planting grass on a hill

Asked November 8, 2015, 5:17 PM EST

I just finished clearing my shady hilly back yard of ivy, and have used newspapers and compost mulch to keep the ivy from regrowing. I am going to plant the steep parts of the hill with a ground cover but want to seed the lesser slopes with grass. I think I can plant the ground cover now, but what advice do you give for seeding the hill? I read that I need to wait until early spring. Do you recommend late March or earlier?. Do I need to add top soil on top of the mulch at that time too? And how can I make sure hill planting is successful?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

How did you remove the ivy? If you didn't kill it outright with a non-selective chemical like glyphosate, the chances are it may be back unless your newspaper/mulch later is pretty deep. Our specialist said maybe about a foot deep. You may want to wait on the planting or be ready to hit any newly growing plant parts next season while carefully avoiding your new groundcover.
As far as seeding grass goes, if the area is shady, you will have difficulty growing turf type tall fescue (most lawn grasses) in the area. If the area is not often walked upon, we'd suggest seeding with a creeping red fescue, which does better in shade and does not need constant mowing.
As for timing and other information you will need for best results, please consult the following Extension publication: