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Steep slope with sparse ground cover

I'm planning to cover a nearly 45 degree slope with vinca minor. The slope is 5m wide and 9m long and has been covered with landscaping fabric for the last 18 months to kill off the weeds. Unfortunately my budget will only stretch to 60 plants in 2L tubs.

Given that this is quite a sparse planting and that the bank is probably too steep to mulch is there anything I can do to protect the bare soil between the plants? Should I potentially leave the landscaping fabric in place and plant through that in the first instance? Any guesses as to how long this would take to eventually fill in fully?


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,116
    For this size area you really need about 150 two litre plants and closer to 400 if you can source 9cm pots. 

    We had a very similar problem to you but a smaller area. I let our landscape gardeners get on with it and they put down plastic mesh netting and planted through it. 18 months later it was a tightly knit area with a completely stable bank. 

    Given your constraints I think I would leave the fabric down and plant through it. Once the plants are well established I think I would cut sizeable slits in the fabric and hope, indeed expect, the underground runners to seek out the light and pop through. Next year I would cut more slits and hope for almost complete coverage.

    Do not take any of this advice as gospel. I am guessing. My inclination is to say it would take two or three growing seasons to get the effect you want. 

    I remember when I was doing my bank I looked hard to find cheap sources of vinca. I pretty much looked in vain. The landscapers, using their wholesale contacts, had no difficulty in getting it for a fraction of the price I would had to have paid. Perhaps you could contact some nearby nurseries and see if they can get you a bulk order deal.
    Rutland, England
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