From:Valdez, NM Region: Southwest Topic: Shrubs Title: Planting shrubs on a rocky slope Answered by: Nan Hampton
I need to plant a rocky slope, facing south and west, to cut down erosion.
Other than creating terraces, are there tricks for securing individual shrubs or trees to a slope when planting?
What plants to you recommend for zone 4 (near Taos Ski Valley) at 7,500 ft.?
I'm assuming the native ones like chamisa, sage brush, Apache plume, but others, too?
Planting on a rocky slope is tricky. First, you are better off if you use shrubs that have meshed or intertwining roots rather than a tap root. This type of root system is going to hold on to the soil better on the slope than plants with tap roots. Mr. Smarty Plants found a forum, "Planting shrubs on a hillside", on GardenWeb with several useful suggestions. These include planting the shrubs in a plastic pot with the bottom removed. The pot on the upside of the slope won't be visible and the edge of the pot on the downside of the slope will hold the soil and the roots in place until the plant is established. You can then remove the visible plastic pot. Another suggestion was to use plastic edging on the downslope side of the planting and fill with soil. The plastic edging can be removed once the plant is established. Still a more natural setting could be accomplished by making a small rock wall on the downslope side and filling it with soil. It could be left in place or removed after the plant is established.
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