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Any ideas for erosion control?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by cemeteryman, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. cemeteryman

    cemeteryman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    I have a couple areas that I take care of that are 75% shaded and are eroding very badly. Does anyone here have any ideas for a controlling the erosion without putting too much money into it?
  2. jonesey

    jonesey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    some type of fescue grass
  3. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    With out knowing details like - how big of a area, how steep of a slope (seed & Penn Mulch or maybe you need Curlex or Excelsior blankets for extra stability), what is there now (dirt, grass??), are you trying to make it aesthetically pleasing (ornamentals shrubs, perennials, & grasses), or just trying to keep the soil where it is (turf or ground cover). These are big factors in deciding what to do and is hard to give advice without knowing them. Give some more detail if you can.
  4. cemeteryman

    cemeteryman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    The places are in a cemetery on the back side. There is not much of a slope. Right now there is some thin grass, but not enough to stop the problem. We try to keep the whole place looking as nice as someone would want their front lawn. There is a lot of clay and a dense seed mix doesn't seem to come up fast enough to stop the problem. I have thought about trying the erosion mats, but I have no experience with them and wondered with all of the types out there and the wide price range what would be the best option for our use. The areas are 30'x40' and 10'x30'.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    With erosion there is usually a center stream in the wash area. Take chunks of transplant shade tolerant sod with 2 inches thick root zone and at least fill in the center stream. Keep seeding.

    I have used that process with good results but it may not fit your situation. Erosion mats quickly dry out and become hydropobic. Big waste of money. Unless you are think the straw mats.

    Floating row covers has a high intitial expense but are reusable so is more of an investment and does work well.
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    How about hydroseed with a tacker?
  7. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 368

    A guy might wait till the soil and air temp warms up in the shade. straw erosion mat .a good 70/30 kbg/fine fescue mix . creeping red, hard ,chew are commonly used .If it gets less than 6 hours for direct sunlight you can go with fine fescue /annual rye mix .no more than 20% annual rye is what i prefer .grade ,drill,put down mat . dont go crazy with the seed ,or you will up with a stand of annual for a while.If they are closely planted maples good luck .
  8. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    Smallaxe has a point about there being a main stream or channel that could be the cause of the problem. I worked on a job where the clients back yard was a large but fairly gradual slopethat lead to a road that ran perpendicular to it. The road was sloped to drain towards the yard and when it rained it kept washing out all the mulch. So we ended up building a small 3-4" berm along the top of the yard (basically diverting it to the neighbors but oh well). That basically solved the problem, had one small washout after a big rain where some of the grass didn't take but no problems since). Take a look for a similar situation or naturally occurring drainage ditch, maybe divert or use sod (use staples) like suggested.

    Hydoseeding would probably work but might be too expensive for this situation. Maybe not??

    Also a good suggestion. Depending on what is shading the area building or evergreens, or deciduous trees. If it is mostly deciduous trees you could also try to thin out the crown to let more light it.

    Not sure if putting in a bed would work with the surrounding area/landscape but you could plant some junipers: blue chip, blue rug something like that. Add some Liriope or ferns (mostly just to hold the soil until the junipers and GC fill in). Then fill with a ground cover: Vinca, Pachysandra etc. Still it might be too much water to hold the mulch, your call.

    Anyway let us know what you decide.
  9. cemeteryman

    cemeteryman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 107

    Thanks for all the advice guys. I have a sod farm close to me that will give me a great deal on enough sod to fill the area, so I am going to try that avenue and hopefully will solve the problem. I think one of the biggest problems is that it is a cemetery so graves are being dug and filled and reseeded every year. This produces a lot of areas with no growth to stop the erosion.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Will they make it worth your while to pick up the sod first?
    - or - will they pay you to get it from your buddy to recover each time?

    Is that something you are interested in?
    Sounds like if they have no real maintenance program; they could be back to square one in a few years. Tell them you won't lay sod in the summer, but, by fall all the new graves are covered be perfect next summer. Job security.

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