Coping With Slopes: Future Fruit

Coping With Slopes: Future Fruit

This month’s Gardening Gone Wild Garden Design Workshop is coping with slopes. As you can see in the picture we have a pretty good sized slope. There’s a whole lot of area up there that we just really have no great way to use, at least not yet. I have ideas for what I would like to do but for now I have kept control of the area.

Over time I’ve mowed pathways through the slope to allow us to have access to different areas. The pathways cut through sassafras and locust trees as well as blackberries, Queen Anne’s Lace, goldenrod, wild roses, and honeysuckle. I’m not a fan of the latter two as both of those plants are very invasive. Right now my slope is completely uncultivated except for the grass pathways, but I have plans. Each pathway will eventually form a new garden bed along it’s side with the center piece of each bed a type of fruit tree, most likely apple. This slope is positioned well for growing fruit since it is somewhat shielded from the sun and fruit trees should remain dormant longer which is better for fruiting (The blossoms can avoid a potential late freeze).  Inside each of the garden beds will be deer resistant plants to help defend the apple trees from grazing. I hope to get fresh apples from late summer through fall without having to buy them at the grocery store!
Right now coping is an accurate word since I’m simply managing what I have. I would love to eventually tier the slope to help with planting it but for now I have other projects like my greenhouse shed to finish, garden fence to build, and many other things that need done. A gardener’s work is never finished, he just stops to enjoy the scenery every now and then!


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 5 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I do love grass paths.

    The slope is very gradual, here in the flatlands. If I had a steeper slope, I would make my paths as switchbacks, parallel to the the top and bottom so that my beds could be terraced.

    Can you tell I was a child of the last century, in the foothills of North Georgia? My Daddy terraced the whole farm.

  2. We will be living on a sloped lot in SC and having been in the flatlands of the coast for so long I cringe at the thought of dealing with some areas of the slope. Creating tiers sounds like a good idea.

  3. I garden on a slope, too, but have been here so long I forget about it. That is, until I take a photo and the house looks slanted! I have seen a few gardens with terraces that are stunning~~some with expensive stones, others with railroad ties and landscape timbers. If the sun is right you can get beautiful backlit plantings. gail

  4. Sounds like a great plan, Dave. With all of the propagation projects you have going, you should have plenty of stuff on hand for creating these new beds! Thanks for sharing this for the GGW Design Workshop this month.

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