Maintenance Free Slope Landscaping: How To Keep The Weeds Out And The Mulch From Sliding Downhill!

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 Landscaping slopes has always been a challenge!  Slope landscaping is usually done to beautify an unusable area near the home or commercial space.  Most owners want a maintenance free slope where you don’t have to pull weeds or use herbicides or walk on the slope to maintain it.

Applying landscaping fabric on slopes is one option but it has always been a problem because when mulch is applied on top of the fabric the mulch slides downhill, leaving unsightly bare spots of fabric. In addition to being aesthetically unpleasing, the bare spots break down quickly because of UV exposure which allows weeds to grow in those areas. 

Currently, there are several ineffective methods of applying landscape fabric or mulch to slopes.

  • 1) Landscape professionals/homeowners apply jute on top of the landscape fabric and then apply the mulch on top of the jute. This is a multi-layer, multi-labor approach and a temporary solution because the jute sags and bags, traps deer and small animals and degrades over time exposing the fabric to damaging UV rays. The jute also makes it difficult to rake when new mulch is applied.
  • 2) Landscape fabric is applied, mulch is applied over the fabric then black plastic grid is applied over the mulch. This method lasts longer than method one but it looks peculiar up close and the netting remains a hazard to large and small animals. Also, the netting has to be removed to apply more mulch which is a labor intensive process.
  • 3) The 3rd method is to apply mulch directly to the ground without fabric. When the rains come it washes the mulch down hill and does little to prevent weeds.

There is a newly invented product that will be on the market later this year. It blocks weeds and traps mulch to the fabric.

Slope HuggerTM is a new commercial landscape erosion control fabric with mulch trapping spines attached to the fabric.  The spines are two inches long.  Each row of spines is offset from the next row to provide excellent mulch trapping power.  The spines are one directional and angled at a 45 degree angle to the base fabric. The mulch can be applied with a wheelbarrow or a pneumatic powered mulch blowing truck. The spines prevent the mulch from eroding second to gravity, wind, and foot traffic or water runoff. The one directional spine allows for easy raking without tangling and the spines never matt down with the weight of the mulch. This newly patented invention prevents weeds and provides a long lasting uniform appearance of mulch on slopes. The base fabric prevents weeds but has micro pores which allow your plant roots to breathe and allows water to penetrate the fabric but prevents weeds from growing through the fabric.  The mulch and landscape fabric helps the earth to retain moisture which promotes water conservation and reduces water consumption.  The mulch and fabric act as a filter for storm water runoff which promotes a healthy environment.  Additionally, Slope Hugger TM reduces the need for herbicides or manual labor for weed control.

Slope Hugger TM is easy to install.  The tip of the spines should point uphill, or toward the wind or water runoff.  After clearing the area, just roll it out vertically, stake it to the ground and add 3-4 inches of mulch and your done.   It is that simple!  If you choose to plant on the slope just cut an X or circle out of the fabric where you want the plants located, put them in the ground and fold the fabric back in place.   Slope Hugger TM has a 3″ edge without spines to allow for overlapping rows during application.  You can secure the fabric to the ground with any of the landscape stakes on the market.

Slope Hugger TM is available in 4 X 200 ft rolls. It is the only landscape/erosion control fabric with mulch trapping spines!

Slope HuggerTM was awarded BEST INVENTION  at the National Hardware Lawn and Garden show in Las Vegas Nevada, May 8, 2008.

Slope HuggerTM will be tested by California Transportation Department March 2009. Slope Hugger TM has recently been added to the Oregon Department of Transportations conditional use list

For additional information on this amazing new landscape fabric, please visit our Website: