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View Full Version : Tricks to keep much on steep bank?


johnnybow
03-27-2011, 08:59 AM
Im looking to put in a bed on a steep bank that i would love to be able to mulch and have it stick. Im going to planting blue rug in this bed. Im afraid rain will wash it out if i dont do something extra to keep it in.. Ive heard of people putting chicken wire between the mulch and the weed mat. Any other ideas? thanks

93Chevy
03-27-2011, 09:08 AM
First, don't use weed block because the mulch will surely run down because it's a steep surface.

Any way you could post of picture of the hill?

A better alternative would be to use river gravel instead of mulch so you don't have to freshen it up every year. However, you would use weed block with river gravel.

Tyler7692
03-27-2011, 09:14 AM
River rock will be hard to keep on the hill too. Rain won't wash it down, but just walking across it will push it down. I've done it. Of course it depends on the grade.

Tyler7692
03-27-2011, 09:15 AM
Might have to use rip rap

93Chevy
03-27-2011, 09:16 AM
River rock will be hard to keep on the hill too. Rain won't wash it down, but just walking across it will push it down. I've done it. Of course it depends on the grade.

Why would you need to walk across it? Plant the junipers, put down weed fabric, and place the gravel. Shouldn't need to walk on the bed. It's never going to wash and doesn't need replaced, plus the actual material cost is cheaper than mulch.

nobagger
03-27-2011, 09:27 AM
We use this stuff called Tack Down from Lesco. Its a spray that comes out blue and dries clear. You can spray it through a good back pack sprayer BUT make sure the sprayer gets cleaned out after use or it will def. plug it all up. We used it around beds and tree rings on a project we did in a downtown area. It worked very well, even a heavy rain didn't effect it. You might even be able to mix it right in the mulch and use a bark blower to shoot it, then you don't have to walk on it. Just a thought.

lukemelo216
03-27-2011, 01:13 PM
I would use regular shredded hardwood on that project. The bigger chunks of woodchip will allow the mulch to bond tighter and lock together, thus reducing the amount of wash out. If you use something like double shredded where there is more fines or enviro (recycled wood products) mulch the mulch wont bond tight and it will wash out.

Dont use hemlock or any softwood becasue the rain water will get under the mulch quicker since the mulch weighs less than the water and it will cause it to wash out 3xs as fast.

Put a thicker coat on too. I would go with something like 3-4" probably. Ive never heard of that stuff nobagger is talking about, however; it does sound interesting and would be a good idea to do your research on it and possibly experiment with it.

Skimastr105
03-27-2011, 04:59 PM
Geo-Grid would keep the mulch on the slope. it is a mat system with small voids. It slows down the runoff coming down the slope, thus, no washout.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
03-27-2011, 06:05 PM
take the hill and carve ledge every cpl feet depending on the slope this will work with rock then lay your weed mat I done this to lot 2-1 and 3-1 slopes and stays realy well One thing to remember at top make sure there no water running to the slope

ncknaklawns
03-28-2011, 12:51 AM
I step on it good and for the most part it binds together.

Smallaxe
03-28-2011, 08:06 AM
At least have some sort of edging across the bottom edge of the rootzone of the plant, about 1' to 16" as a catch basin for water and soil... Plan on a bit of time putting things right after big downpours until the hillside grows in...
Your biggest job will be to keep the plants, well watered and alive, I've seen people in a hurry spend years on a steep slope... :)

Pinestraw will hold its position better than any other cover...

yardatwork
03-28-2011, 08:34 AM
Put landscape fabric down to eliminate the weeds then roll chicken wire out on top of the fabric and pin it in place. Snip holes in the wire, cut your fabric and plant the juniper. Now spread your mulch. The mulch will get caught all throughout the holes in the chicken wire and not wash away. I've used this technique before and it DOES work!

lukemelo216
03-28-2011, 09:03 AM
sounds like a good idea minus the mulch fabric. That stuff works for about 1 minute after its layed. As soon as a weed seed floats into the mulch on top youve got weeds that will form. Plus the weed fabric and the chicken wire will be terrible for the root systems of the plant.

There should be a law banning that stuff, and just take it all and burn it.

Darryl G
03-28-2011, 09:40 AM
I like cedar bark mulch for slopes. I pat it down a bit and it forms a pretty nice mat once it's been wet and then dried in place. The idea of small ledges is a good one too...anything to break up the slope and slow the runoff down a bit.

