Steep Bank Planted with Wildflowers

Wildflowers replace mowing on a steep slope.

Wildflowers on a slope! Every year, we get questions from all over the country on this subject. "Can we plant on a slope? Will our seed wash away? What about erosion?" Here’s a couple who solved all the problems with great results.

Slope with wildflowers
Flowers in bloom for the 4th of July.

Our members, Dot and Pete Ramsdell, live in a famously beautiful spot near Cavendish Village, Vermont. There they have a charming log home with rolling lawns and mountain scenery, but there was one problem. The house sits on a hill, and just in front, the ground slopes toward a large lawn at an angle of 45 degrees. The slope made the view from the house beautiful, but as with all steep slopes, it made mowing difficult. So several years ago, the Ramsdells tried planting the slope, but as as Pete writes, "Weeds and grasses overtook our original plantings. It was time to reseed." They decided to try wildflower seeds on the sloping area, instead of grass.

"This time, I knew preparation was key. In late fall, four years ago after mowing the original patch we applied Roundup to the whole area with our ATV sprayer attachment. In the spring we again applied Roundup to kill any remaining grass and weeds. Because of erosion concerns we did not rototill. Instead we lightly scratched the surface with a york rake, leaving the old roots intact, but providing a seed bed for new seeds. We hand-sowed the Northeastern Mixture as per your directions, and Mother nature took over from there. We have been told by many that the results are spectacular."

Pete and Dot Ramsdell, Cavendish, VT

We couldn’t agree more. And we thank Pete and Dot for sharing not only their beautiful photos, but a great, clear explanation on how it was done.

Wildflowers greet visitors along the long drive Wildflowers greet visitors along the long drive.
Tall Sunflowers in fall Tall Sunflowers in fall.
View from the house with bank in bloom Wildflowers greet visitors along the long drive.
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