One of the goals with our front yard landscaping is to eventually replace all the grass on the hillside with plants that do not require mowing. We're going to do this in phases and the first phase was removing a large section of grass on the left side of the hill, under a pine tree, and planting blueberries. Being under the pine tree the soil will naturally be acidic keeping the blueberry plants happy. The shade from the pine and the large catalpa will reduce yields slightly, but we'll more than make up for that with the quantity of blueberry bushes we're putting in.
For the blueberry hillside we're planting 24 plants with 4 different variates. Planting on a steep hillside was a bit more complicated than on level ground because the slope makes soil erosion and watering an issue.
We laid out the spacing between plants, dug the holes, and planted each of the bushes. The next step was eliminating the grass between the bushes. Rather than ripping it up tilling it under with the hillside we decided to lay down newspaper to smother the grass.
On top of the newspaper we laid a two inch thick later of cedar mulch then laid down a plastic mesh. We used lawn stakes to hold the mesh in place and act as a retainer for the cedar mulch. The plastic mesh was then covered with a second two inch layer of mulch. The mulch and plastic netting will help to keep soil erosion to a minimum. The mulch will also absorb water, slow its movement, and keep the soil most.
The final product looks great and will only get better as the blueberry bushes fill-out and the cedar grays with sun exposure giving it a more natural look. The six rows of blueberries (besides having beautiful flowers in the spring, and wonderful fruit harvests in the summer) will create a spectacular display in the fall. The two outer rows on each side are variates that have foliage that turns bright red in the fall. Between these variates is one, known as Goldcrop, who's foliage turns a brilliant shade of yellow. We're really looking forward to this foliage display in the fall and will be sure to share it with you as well!