Swampy
03-28-2011, 10:06 AM
Could scatter some out cropping stone through out the bed to slow down the water as well.

yardatwork
03-28-2011, 10:06 AM
sounds like a good idea minus the mulch fabric. That stuff works for about 1 minute after its layed. As soon as a weed seed floats into the mulch on top youve got weeds that will form. Plus the weed fabric and the chicken wire will be terrible for the root systems of the plant.

There should be a law banning that stuff, and just take it all and burn it.

Hmmm...not sure I agree with you. If you use fabric and NOT the cheap plastic, you'll get 15-20 years out of the stuff. Plus weed seeds that root in broken down mulch pull out rather easy compared to a bed of weeds/grass. And it's easy to spot spray weeds in a bed of mulch that has limited seedlings growing vs. a bed of grass/weeds. As for the root system...it's no different that planting the juniper without it. The juniper should spread out about 15 feet with the main root system remaining in one place (initital planting in the ground). Parts of the juniper that spread will root in the decomposed mulch and get enough nutrients from that. I will not do a new landscaper with fabric. From my experience...the home owner WILL NOT spend time in their beds each week pulling a few weeds...so...the fabric is crucial for lazy home owners. Plus it makes my life easier each year when I get a call to "spruce" up the beds.

93Chevy
03-28-2011, 06:44 PM
I don't agree with fabric and mulch. The homeowner will not pull weeds (unless they are meticulous) and the weed roots will wrap into the fabric and are terrible to pull.

johnnybow
03-28-2011, 07:24 PM
Put landscape fabric down to eliminate the weeds then roll chicken wire out on top of the fabric and pin it in place. Snip holes in the wire, cut your fabric and plant the juniper. Now spread your mulch. The mulch will get caught all throughout the holes in the chicken wire and not wash away. I've used this technique before and it DOES work!

Would the chicken wire work on a 70 degree slope?

nobagger
03-28-2011, 07:46 PM
OMG, you guys try to re-ivent the wheel some times...chicken wire? walking on it to pack it down? really? Good luck holding anything on a 70 degree slope. I would suggest using a ground cover instead of mulch. Ivy grows very quickly and there are a few different types.

Ole' Hickory
03-28-2011, 08:13 PM
I'm with Chevy, without a picture of the hill, its tough to call. It sounds like its going to be a new landscape which borders a street or driveway???
Maybe could you set 2' retaining walls and tier up the land once or twice? Takes away the washout problem, easy to mulch, sets up for easy planting for shrubs and flowers, no side-hill mowing, not too expensive, and easy to do.
.......and the chickenwire, if the hill is steep enough that you are worried about wash-out, than a good downpour will occasionally expose patches of the chickenwire.
Post a picture

93Chevy
03-28-2011, 08:25 PM
#3 River gravel will never wash.

Ole' Hickory
03-28-2011, 08:36 PM
Yeah, but really, how nice is that going to look? Even when you plant, its gonna look tacky. and you'll have to keep raking it around after weeding......
Just my opinion and not meant to dispute.
But IMO river rock looks nice "within" a landscape, but if you when you "create" a landscape with it, it ends up regretable. -and that steep hill is right up in ya face!!

93Chevy
03-28-2011, 08:38 PM
Yeah, but really, how nice is that going to look? Even when you plant, its gonna look tacky. and you'll have to keep raking it around after weeding......
Just my opinion and not meant to dispute.
But IMO river rock looks nice "within" a landscape, but if you when you "create" a landscape with it, it ends up regretable. -and that steep hill is right up in ya face!!

You can add plantings to accent it along with boulders. See it here a lot...looks good in my opinion, but I'm a stone kind of guy. I hate mulch.

Ole' Hickory
03-28-2011, 08:48 PM
AAhhh see, Chevy hits it again!!
Bring some boulders or biggish rocks and beef up the bottom, raise the soil level with some "right-on brown" (dirt) use the rockwall as your edging, that'll hold your mulch!..... maybe dress it up with some #3 river rocks.......
You any good with walls?

93Chevy
03-28-2011, 08:51 PM
Natural stone walls are tricky to make look good, but they look dang good if done right, especially with the right plantings and a gravel/mulch combination.