What Is a 2:1 Slope When Landscaping?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 9, 2020 2:46:14 AM ET

A slope of 2:1 means the hillside drops 1 foot for every 2 horizontal feet. It describes how steep the hillside is. A slope of 2:1 is considered to be a very steep hill. Many plants have trouble surviving on hills this steep because the water runs off.

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A slope of 3:1, meaning the hillside drops 1 foot for every 3 horizontal feet, is a better slope for landscaping. Lawns can be mowed on a hill this steep, and drought-tolerant plants can be cultivated. Less steep slopes are easier to landscape. Irrigation on slopes needs a slow-drip system to prevent the water from just running off down the hill.