away from you just lock the handles and roll it down the slope diagonally (with the blades off). Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sound like it's a piece of cake but it is do-able. Also, make sure the grass is pretty dry when mowing it also....I'll get a few pictures of the banks I mow...

LarryF
07-02-2006, 01:33 PM
Thanks Danmc,

From my Avatar, you can see that I'm also an Exmark enthusiast. I presume the one you are referring to the 36" Turftracer HP. Do you see much difference between it and the Bobcat for these hill-climbing workouts?

just4me
07-02-2006, 07:09 PM
Could anyone recommend a way to manage this slope so not to have to mow, its just too steep? The area is about 40 feet long and 15 feet from bottom to top. Though there are no trees in my yard, I am completely surrounded by them. I want something low maint to include not digging out the maasive leaves I will have in the fall. I have thought of flat rocks and with mulch between them, then just blow off the leaves. I live in NW Arkansas zone 6, the slope is on the west side of house and gets minimal sun. Thanks for anyones inputs. I am open to any suggestions..


http://www.flickr.com/photos/31699159@N00/174038191/

ss



maybe you should put a proposal to clients for hydro seeding with wild flowers, I'm not sure of your area but in NH we have a few hyrdroseeders and a hand ful do wildflowers as well, it will be less maint. for you and less for home owners cost, you may have to weed wack trimline just to give a clean cut at times but for most your work will be done for you & homeowners

Team-Green L&L
07-02-2006, 08:16 PM
We would maintain that embankment with the string trimmer. It takes a couple more minutes, but sometimes you improvise.

PROCUT1
07-02-2006, 09:20 PM
Im tellin ya the Flymo will work.

muddstopper
07-04-2006, 02:19 PM
I would put together a proposal to the homeowner to enhance the look of the slope. Flowering plants are one option, Daylillies are in full bloom now and seem to sell well. Daffodils mixed in will provide spring color as well as the daylillies the summer color. Both plants are super thriveing and easy to get established. Wild flowers are aggravating to establish and maintain weed free. Maybe a few spider plants around the parking area for a low growing border. Throw a little bee balm in the back edges, tall growers with a wonderful smell. Returns year after year. Many alternative suggestions for plant types to suit this area.

Option two would be to plant a ground cover, something like blue rug junifers. They are reasonable in price , easy to establish, and will completely cover the area in two years or less, depending on plant density. Once they have filled in, no need to continue mulching year after year.

Option three, would be to roundup the area and just lay mulch. Bark mulch will need reapplied every year, which mean extra $$ for you, and you simply roundup to keep out the weeds.

mbricker
07-06-2006, 02:17 AM
What I understand you to be looking for is the absolute minimum of maintenance, right? If so, then your thought about placing large flat rocks to cover the slope would work. Roundup the stuff that grows up between the stones 2 or 3 times a season, blow the leaves to the bottom in the fall. If you cover the slope with plantings, such as perennials or shrubs, blowing out the leaves just gets a lot more time consuming.

One thing I'm wondering is whether this slope is hidden from your neighbors, or is part of someone's daily view. Also, what is at the bottom or ends of the area, cause I'm wondering just where those leaves will end up when you blow them off each fall.

Another thing I'm wondering is whether your desire for minimum maint., is important enough to justify a fairly large expense to buy and lay the rock. If you haven't priced rock lately, take your measurement of the area to some stone-yards and tell them you want enough flat rock to cover that area. You may be shocked at the price.

I have done a couple of slopes like this, but don't particularly want to do more. Trying to fit heavy irregular-shaped rocks neatly together while working on a slope is back-breaking, finger-mashing labor. And then, to my way of thinking, the result is a rather blah, sterile appearance. Also, if you are going to have the rocks stay where you put them, it won't work to just plop them down, you will have to do a little gouging in the dirt to seat them into the ground. Otherwise, when you are trying to walk up and down that slope with the Roundup sprayer or the blower, you might find yourself riding a rock sled a few feet until it stacks up against something more solid.

I am in NW Arkansas, and if you want to talk to me about this or let me look at it, PM me. Thanks. Mike

mbricker
07-06-2006, 02:35 AM
Ok, here is another idea now that I have taken a little more time and seen all of the views of the lawn:

What about putting a retaining wall at the bottom of that slope and adding fill to make the slope less steep? Then you could just mow it. The wall would not have to be as high as the drive, you don't need the area completely level, just a lesser slope so you don't risk death running along that strip with a mower. You would probably need to have the wall set back slightly from the property line, assuming you don't own all of those woods to the west of the drive. And if you do own all of those woods, then forget the wall, cut the trees close to the slope, then just add more fill. Not cheap either way.

Feel free to contact me if you want. Mike

CWG
07-07-2006, 01:58 PM
+1 to the invasive ground cover. Theres a TON of "weeds" local to your area that will either bloom, or hold their own against whatever mother nature brings- think Zero Maintenance!
On one slope I have here I let (God forbid) Mint take hold, holee hail..less than one year the whole zone was covered, Nothing but nothing gets in there!
Its constantly trying to creep onto the flat decks, but the mower takes care of it, and it smells nice LOL
Call your local ag dept. for choices, or trot off to the nursery.

LarryF
07-13-2006, 12:04 PM
One of the other threads mentioned the Quick 36 as a machine which is good on hills. And since I also have hills similar to the one which is the topic of this thread, I was attracted to both. Someone provided this video.

http://www.betteroutdoorproducts.com/?page=VideoQuick36Demo%5FH%2Ehtm

Looks pretty impressive, but can anyone who has used this Quick 36 for a hill such as being discussed in this thread give us another opinion.

RedWolf197
07-13-2006, 12:10 PM
That sure does not look steep. I've done slopes much steep than that.. Most walkbehinds will take care of that easily as long as the ground is not too soft.
I've always used the heavier machines when the ground is dry usually 48" Scag.. When it was softer I'd use a 32" Bobcat. As long as there are no trees to make you have to turn it's a breeze.