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Ground cover... steep bank??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Pawn, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Lawn Pawn

    Lawn Pawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from zone 3
    Messages: 568

    Friend wants to get some good ground cover established on a river bank.

    At present it has a few small oaks... very thin weeds and grass. Bank is about 55 feet tall, faces south and is just about pure sand.. 45+ degree slope. Not walkable, has stairs. This is central Wisconsin, Zone 3.

    His portion of this bank would be a few hundred feet for length. Has tried calling the D.O.T. for what they use and that got to be just a runaround for who to talk to.

    Needs not be pretty... just good for holding soil together, and stable.

  2. billslawn89

    billslawn89 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,365

    junipers, any kind of ivy
  3. Wittapp

    Wittapp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    You might try checking here. http://www.uwex.edu/ces/. In Ohio, our extension agency is usualy pretty good about returning e-mail if you can't find the answere on their site.
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I would use some type of ivy.
  5. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

  6. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    Check with the DNR they can give you some suggestions. Don't use Crown vetch- I believe the DNR has put this on their invasive species list, it's still available and works great, but since the DNR owns all waterways and 25' to each side they will not be kind if they find out. If you play by their rules they can be very helpful. In fact they have a land stewardship program where they may be willing to pay for the labor and seeds or plant material. Please check with them first, or have the homeowner call them.
  7. Supertiger

    Supertiger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    Huntsville Alabama
  8. Genlandscape

    Genlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Juniper should work well, the pic above shows this. There are several different types and cultivars. Your local nurseries should carry varieties applicable to your zone. Low maintenance, and low nutrient requirements. Should work well with waterway.
  9. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

    Why should that be a concern? Is planting something that is on the invasive species list a crime? The DNR has about 180 others, including Kentucky blue grass, on that invasive species list. Wouldn't a plant regarded as invasive also be an excellent dense ground cover, which is what the guy is looking for?
  10. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    I don't believe it is a crime, but seeing as the DNR in Wisconsin owns the land 25' to either side of the bank, they may have an issue. Along a waterway crown vetch has the ability to set seeds that can travel and set seed elsewhere. It is damn near impossible to kill, and when it does take hold it chokes out any native vegetation. Sure it works good, but there are other solutions that have less negative impact on the environment. I believe we need to be stewards to the land and it is our responsibility to make the best choice for any given situation. We also brought Carp into WI believing it would end hunger back in the 1800's, now they are having to go kill of whole lakes to restore the natural habitat. My point is that we have unknowingly brought in many problems into our ecosystems, mostly with good intentions. When we learn that they do more harm than good why would we continue to use them? Whether Lawn Pawn uses it or not is not my decision, I just wanted him to realize there are other solutions. The DNR also requires a permit for any stream bank work, and they do not take kindly to not taking these steps. Heck for something like fishing w/o a license they can confiscate anything you have with you, including vehicles, and they have been known to flex their muscles to make their point.

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