Guidance on replacing grass (weeds) on a slope with something more interesting and sustainable


Hello Master Gardeners,
Hoping you can help us with some advice on low-maintenance perennials or groundcover we can plant on a full-sun, dry, clay slope in Etobicoke to replace grass that has never done well and is difficult to mow. The area is approximately 10×20 ft and we’d like to eventually replace the full side lawn. It’s a corner lot so we’d love to provide some visual interest for all the dog walkers, cyclists and walkers who pass by.
Photo of the area is attached.



Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

There are many options for ground covers that would look fantastic in your yard. We have two gardening guides that go into great detail on how to pick the right ground cover for your yard. One gives lists of mostly herbaceous plants while the second discusses low growing shrubs that would be low maintenance and have visual interest year round.

When planting groundcovers it is important to be aware that there are a few groundcovers on the Ontario invasive species list. Unfortunately these plants are still available in nurseries. Vinca ( otherwise known as Myrtle) has a pretty blue flower but is spreading and encroaching on native species. English Ivy is the other ground cover that poses an issue for the environment. The last one is Goutweed which is in so many gardens and is very difficult to contain. Here is a link to the Ontario Invasive species list:

Toronto Master Gardener’s Garden Guides:

Good Luck!