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Soil Erosion Control Material

When you have slopes, and are trying to establish new vegetative growth you may have no other option than to use soil and sediment control materials.

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Soil Erosion Control Material comes in many different types. The most important factors in determining what material to use are, degree of slope you are covering, what season of the year you are establishing vegetative growth, thus how long you need or want the erosion prevention, rainfall for your area and the vegetation you have chosen for long-term control.

Companies that produce erosion control products provide software for calculations of the variables. I use software even if I, (based on experience), know which product should be used. It is good practice to double check and make sure you are using the best soil erosion control material.

The most basic material used is wheat straw. I have used straw, blown onto the surface, but only in low slope or flat surfaces. A special notched disc pulled behind a tractor should be used to crimp the loose straw into the soil. As a blanket, the straw has netting to keep it positioned on top of the soil. Netting is either single, double and you can chose quick or slow degradation. Note: as the straw decomposes it robs Nitrogen from the vegetation. Therefore you must re- apply at least every 21 days until full growth is achieved.

As you can see by the first picture, the vegetation is not taking on this slope. The clay washes away and dries too quickly for grass to get a foothold. The software program called for a wood fiber blanket with a longevity of 18 to 24 months.

I was first necessary to check the pH level of the soil on this 13,000 foot embankment. Augmenting the soil is a must in order for a grass seeding to be successful. And, as I suspected the pH levels ranged from 6 to 4.4 which is unacceptable for seeding. Pellitized lime was added at a rate of 10 pounds per 1000 square feet. Just remember you cannot over apply lime, (calcium carbonate) because the process of neutralizing acid stops when a neutral or 7 pH is reached.

Next an application of 12-12-12 which is a balanced fertilizer was applied. The most important element in this formulation is the nitrogen, but because it was so cold this spring I wanted some phosphate available to the seedlings. Normal phosphate is plentiful after the soil warms and the bacteria start thriving. Otherwise a formulation of 46-0-0 would be fine. An application in 21 days is critical because the grass will just be getting a good start and the nitrogen will be virtually gone.

Finally a mix of dwarf fescue, (WATER SAVER PRO) which I have been very pleased with and bin run oats from the local elevator. The oats provide an excellent nurse crop and help secure the blanket.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 06/06/2017


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