Seeding a steep slope

   #1  

trlong

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I have been filling in a steep area (approx. 80' X 80') below my house, in an attempt to shape it for mowing with the JD 4115 and grooming mower. I've added and graded about 200 yd.s of "Overdurden" and sand, so far. I'm almost ready for topsoil but with heavy summer rains, I have already had considerable wash down of some of the fill. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

My questions is, does any one know the name(s) of the grass seed/straw/mesh that highway departments often use on steep slopes to prevent erosion until the grass has taken hold? Also, if any one knows sources, relative costs compared to aternatives such as heavy mulch straw, I would appreciate the information.

I have pictures of "before and after" to this point but, I was waiting until I am able to show the "finished project" to post.

Thanks,

Tom
 
   #2  

Bob_Skurka

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I don't know of any brand names, but I've used 2 different products on my property, one was a fiber mat with a poly mesh, the other was a straw mat with a poly mesh. The fiber mat is better for erosion control while trying to establish grass seed, I bought it at a local feed store. Right now I am using straw mats to help establish new grass on a mild slope I just regraded so I can run a fence line through it. The straw mats were just under $60 a roll, they were 7' by 120' if I recall correctly. I bought them from my local fertilizer/mulch/stone yard. I suspect any feed store would also have them.
 
  
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trlong

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Bob,

Thank you. I'll check with a couple of feed/supply stores. I may have to go with a combination of fiber for a couple of steep slopes that I will never be able to mow (sides of slope area and 1st step from house level) and the "waterbar/path" I'm trying to grade in. I may go with the straw for the large, less steep area, especially if the staw is less expensive. All will depend on cost and my budget.

Again, thanks. I'll post some pic's when I get some grass growing.

Tom
 
   #4  

Bully

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The stuff they use out here is called Hydro-seed, they just shoot it out of a nozzle and it sticks to anything. It's seed straw & fertilizer, I have seen it grow grass on T-post..... /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
   #5  

SPIKER

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When I was Stationed at Edwards AFB in CA they used the hydro-seed some amazing stuff in about 2 weeks the yard was greener than a foot ball field and was about 4" high! spraied it out of a converetd looking fire truck! I never saw anything grow so fast for NEW LAWN that is... the weeds in my garden will grow 6" over night somehow but the tomatos and other stuff just wilts & crooks /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

MarkM
 
   #6  

Bob_Skurka

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Tom,

Along the road in our neighborhood we have a couple steep banks that cannot be mowed, we planted a grass called "Little Blue Stem" it is a native prairie grass that grows about a foot or so tall, but still looks fairly neat.

I have a spot that is a nightmare to keep up, we planted Crown Vetch which is a fern-like plant that spreads, chokes out weeds, stays under knee high and blooms with clusters of little pink flowers. They use it along the highways to cover steep banks that they don't want to mow. Little blue stem and crown vetch both seem to thrive in USDA zone 5.

You may want to try buffalo grass. It is a very low growing native grass from the prairies. Seed is expensive, but may be a great option for you too.
 
   #7  

riptides

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How about a couple of strips of sod in strategic layered positions? Then seed in between.

I did this on a slope I had. Worked very well too, I may add.

-Mike Z. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 
  
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trlong

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Bully and Spiker,

Thank you but, I don't think I can afford the equipment for spraying (without a trailer I can't even go rent one without paying drop off and pick up charge). Thanks for the name though, you never know what may be the most cost efficient in the long run.

Tom
 
  
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trlong

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Bob,

Thanks again. I've been looking at various grasses for both the steep and the less steep slopes. The little blue stem and/or crown vetch are good suggestions. I can't remember though if they are cool or hot season germination. I'll have to look at my notes as I missed the cool season and have to get some thing growing before fall. My wife is inclined to plant ornamental grasses, such as micanthus (sp?), along with some native ground cover (can't remember name but is similar but NOT Lisimachia (sp?)). We may need to get some thing like the blue stem or vetch established 1st as the ground cover plant takes time to spread on the steep slopes.

I facilitated a session on grasses and turf management a while back (VT Extension Service) and have the tape. I need to pull it back out and take better notes.

Tom
 
  
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trlong

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Mike,

Also a good idea but, I don't think I can afford the sod. I could be wrong though, so I will look into the cost and compare with the alternatives. To keep every thing from washing off while seed established, sod strips would be a good option if I can afford it.

Thanks,

Tom
 
 
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