How to deal with this sloped front lawn

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Old 03-26-13, 04:23 PM
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How to deal with this sloped front lawn

Hello,

I looked for advice last year on what to plant on a sloped front lawn. Here it is:

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I came to the conclusion that junipers (blue rug) would probably be best on the upper part of the slope. However, the lower part has a much more aggressive slope, as shown by the erosion, and I don't think planting junipers there will help fast enough.

I don't have the funds to have a concrete wall poured as reinforcement, which would likely be best. I am looking for the cheapest way to stop this erosion. I don't care about how it looks, but I do respect that my neighbours shouldn't be stuck with an ugly lawn next to them.

My best idea, very open to discussion, is to create a gabion mat and lie it down on the slope on the lower part. I know many people think gabions are ugly, so I was thinking that I could either plant a crawling plant above them and channel them down over, to create a mat of vines, or create spaces in between the rocks and plant junipers there. The gabion mats would have to be thin versions (I'm thinking 0.5m thick) and I would have to consider that they won't be able to interfere with the sidewalk (digging at the bottom likely required). There is definitely rock underneath but I am not certain at what depth.

I'm open to any ideas!

Other things I've considered:
- concrete wall
- wooden ties of some sort
- if the rock is not far below, remove the soil, expose the rock (at the expense of the tree)
- some kind of fencing over the slope?
- insert your awesome idea here!

Thanks again!


Edit: Forgot to mention I'm in Northern Ontario.

Note: I posted this question on another site but I thought a few places will increase the chance of finding the most helpful people!
 

Last edited by Brad Roberts; 03-26-13 at 04:58 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-26-13, 04:51 PM
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From what I read you should hydroseed with an erosion control seed Mix, and bonded Fiber Matrix.

Remove some dirt to reduce the slope. And as this shows track walk it. May be the cheapest option, but not sure the cost of hydroseeding.

North Idaho Hydroseeding - Site Disturbance - Erosion Control / Reclamation Work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b8ojNgnNnkA
 
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Old 03-27-13, 04:12 AM
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Welcome to the forums Brad!

Hydro seed works well - I've even seen it make grass grow on a telephone pole

Personally I think a wall would be best. If it weren't for the fact that your freeze line is so deep I'd pour a footer and build a block wall. It wouldn't be all that expensive if you diy. There are retaining wall 'stones' that don't require a footer but I've never worked with them. RR ties would also be an option.

The older I get the less I like mowing on a steep slope but your yard isn't all that wide and maybe that isn't much of an issue when you are young
 
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Old 03-27-13, 08:49 AM
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A segmented block retaining wall would work. I've done them before and they're relatively straight forward, especially once you have the first row of blocks completed.

I agree with Mark that I would not want to mow that slope but if it were more gentle, maybe.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 09:09 AM
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Thanks for all of the ideas guys!
I'm happy I found this forum... a lot less responses on some others.

Hydroseeding would be great but, as the others mentioned, one of the main reasons I am going to a no grass solution is it is actually pretty dangerous to mow this. Not only because it is steep but because the soil is soft and I have slid before, with a running mower!

I will try and find some information on segmented block walls. I am not familiar with them but if they will work, great!

If I use ties, I assume that I would have to drive rods into the ground? Or would I just tie (no pun intended) them together?

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-27-13, 09:39 AM
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A concrete wall needs a poured footing and a segmental block wall will often have a course or two partially or completely below ground level. While I have never installed a rr tie wall, I would imagine you would have to drive stakes into the ground and maybe even need to install deadmen.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 04:11 PM
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I've used rebar to drive thru the RR tie and into the ground. You'll need a long drill bit the same size or one size bigger than the rebar you use. You can cheat a little and use some of the holes where the spikes went thru but it will be a little sloppy.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 04:42 PM
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I would definitely use the "hill holder" blocks. Carefully dig down immediately behind the sidewalk to place the first row of blocks on undisturbed soil about halfway below the surface of the sidewalk. Add blocks on top, staggering the joints up no more than three feet. Lay in some landscape fabric and backfill to the first block with pea gravel and fold the landscape fabric over the top of the gravel and then continue backfilling with soil.

If three feet high isn't enough then come back a minimum of 18 inches (24 is better) and lay another wall. Regulations generally allow a dry-set retaining wall up to four feet but going only three is safer. You can plant sod or anything else on the terraces made with multiple walls. Too small to use a regular lawnmower but a string trimmer works just fine.

The bigger the blocks you use the easier the job except for the actual lifting of the blocks.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 04:49 PM
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the easier the job except for the actual lifting of the blocks
Why does that pesky little fact always get in the way? just because we ain't young anymore
 
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Old 03-27-13, 04:54 PM
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Like this Joel?






brickstopedge.com
 
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Old 03-27-13, 05:03 PM
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Yep, that's the plan. Probably not necessary to use gravel all the way to the top unless you have really clay-y soil that doesn't drain very well.

That top picture also shows a wire mesh reinforcing that goes back to tie the wall into the hill. At less than four feet that is probably not needed but if it is I would then mortar the top row of blocks to it and the rest of the wall. In any case I would probably use the adhesive made for these blocks (comes in a caulking gun tube) on the top row of blocks to prevent some smart-Alec kid (like I was) from pushing the blocks off. Also use the adhesive to install a cover stone if desired.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 09:40 PM
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Thanks again for the help. The segmented wall looks like a good choice. Now I just have to go find out how much 50' of it will cost!
 
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Old 03-31-13, 03:22 PM
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Hmmm...I'd probably go for the "hill holder" blocks as well.
 
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