planting on a bank

I need help about what to do on my steep bank. It is 50 ft long, 25 ft high and about a 22 degree slope.. Right now it is covered with weeds and grass and is a real pain to mow. I was thinking of laying down landscape cloth and covering that with rip-rap (big rocks) Any and all advice appreciated Herb
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Herb Eneva wrote:

use more than one layer, use wire mesh (quarter inch) to keep the chipmunks and other critters from making holes, use a good thick layer of rocks so that the sun does not get down to the cloth. this will help prevent weed seeds from sprouting and will keep the sun from degrading the fabric. you might want to use a layer of smaller rocks first before putting the bigger rocks down as that will also make the ants less likely to nest underneath.
more work all around yes, but longer lasting and much less maint through the years. pull weeds before they root into the fabric (as soon as you see them).
songbird
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I'd say the answer to this one depends on what it needs to look like when it's done, what else is around it, etc. If it's an area rarely seen or if it's the thing everyone sees from the street would suggest different solution.s
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Herb Eneva wrote the following:

I just let mine go commando. If it's green it stays. I gave up mowing and planting ground covers on it a few years ago. It grows to about 3 feet tall and some of it provides some colorful flowers. You can buy some annual wildflower seed and throw that on the hill for a surprise next spring. I think I would like to have the colors rather than the hill looking like the side of a levee. Since I started to let it go naturally, my neighbor across the street started to do the same.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 9/19/2011 4:05 PM, willshak wrote:

Done the same with one of mine. Difficult to establish even ivy, which some claim is invasive, but not when there are deer around. Fortunately it is in the back of the house where no one can see and in my neighborhood, which is very hilly, lot of folks let the whole back yard grow wild.
I have one bank taken over nicely with a mixture of vinca minor and day lillies. Deer don't eat the periwinkle and can't keep up with the day lillies.
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I've got exactly this size and slope hill, and it's been covered with red apple icy plant for 15+ years and hardly any maintenance, water & fertilizer used. I'm definitely not a careful gardener and it grows and grows. Only problem is occasional grassy weeds in the spring where it's not yet covered up the ground. Once it gets established it spread out well and the usual weeds don't come up except from seeds. We get 10 inches of rain a year (or less lately) in S Calif, so I spray some water up there and sometimes liquid fertilzers where there's no shade if they start looking puny, but not more than once or twice a year. Grows over everything like kudzu but doesn't climb the trees. I had some bare spots and learned that it's fairly expensive in the garden shops for flats. But you can just stick a trimming in the ground and it will take off. The ground is hard dry clay here, so I take a drill with a 3/4-inch bit for wood and drill about 5-inch deep, drop a cutting in it and fill with decent dirt. Watered until they took hold. Pretty red flowers (or yellow sometimes -- can't figure that one out) in the spring & summer. Green year round.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Aptenia_cordifolia1.jpg
Guv Bob
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I've got exactly this size and slope hill, and it's been covered with red apple icy plant for 15+ years and hardly any maintenance, water & fertilizer used. I'm definitely not a careful gardener and it grows and grows. Only problem is occasional grassy weeds in the spring where it's not yet covered up the ground. Once it gets established it spread out well and the usual weeds don't come up except from seeds. We get 10 inches of rain a year (or less lately) in S Calif, so I spray some water up there and sometimes liquid fertilzers where there's no shade if they start looking puny, but not more than once or twice a year. Grows over everything like kudzu but doesn't climb the trees. I had some bare spots and learned that it's fairly expensive in the garden shops for flats. But you can just stick a trimming in the ground and it will take off. The ground is hard dry clay here, so I take a drill with a 3/4-inch bit for wood and drill about 5-inch deep, drop a cutting in it and fill with decent dirt. Watered until they took hold. Pretty red flowers (or yellow sometimes -- can't figure that one out) in the spring & summer. Green year round.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Aptenia_cordifolia1.jpg
Guv Bob
--- PS -- I should have said....... used a drill bit for cement. Wood bit might work in softer soil but not here.
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