PDA

View Full Version : Drainage Basin - Maintenance Methods and Type of Grass Help


JClark86
12-20-2012, 03:41 PM
I could see where this question could fit in 3 or 4 sub forums, sorry if I picked the wrong one.

I'm a real estate developer in central Virginia. We just put in a very large storm water drainage basin with very steep sides. For all previous basins I've done, the sides were less steep and we (and the HOAs and grounds management companies after us) were able to just mow them normally, but that wont really be possible this time.

So here are my two questions to the experts:

a) Is there a method I am not thinking of that would allow us to easily cut the basin on a regular basis? It's too steep for a ZTR and even too steep for a stander. That leaves, as far as I can tell, string trimmers which would take an age to do. Purchasing another mower (large walk behind?) just for this purpose is probably not in the cards.

b) If there is no method I'm not thinking of, what are some types of grass I can plant on the steep walls that doesn't grow very high (6" max would be great)? I know of weeping love grass but it's not exactly attractive. By keeping it from growing tall, it means we won't have to cut it more than once or twice per year. I'm told weeping love will take over the fescue mix that is currently beginning to grow on it which is a bonus. Completely stripping the surface and replanting is not an option - the soil must be and remain stabilized.

Very much appreciate your thoughts!

-Jesse

Tunica
12-20-2012, 04:00 PM
without the degree of slope its just a wag

JClark86
12-20-2012, 04:05 PM
Uploading photos as we speak. I dont have the plans with me so I cant determine the exact slope right now but these should give you a general idea.

One end is slightly steeper than the the other.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2kVG-x5RhVM/UNN6eZ5wT-I/AAAAAAAAEak/Jv19-QkcUzA/s1000/Photo+Nov+30%2C+1+10+27+PM.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YUkpSxFn0Gc/UNN7Z5nK4uI/AAAAAAAAEas/bLbdZnTkUWI/s1000/Photo+Nov+21%2C+9+33+21+AM.jpg
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Df0c4b5y-oA/UNN7oMzrrII/AAAAAAAAEaw/VuVTDLgTkA8/s1000/Photo+Dec+18%2C+10+07+49+AM.jpg

Classic Cuts Lawn Service
12-21-2012, 11:57 AM
I may be wrong but from those pictures the slope doesnt look too bad

ashgrove landscaping
12-21-2012, 12:28 PM
A fleet of push mowers..??? You can a lot of that with the Z I bet and then just trim the rest, PITA but you'll get more and more of it w the Z as time goes on and it firms up with growth

ashgrove landscaping
12-21-2012, 12:30 PM
Seem it out and go back and forth/ up and down. might have to reverse down for a while till its got a heavy thatch going. The Z will work no problem.

yardguy28
12-21-2012, 01:34 PM
I may be wrong but from those pictures the slope doesnt look too bad

I'd be wrong as well then b/c that looks about like the slope I have in a clients backyard. I mow the whole yard with a 52" toro grandstand and I've had sit down ztrs as loaners and mowed it no problem.

JClark86
12-21-2012, 02:14 PM
Good to hear! Maybe it's size is screwing with my mind when I look at it. I'm going to wait until its good and rooted before I try to mow.

agrostis
12-21-2012, 02:45 PM
I could see where this question could fit in 3 or 4 sub forums, sorry if I picked the wrong one.

I'm a real estate developer in central Virginia. We just put in a very large storm water drainage basin with very steep sides. For all previous basins I've done, the sides were less steep and we (and the HOAs and grounds management companies after us) were able to just mow them normally, but that wont really be possible this time.

So here are my two questions to the experts:

a) Is there a method I am not thinking of that would allow us to easily cut the basin on a regular basis? It's too steep for a ZTR and even too steep for a stander. That leaves, as far as I can tell, string trimmers which would take an age to do. Purchasing another mower (large walk behind?) just for this purpose is probably not in the cards.

b) If there is no method I'm not thinking of, what are some types of grass I can plant on the steep walls that doesn't grow very high (6" max would be great)? I know of weeping love grass but it's not exactly attractive. By keeping it from growing tall, it means we won't have to cut it more than once or twice per year. I'm told weeping love will take over the fescue mix that is currently beginning to grow on it which is a bonus. Completely stripping the surface and replanting is not an option - the soil must be and remain stabilized.

Very much appreciate your thoughts!

-Jesse

That can be mowed with 21" push mower's, no problem. It might take a couple of hour's, but it's the safest way. I'll bet a bigger machine could do that if they mow up and down the slope. If the bottom of the spillway is wet, and that will be the case a few time's a year, pushmower's might be your only option. Keep those rock's under the outlet's sprayed with roundup.

Lovegrass is a warm season grass, you, in central VA, are in a cool season grass area. I don't think lovegrass will survive the winter. You need to stabilize that soil right now. Annual ryegrass is the best choice (because of fast germination and deep root's) But it is mighty late in the year for any grass to germinate well, but rye is still your best bet. It will grow like crazy in the spring, but die in the late summer, then on Sept 1, 2013, seed a 85% fescue, 15% bluegrass blend at 6 Lb.s of fescue per 1000 sq. ft. I'm not sure what the optimal rate of KBG is for that. Stripping the soil is not required. There is no cool season grass that doesn't need cutting, don't let those bull---- ad's fool you. Earthwork at this time of year dictate's this type of planting, you aren't going too be able to seed it now and call it done, that's the reality of making a spillway in December. Good luck.

JClark86
12-21-2012, 02:55 PM
Thanks agrostis.

The whole area is currently seeded with the standard fescue/mix mix and will be stabilized by spring. Weeping Lovegrass is used here for erosion control on steep slopes commonly, and if that was the plan we would seed it in the spring. I was told it would take over the fescue/rye mix within a few months. Also, the bottom of the basin shouldn't have standing water in it once the project is complete. It will stay moist for longer, sure, but it will eventually be a dry basin. It sounds like I can try to mow it and if it doesnt work just hit it with the lovegrass.

Kiril
12-21-2012, 03:35 PM
There is no cool season grass that doesn't need cutting, don't let those bull---- ad's fool you.

Not true. For example, red fescue doesn't need cutting, nor would I ever want to cut it.

agrostis
12-21-2012, 07:53 PM
Not true. For example, red fescue doesn't need cutting, nor would I ever want to cut it.

I wondered if that sentence would come back to haunt me.

langcjl
12-22-2012, 09:36 AM
http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8391.pdf

Richard Martin
12-22-2012, 11:16 AM
I'm coming up with 30° to 35° and that is steep. Most people run out of guts on a rider at about 20° to 25° and even the bravest won't do 30°. Good luck cutting it with a mower.

weaver
12-22-2012, 11:49 AM
I'm looking at the last picture and it does'nt look that bad. As long as you have the right mower i could see this being mowed with a ZTR, the problem would be when you get to the top as far as getting on the level ground your definately gonna do a wheel stand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8imDQxkh1cU

yardguy28
12-22-2012, 11:52 AM
I'm with you weaver. doesn't look bad at all. looks like an account I have that I do on a weekly basis with my 52" grandstand. I do a wheel stand sometimes once getting to the top.