View Full Version : Problem hillside

08-05-2003, 12:48 PM
We`re trying to find a native ground cover for a semi-shady, northwest-facing hillside in climate zone 24 that:
1. is deer resistant
2. can actually be obtained locally.
We have fond that deer LOVE Algerian ivy; we`re trying vinca but would like a native. Any suggestions?</p>

08-07-2003, 05:49 AM
Suprised that you have not heard back from some of the some of the experts yet I am not one of them. I do know that, once established, vinca is very difficult to remove. You will end up with a hillside of solid vinca ground cover, with no hope of diversity. Vinca roots grow deep and in a dense mat, and crowds everything out. Worse than ivy, in that regard. WWW.laspilitas.com gives excellent short naratives of the suitability of different native plants - with special notes on whether or not deer will eat the plant. Go to http://www.laspilitas.com/lists/deerfire.htm for a list of deer resistant plnats. I am not certain what the problem is with the hillside. Is it erosion? If so, then you will also need to look at the source of the erosion. My feeling is that plants alone do not stop erosion, but are an important element - more of a crowning touch. If you have shade, I may assume that you have tall trees - hopefully something native. My anecdotal experience with non-native acacias is that they dry out the soil around them, making it difficult to establish a native understory. Natives prefer water coming up from the bottom like naturally occuring perched water, and some non-natives hog all this water. Eucalyptus and native and non-native Walnut trees are also reputably difficult to establish an understory. Good Luck! </p>


08-07-2003, 07:27 AM
Thanks for the reply. We`ll head off to Las Pinitas to look at the alternatives. The vinca is newly planted and has not yet had a chance to take over the place. But the shade is provided by a combination of eucalyptus and ash, as well as it being on a northern 45 degree slope. We don`t have current erosion problems but I`m not comfortable with a bare slope at that angle. Brush fires are also a concern since our place is the neighborhood`s sole survivor of a major fire in the early 60s.</p>


08-10-2003, 12:59 PM
I`ll second checking out www.laspilitas.com. Also, please do the local ecology a favor and rip out the vinca! I realize you spent good money and time on planting it, but it is truly one of our worst weeds and I wish local nurseries would get wise to its distructiveness. I am still trying to kill it with the nastiest herbicides at my disposal after 3 years on one of my sites! Glad you have the interest in natives. The Eucs are actually your worst fire problem. You might consider thinning them out and replacing with natives such as toyon, lemonade berry, coffeeberry especially the lower growing ones, and Ceanothus `Yankee Point`, which have all shown varying degrees of Euc tolerance. You might try Baccharis `Pigeon Point` in some of the sunnier areas as well.</p>


08-14-2003, 10:32 AM
We also have north-facing hillside with erosion problems.
We have put down jute netting and on that have planted native ferns,
monkey flowers, native currant bushes, huckleberry and native grasses.
Many of the plants are slow growing and attracted the deer, so we put
in a temporary fence to hold the deer off while the plants rooted. The
best plants have been the grasses, ferns and monkey flowers the grasses
were mostly Deer Grass. </p>

08-28-2003, 02:43 PM
Try this place for San Fernando Valley LOCAL natives: