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Hill Permaculture

 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 102
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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food preservation forest garden fungi
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I'm looking for ideas of what I can plant on a hill in front of my house.  The previous owner planted grass and let me tell you it really sucks having to push a lawn mower up this hill which is near vertical.  It's probably 60 or 70 degree's steep.  It is right in front of the house and where I live we have look requirements that must be met.  The borough told me it had to look kept up, designed or under 6" in length.  Ideally I'd like to plant creeping thyme since it stays small.  I tried a little last year and the grass just smothered it.  It's some type of really thick turf that I can't seem to cut with my push reel mower.  Any ideas on what would look nice but also meet permaculture standards?  As little work as possible would be fantastic by me.  If I was able to maybe get a yield of something off there also that would be fantastic as well.  Thanks in advance!

PS I can get some pictures if that would help anyone. 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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mark out a path, drive, etc that HAS to be there..and then do the rest in plantinig beds..

myself I would put in some absolutely beautiful fruit trees, like cherries, pears, apples, or whatever, dwarf ones would work well ..and then underplant them with some herbs, perennial vegetables, and flowers..esp edible flowers.

just rip the top sod off where the beds will go, put in the fruit trees and the plant in your flowers, if the area is large see if you can beg divisions and cuttings from people with large flower gardens, otherwise start out with some fast growing seeds to get things established quickly and add perennials as time goes on and they become avail..

you can leave your paths to grass or put them into hardsurfacing
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 102
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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food preservation forest garden fungi
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Thanks Brenda.  Think those fruit tree's would grow at such a steep angle?  Or are you talking about making notches in the hill and planting things. 
 
Emerson White
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Trees will grow out of cliffs.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 102
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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haha this is true.  Maybe I should stop my one dimensional view of the hill as only for low growing plants.  The tree's in the back yard really transformed the place.  The nice part about the hill is it is facing south west.  It gets a decent amount of afternoon sunshine. 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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trees LOVE slopes, however, I don't think I would use standards unless you can find a safe way to harvest them on such slopes..

my suggestion would be to use semi or dwarfs rather than standards, but if you can do the harvest on such a slope go ahead if you want the standards.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 102
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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I think I'm inspired to try this now   Thanks for your input Brenda and Emerson!  I think tree's would also have the nice benefit of keeping my hill from washing away with rain. 
 
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