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nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/21/20 2:57 p.m.

My new home sits on a steeply sloped property.  Heavy rain showers are washing away our ground cover and wrecking havoc on several areas of the yard. What have you had success with in controlling washout?

Specifics:  The biggest trouble spot is on the east side of my house -- a 13-ft wide slope that falls 14' over 40' alongside my home.  My back yard is less critical, but I would still like to slow the erosion.  The yard is somewhat bowl-shaped, with one side about 10' higher than the other and about 20' of total elevation change from front to back.

I've looked into adding terraces and retaining walls, but have no appetite to spend tens of thousands on hardscaping.  The cheapskate in me is looking for budget-friendly DIY friendly alternatives.  So far I'm most intrigued by geo-cell / ground grid products--they look great on youtube but I've never actually seen them used in person.  Let me know what you've tried and what's worked best.  Thanks!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/21/20 3:38 p.m.

Can't you just make some terraces with a shovel? There are visible terraces in parts of Colorado that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps 90 years ago, and they're just basically dirt ridges.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/21/20 3:59 p.m.

Here in Atlanta we get more rain than Seattle, and it's often micro-bursts of heavy rainfall.  Anything not reinforced with with structure or dense foliage washes away.  The steepest parts of my yard are covered with pine straw, not plants, and the ground cover plants we've planted tend to wash away before they can really take root.

preach
preach Reader
8/21/20 4:20 p.m.

Old tire terraces. stack/fill with dirt make sure they are staggered etc.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/21/20 4:23 p.m.

Does it need to be actual grass?

If not, I suggest planting a regular pattern of rug juniper across the area.  It takes a little while to get established, but it does take off and fill into a solid ground cover.  It really stabilizes the soils, and doesn't look bad at all.

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
8/21/20 4:34 p.m.

How about buying 60lb bags of concrete and dry stacking them like blocks to make some terraces.  The bags degrade pretty quickly and you are left with rounded off looking blocks.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
8/21/20 5:17 p.m.

I strongly recommend swales filled with wood chips. Wood chips on the ground around the swales. More plants.

Look up how permaculture people use swales to work with  water. 

Make a simple a-frame with a string with a bolt or something heavy. Find the contour of the slope. Dig a trench a foot deep and 18” wide along the contour line. Fill it with wood chip or other absorbing bio material. Make another one, if you need to, another 25 feet downhill.

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Dork
8/21/20 6:18 p.m.

I'm from NC and I recommend Kudzu.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
8/21/20 6:24 p.m.

Wife and I did our own terrace at her first house, back when she was just the gf.

It was surprisingly affordable because we did it ourselves.  Lot of work, but affordable. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/21/20 6:27 p.m.

Put down slip-n-slides/done. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/21/20 9:11 p.m.

#4 stone the entire slope. Because mowing lawns sux. Actually,  all lawn care sux.

BFH_Garage
BFH_Garage Reader
8/21/20 9:42 p.m.

Pine straw is not stable enough to withstand sheer flow of water. You are taking about a 3:1 slope, which is steep, but not unreasonable. A shredded hardwood mulch would probably be more stable.

Especially if you can slow the water flow. can you put in a series of check dams across the slope to slow the water? 

you may not like the idea of turf, but sod is an instant ground cover and stabilizer.

you mentioned ground cover plants, you could cover the slope with jute mat and cut small holes in it to install the ground covers. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-ft-x-135-ft-Polypropylene-Single-Net-Straw-Erosion-Control-Blanket-17681-1-135/312158548?mtc=Shopping-B-F_D28O-G-D28O-28_19_MULCH-Multi-NA-Feed-SMART-NA-NA-Pine_Straw&cm_mmc=Shopping-B-F_D28O-G-D28O-28_19_MULCH-Multi-NA-Feed-SMART-NA-NA-Pine_Straw-71700000064297085-58700005717101738-92700055576734330&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjpHHgeOt6wIVC4nICh3CkQyUEAQYASABEgKzM_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

if it is a new build, then your builder should take on some of the responsibility for making it right. 

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Dork
8/21/20 9:55 p.m.

How about the pre-seeded mats that are used for new or re-done roadside embankments?  The road washed out where it crosses a creek on the farm a couple of hurricanes ago & highway dept. used them with good results. I think one brand is Virmat. 

Or if you're interested, I still have plenty of kudzu. Free if you'll come get it.

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
8/22/20 6:50 a.m.

Can you post a pic of the trouble area? Or PM me one. I'll try to help. 

Also just got a chuckle out of your username. Hope my yard doesn't get flooded wirh cheese anytime soon. Or maybe I do. 

You might look into hydroseeding. It is used in road construction to stabilize embankments. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/22/20 5:51 p.m.

Thanks, there are some great ideas in this thread so far.  For perspective, the A/C unit in the top-left of the first pic sit about 25 ft higher than the back corner of the property where I was standing to take that pic.



neverdone
neverdone New Reader
8/22/20 7:49 p.m.

Look at North American green products.  Their p300 is pricey as all heck, but lay it and you'll be done.  Or, check with your nearest contractor supply house and they'll tell you who they sell and that vendor wll size it for you.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/23/20 8:04 a.m.

GRM solution- find some railroad ties, grab a shovel, start digging. Use the ties to make terraces. Alternatively, you could put in a series of shallow berms to act as spreader dams. 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
8/23/20 12:53 p.m.

That area has been stripped of anything and everything that prevents erosion. That’s a problem. 

Wood chips, swales, plants. You don’t need terraces or railroad ties because the swale does the job for you, and you might not even need swales if you put down enough mulch/wood chips.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
8/23/20 3:24 p.m.
M2Pilot said:

I'm from NC and I recommend Kudzu.

Interspersed with bamboo.  

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
8/23/20 4:18 p.m.
spitfirebill said:
M2Pilot said:

I'm from NC and I recommend Kudzu.

Interspersed with bamboo.  

You guys are mean. If he does that, he'll wind up with a jungle, and a British chap in khakis and pith helmet will show up looking for a lost civilization...

Error404
Error404 Reader
8/23/20 5:49 p.m.
Recon1342 said:
spitfirebill said:
M2Pilot said:

I'm from NC and I recommend Kudzu.

Interspersed with bamboo.  

You guys are mean. If he does that, he'll wind up with a jungle, and a British chap in khakis and pith helmet will show up looking for a lost civilization...

He might walk in british but he'll walk out with a lip full of Skoal and a hankering for a thin, vinegar-y sauce on pulled pork and slaw next to a Cook Out watermelon shake. 

slefain
slefain PowerDork
8/24/20 7:47 a.m.

If you have a few old project cars sitting around, you can do this:

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/24/20 8:51 a.m.
slefain said:

If you have a few old project cars sitting around, you can do this:

My next door neighbour came across some 40's hoods out in a desert junkyard and decided to integrate them into his garden for some sort of aesthetic. It's not working. It just looks like someone dropped a few old hoods into a garden.

So nderwater just needs to slow down the water. I'm sticking with my berms. For temporary control, you can use the rolls or mats of straw that are used for stormwater management in construction. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/24/20 9:19 a.m.

And I still say dot juniper all over the area in a staggered grid about 4 feet on center.  Within a year or two it will fill in and never be a problem again.

 

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