Grass on a slope- Any advice to make it thrive?

I moved to an area where the land is mostly clay and rock. We have tried to grow grass but it's not growing and continues to be dry, patchy, and dying. Any advice to make it thrive. Used many bags off grass and top soil. Area code 95252
q grass on a slope
Courtyard on a slope
q grass on a slope
Courtyard 15% grade
  9 answers
  • Shortcake Shortcake on Jun 07, 2018
    Get the grass turf, it's easy to care for and you don't have to move it.

  • Paula Meek Paula Meek on Jun 07, 2018
    Ground cover and native plants that are low maintenance.
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 08, 2018
    What type of trees do you have there in your yard? They look quite tall even in the picture. Are they coniferous (shed needles)? Keep in mind that the root system of trees is at least as deep and as extensive as the top portion of the branches that you see above ground. The size alone can demand a great deal of water, and could be a factor as to why your grass is not doing well.
    Also, due to the slope of the lot, water will naturally drain down away from the grass, rather than remain in the area where the grass needs it.
    • Andrea Myles-Guinnane Andrea Myles-Guinnane on Jun 09, 2018
      I have several oak trees (No pine needles) but tons of leaves drop in the fall which is hard to keep up with. I appreciate your response.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 08, 2018
    You have to have a good base for a yard to thrive. Here in Georgia we too have clay...BUMMER! When we decided to put down sod, we did it in sections small enough for us to manage over a weekend.

    I recommend Zoysia Emerald Green and mow it as tall as you can. Our yard is downhill and slopes to the driveway. The cars are below the street when at the ed of the driveway. With the severe rains we had last year, the rain beat out the top soil so some spots of my yard look awful! Since the sod is already down, I will take some top soil and sprinkle it down a few times this summer so the grass can fill in the scraggly spots.

    Sorry, but this is just a hazard of clay and slopes!

    If you don't want the expense of sod, sprinkle out some top soil and seed and keep at it. Many of the seeded grasses have to be reseeded in the late summer/early fall to allow germination before winter.

    There is nothing you can do except keep at it continually. You drive by nice areas where the lawn is perfect and wonder why you can't accomplish this. Well, it is a continuing job...many of those beautiful lawns being done by professionals...or they are not fighting slopes! a good brand of seed!!!

    • Andrea Myles-Guinnane Andrea Myles-Guinnane on Jun 09, 2018
      We continue to buy Scott's but recently bought Bonsi. We will buy Zoysia. Never heard of it but reading about it and with your input and similarities with grade and same issues will give it a try. I thank you for your input.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 08, 2018
    Yeah, I see what you mean about patchy, and it sounds like you have spent time and money to fix it.
    Low growing plants like thyme might be a good fill in plus it is fragrant when stepped on or mowed.
    Other than that, have your soil tested to see what is going on with it.
    The previous owner could have treated it unevenly with chemicals/fertilizers and now your are seeing the results of too much or too little in certain areas-the balance is disrupted and preventing even growth.
    • See 1 previous
    • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 09, 2018
      When we were in VT, the area near a river was covered with low growing thyme, making a beautiful ground cover. It was a high foot traffic area and held up well.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 09, 2018
    We put ours down ourselves. We sprayed weed killer on what amount we could handle at a time, waited a week and sprayed it again. Then after 10 days we raked up the dead grass...just what came up with our rake.

    We then put down bags of top soil...this way is a little more expensive, but you don't have to go through shoveling up a wheel borrow full and then shoveling it out again. Just open the bag and spread it about 3" deep. Level it off and lay the grass.

    The nurseries here used to carry Zoysia Emerald Green by the piece..DO NOT GET MEYER...IT HAS TO BE MOWED MORE OFTEN!! Here Zoysia is not usually at the nurseries so we had the last we bought put down...using the same method of bagged top soil...which we had bought at Home Depot. It camesin 450 Sq. Ft. pallets. We used 1-1/2 pallets and it was about $1,500 for the grass and installation. Of course by then we were in our 70s...our backs were too old to be laying grass.


  • Andrea Myles-Guinnane Andrea Myles-Guinnane on Jun 09, 2018
    Oh my. I have no excuse we are 46 and 56. Thank you again for responding. Our backs kill us trying to maintain .5 acres.
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 09, 2018
    You're welcome.
    It looks like you have got a few no-maintenance areas going already with some landscaping blocks and paving stones. Have you thought perhaps about abandoning the plan to have lots of high maintenance green grass, and instead go with mulch cover, or more rock, such as river rock cover?
    • Andrea Myles-Guinnane Andrea Myles-Guinnane on Jun 10, 2018
      The other side of our house has the same amount of area that is completed entirely all of river rocks. We wanted an area with grass for the dogs and grandkids.
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