Ground cover / erosion control

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  #1  
Old 06-04-16, 06:18 AM
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Ground cover / erosion control

I have a fairly steep bank that I don't want to mow, but I need to plant something to stop the erosion.

I'm in Western PA (Zone 6 I believe), and this location is in the shade until 2-3pm.

Crown Vetch comes up most frequently in either a positive or negative spin depending on who I ask.

I don't have any gardens nearby to worry about it spreading. But it also seems to prefer full sun anyway.

Some types of clover white / red have been suggested but will they provide good erosion control?


This small but steep bank leading down to the garage is what I'm talking about.

 
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Old 06-04-16, 06:54 AM
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Can't help with specific plants, but I would suggest for any areas where you are not going to mow to add some terracing. During a heavy rain you need to slow the flow.

Bud
 
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Old 06-04-16, 02:42 PM
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That's pretty much what we did. That large bank on the right was one steep slope down to the garage.

I had an excavator do some work and put a terrace in and cleaned it up a bit. Part of that flat is going to be spare parking, then I'm seeding the rest.

We just spent all day today doing a proper french drain around the garage, but even with 10 tons of river gravel I still have a 2' high by 10' long bank that I'd like to plant something on to hold the soil in place.

Either that or maybe some landscape fabric and large decorative rock?
 
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Old 06-04-16, 03:17 PM
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We have a large nursery in our area and I always seek advice from them. I'm sure you have similar. The advantage is they will know what grows well in your area and they have probably dealt with similar problems hundreds of times.

In terms of flow control they recently ditched a few roads in my area and installed those rock dams every 20' or so, all in accordance with state guidelines I'm sure. One big storm and all of those dams are now gone.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 06-06-16, 08:31 AM
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Hey Scoob8000,
I live in SW Pa, south of Pittsburgh and I definitely have some plant recommendations for your hillside.
Fifteen or so years ago during a particularly wet Spring we actually had a ground slip event that extended some 100 yds X 50 yds wide where the whole hillside for about a foot moved downhill on a more steeply inclined hillside than what yours shows.
Since then I added both trees and shrubs to help stabilize the entire hillside.
For trees, I went with Blue Spruce since deer leave them alone after the first five or so years and they grow fairly fast with a deeper root system than White Pine. I planted Chinese Chestnuts and Northern Pecan for the nuts and because they're hybridized with the Hickory tree which also has a significant tap root. Also if you want the larger American Chestnut, I believe there's a cross-hybridized Chinese/American Chestnut tree that grows 30-40ft.
For shrubs, I planted Red Twig Dogwood which takes up a LOT of water but also requires yearly pruning to maintain manageable size and Rose of Sharon.
Soon after planting the Red Twig Dogwood, I realized I could grow more plants from the cuttings by soaking in water and then in a shaded, damp spring area I have on my property.

Also good for you location would be Korean Boxwood and Spirea - both fast growers and not bothered much by deer.
Hope this helps.
greynold99
 
  #6  
Old 06-07-16, 10:06 AM
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some additional comments...

Forgot to mention - for really wet areas where you have a lot of room and no nearby buildings, you might want to consider Hybrid Poplar - really fast growing and it too can be propagated using cuttings. I always heard that you could just stick Forsythia into wet ground and it should grow but I never had any luck with it compared to Hybrid Poplar. Expect a 30-50 ft tree that grows 5 - 8 ft through Spring/Summer growing season.

Also for the type of ground cover you started discussion on, if you don't want a herd of deer around don't use Ground Myrtle - they congregate on my steepest bank all through Winter munching it down to bare ground. Must be close to candy for them...
 
  #7  
Old 06-09-16, 06:13 PM
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greynold99,

Thanks for the input. I assume your down near the Washington area?

I'm just up by the Pgh Airport.

I'm mostly worried about the immediate bank right by the garage, but do plan on planting some sort of tree/shrubs further off to the right.

There was a row of large (50ft maybe) pine trees that were half dead when we moved in. We cut them all down before building the garage. If one came down it easily would have destroyed the garage and likely anything in it.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 03:22 AM
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Crown Vetch comes up most frequently in either a positive or negative spin depending on who I ask.
I had long ago forgotten the name but that is what I planted on a steep bank off of my front yard. It does a good job of filling in that area but it is very invasive! It's turned up behind the barn and elsewhere all by itself. If I had it to do over I'd have used some type of ivy. IMO the crown vetch gets kind of tall for ground cover.

btw - on my mountain property I'd consider your 'hill' to be flat ground
 
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