DIY: How to Landscape Outdoor Steps & Stairs

Landscape steps and stairs require hard work to set up, but they make it a lot safer to navigate slopes in your lawn without needing to be worried about dropping a steep, wooded hillside. After installing the steps or stairs, you have to design your landscaping to ensure that the steps appear as natural landscaping fixtures. Your landscaping may also avoid erosion onto the stair treads. Besides outdoor steps inside your lawn, you are able to apply landscaping to produce your porch steps look more inviting to guests.

Bury one-third around one-half the height of big boulders in the hillside on either side of the steps, picking a placement that closely resembles the natural placement of boulders on a mountain or hill.

Plant grass, groundcover or other closely-spaced smallish plants around the immediate edges of the outdoor actions to prevent soil from eroding onto the treads.

Plant a single columnar evergreen or small ornamental tree on all sides of the top step to frame the stairs opening. Permit enough planting distance to accommodate the adult size of this plant so it will not take over the stairs. Plant a medium or small shrub on every side of the bottom step.

Drive solar-powered garden lights to the ground along all sides of the stairs to illuminate the stairs at night. Place a light beside every step or every couple of steps.

Fill remaining empty spaces with a variety of small, medium and large shrubs, trees or flowers, using the shorter plants closer to the steps and working to taller plants farther away from the steps. Select a mixture of the shallow-rooted and deep-rooted plants to trap the dirt to the slope. Use the boulders as backdrops for small groupings of crops.

Place a potted plant on every step or on every other step, if your steps are wide enough to allow foot traffic to navigate the stairs without disturbing the plants. Alternately, use potted plants to frame the entrances at the top and bottom of the stairs in place of permanent columnar trees or shrubs.

Fill in the bare soil around plants with a 3-inch layer of shredded bark mulch. Don’t use wood chips, either since they don’t lock with shredded bark and also are more inclined to wash away in heavy rain. Catch the mulch around the plants, but leave a couple of inches around the stem or trunk to prevent rot and infestation.

Place seasonal decorations on the steps or railing and change the decoration with every season, like pumpkins for autumn, candy canes attached to the banister for the winter holidays. Alternatively, display ornate lanterns year-round.

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