Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Erosion Control

We have been trying to get my bests friends front yard to grow grass for three years. It looks like the soil is dead. We have put out compost and other organic fertilizer twice. The first year it dried out during our water restrictions. Last year it washed away in the flood. The yard is very small and has a pretty steep grade. There is also a live oak on one side and a maple of some kind on the other. I called my landscaper brother who told me about seed mats. The stuff is actually excelsior with a biodegradable netting attached to it. We put out compost and green sand again then put the stuff over that. When the time is right we will seed Bermuda right into the seed mat. Hopefully, this will stop most of, if not all the erosion. Let me know if any of you have used this with any success.

15 comments:

  1. I had to go research this to refresh my memory on Oak Trees and Acidic soil. When oak leaves decompose--they make the soil too acidic to grow anything but acid loving plants like Azaleas, Camelias, Rhods, etc. The other problem would be a hard sublayer of clay or unhealthy soil.

    Oak tree roots run shallow and rob any plant of water and nutrients. Only about 2 to 4 inches of soil or mulch can be put under an Oak Tree and it still survive. It will smother the roots.

    It sounds like the soil on that hill is hard and compacted..has too many roots from the trees, and the soil acid levels are too high.

    I would terrace the slope and landscape with acid loving plants that are either sun or shade depending on the canopy of the trees. You will have to be careful digging holes for the shrubs cause you don't want to damage roots of the trees.

    The soil will have to be ammended per hole. The plants will need to be watered well for the first year per needs of each plant.

    If you need some terracing techniques---let me know. I don't think grass is ever going to work on that hill. It will forever dry out unless you want to first till that area. But again--I think roots are taking the moisture and nutrients.

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  2. Nope. Ph is alkaline. I did a soil test first. This couple, unfortunately, are a "bag it" sort. Nothing has been left to decompose. The tree roots are a problem. But erosion is the main culprite here. There are serious gullys running through this tiny yard. Terracing is sort of an option, but not really. We would, just like you said, smother half the roots and likely kill the trees. I am trying to talk them into switching to Asian Jasamine under the oak. I know this is done to death, but at least it will live. People will fight me on this, but Azaleas die a horrible death in our area unless they are planted in afternoon shade and the soil is repeatedly acidified. These trees are not that big and provide little shade accept directly under the canopy.

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  3. yep We're all about composting in a big ol' community hole we call a landfill! If it weren't for us you earth mother types wouldn't have anything to save. I love you. I watered my cow poop, secured my hay crap, and spread my acorns around my air unit to stop erosion. I don't want to be "one" with my Oak, I want it to die so I can have a green lawn! I want grass babies not acorns! "Bag it" people shall overcome.

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  4. Sorry, gardener readers. I have been working on her since we were in 7th and 8th grade. This is one stuborn woman. At least she lets me use compost. Love you to you earth killing zombie:P hahahha

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  5. Again for my garden blogin friends, please understand that there will be a sister fracus on this site one or two times a week. She is not really a zombie, she is a beautiful wonderful friend. So guess what I did to her? I put cow poop on her yard. Harharhar.

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  6. Guess what I put in yours?

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  7. I saw that bud light cap. You left evidence.

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  8. I can't sneak anywhere with that man!

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  9. That right, blame it on Jeff. We all know you did it:P

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