Plant Wildflowers On A Steep Bank Or Slope - No Need To Mow

Looking for an affordable, low-maintenance solution for your sloped backyard? Wildflowers are a great idea for steep or sloped areas of your landscape - especially if the slope makes mowing difficult or impossible! 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 can we do to prevent erosion?" Below, we'll show step-by-step tips for planting wildflowers on a slope.

Benefits Of Wildflowers

  • Annual Wildflowers are a great option for sloped garden beds or meadows because most annual varieties sprout quickly. This means their roots grow quickly, which makes them less susceptible to being washed away in a rainstorm. 
  • Perennial Wildflowers are a great option for sloped areas because they grow deep, resilient root systems and grow back year after year. Once they're established, they can help prevent erosion and provide years of low-maintenance flower blooms.
  • Our wildflower seed mixes include a combination of annuals and perennials. Annuals for first season blooms, and perennials for blooms that start blooming in their second season and return each year.
  • Plus, there's no need to regularly mow your steep, sloped area! You can mow once per year for maintenance, or skip mowing altogether to allow your meadow to take on a natural look.

Planting Wildflowers In A Hilly Yard

Erin, one of our long-time employees, is always up for experimenting and planting new varieties on her property in Northern Vermont. This spring, the Seed Man prepped a 4,000 square ft. sloped area on her property to plant a variety of wildflowers, including our Northeast MixBlack Eyed Susans, ZinniasCosmos and more. The results were spectacular! This hard-to-reach sloped area is now bursting with wildflowers that require little water and maintenance.

This sloped area on Erin's property is visible from the road, so she wanted to plant something there that would create curb appeal but not require much maintenance. Erin chose our Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix.

Preparation For Planting A Slope

Mike used a tractor to dig up the existing grass, then rototilled the area to loosen the soil. Whenever you're planting wildflowers, especially if it's in a hard-to-reach area like a slope, soil preparation is key. Seeds require good contact with the soil in order to germinate, and the more prep you can do, the better.

Mike "The Seed Man" preparing the soil.Mike "The Seed Man" preparing the soil.
Mike "The Seed Man" removing existing grass with a tractor.
rototilling a field rototilling a field
Rototilling the soil for a smooth texture to prepare for planting.

Seeding Wildflowers On A Slope

After Mike prepped the soil, he spread the seed by hand for even distribution.

Then, he used a roller to compact the seed into the soil. This is a key step, especially in a sloped area. If you're planting a smaller area, you can simply walk on the seed after planting to compress it. Compressing seeds into soil helps prevent seeds from washing away in the rain, and good seed-to-soil contact also improves germination rate.

rolling the soilrolling the soil
rolling the soilrolling the soil

For in-depth instructions on preparing for, planting, and maintaining wildflower meadows, please view our planting guides!

Results In The First Year

As you can see by the photos below, the results were impressive throughout the season, starting at the end of July and lasting through September. Erin and her daughter Lily enjoyed the colorful blooms and had plenty to cut for bouquets.

wildflower fieldwildflower field
wildflower meadow in bloomwildflower meadow in bloom
girl in a wildflower meadowgirl in a wildflower meadow

Framing A Log Cabin With Wildflowers

flower meadow in bloomflower meadow in bloom
Flowers in bloom for the 4th of July.

Our customer, 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. They wanted to plant flowers, but did not want to struggle with weeding and mowing around flower beds on the large, sloping space. They decided to try wildflowers!

"This time, I knew preparation was key. In late fall, 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 Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix 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!

wildflowers from driveway of housewildflowers from driveway of house
Wildflowers greet visitors along the long drive.
wild sunflowers in front of homewild sunflowers in front of home
Tall Sunflowers in fall.
wildflowers along drivewaywildflowers along driveway
Wildflowers greet visitors along the drive.
wildflowers from driveway of housewildflowers from driveway of house
Year after year, their wildflower meadow continues to bloom!
wildflowers in front of homewildflowers in front of home
The wildflower meadow is beautiful and low-maintenance.
wildflowers along drivewaywildflowers along driveway
Perennial Black-Eyed Susans In Bloom

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